Taking care of mental, physical and sexual health
While value for money remains an underlying factor determining consumer buying habits, the importance of health has persisted as an overshadowing factor, Alex Beckett, global food and beverage analyst at Mintel, revealed during a talk at Food Ingredients Europe in Paris earlier this month.
From seeking fiber to feel full to prioritizing healthy, natural ingredients, consumers are increasingly looking to nourish their mental and sexual health, as well as their physical health; trends resulting from a seemingly permanent change in mindset after Covid-19.
Beckett introduced the talk by highlighting two key events that Mintel predicts will shape what consumers will eat and drink in the future. These include the recent COP27 climate summit in Egypt, whereby a roadmap for an improved global food system was announced, as well as the launch of NASA’s Artemix 1 rocket that reflects the start of a mission to achieve human habitation in the moon by 2030. He emphasizes the importance of these events in the formation of “how we source food, how we appreciate food, and how we trade it.”
Mintel has categorized established trends into those that need to be recognized today, such as consumer demands for affordability and nutrition in response to the cost of living crisis, those that urgently need to be addressed as a result of the climate crisis, and those to offer pleasure. . and escapism in the face of these current crises.
Finding fullness with fiber
Regarding the current economic crisis, a trend highlighted by Mintel closes the gap between increased consumer nutritional awareness and value for money.
“Money is tight right now. Affordability is crucial.
“Feeling full has become an indicator of value. The problem is that here in Europe it is very difficult to make satiety statements because of the EFSA. But brands are taking advantage of consumer awareness between high fiber content and feeling full.” Beckett explains, drawing attention to the fact that 52% of German adults say that high-fiber foods keep them full longer.
Therefore, satiety and positive nutrition will rise as indicators of value for money, suggesting success for companies leveraging these ingredients in their products.
Another trend from Mintel highlights that energy needs have extended beyond caffeinated beverages like coffee and popular energy drinks, with Beckett citing that 33% of coffee drinkers express concern about caffeine’s impact on your emotional well-being. This figure rises to a significant 50% of people aged 15 to 34.
“Consumers need energy right now, but not just physical energy, cognitive support is crucial.
“Due to covid-19, consumers have become much more aware of the link between caffeine, stimulants, and their own mental well-being.” Beckett emphasizes, calling attention to a greater need for support to feel focused, productive, and in control.
As a result, new products with moderate caffeine and plant-based foods are beginning to emerge on the market to provide cognitive support. One of these products includes the Rambler energy drink, which uses Youpon’s natural source of caffeine; The only naturally caffeinated plant native to North America. “With 30% less caffeine than coffee, it grows abundantly in arid soils but can also flourish in seawater.” Beckett adds.
“This is an ingredient to watch out for.”, underlines.
communication to connect
As a result of the general feeling of overwhelm among consumers, as well as growing mistrust among a more “cynical” generation approaching adulthood, Mintel has been advocating the need for simple and clear product communication.
“There are so many more complicated health claims and messages appearing on the packaging and it is turning consumers away… even making them wary.
“34% of German consumers consider products that make many health claims less trustworthy than those that claim only a few specific benefits, rising to 46% of those aged 16-34.” Beckett states, further emphasizing the need for minimalist messages, especially if the immediate effects of the product cannot be felt.
“This is especially important for some of these cognitive ingredients, like nootropics.”
A final trend concerns the growing openness and awareness around sexual health issues, extending beyond the aging population and into the younger generations.
Beckett explains this trend, explaining that “sThe sexual taboos in 2022 continue to dissipate. People are happier to make healthy and empowered decisions about their sex life.“.
As a result, there are predictions of substantial interest in the future demand for botanically derived aphrodisiacs. Mintel highlights ingredients such as maca, damiana and red ginseng, with significant interest among Generation Z.