The pandemic of the new coronavirus caused several changes in the Food Industry, guided by the behavior patterns of consumers before this atypical situation. Among the main concerns of consumers related to nutrition, the search for foods that promote health, increase of immunity and well-being stands out. Thus, natural ingredients and products gain attention in this scenario, due to the association between nature and health. Thus, some trends related to natural benefits which already existed in the pre-pandemic periodunderwent a certain “acceleration”. Below there are some of these trends that promise to be highlights of the industry in the following years:
Vegetable milks, which were once a market niche, now have a consolidated place in the industry. According to Mintel data, 52% of consumers in the United States are switching to non-dairy milk for health reasons.
The use of vegetable milks, however, will not be restricted only to substitution of dairy products, but to add the naturalness and functionality factor to the formulations, acting as a tool for innovation. According to a survey conducted by Mintel, vegetable milks can enhance the image of energy drinks, either to penetrate new markets or to add the natural benefits from plants. Among the launches of this trend, we highlight the uses of almond, rice and coconut milk, with marketing claims of providing nutrients and antioxidants for a natural energy boost.
Due to the more accelerated lifestyle of the pre-pandemic period, energy-boosting products were increasingly in evidence. And, even with the deceleration of daily routines due to the pandemic, this segment is still on the rise but with new horizons to consider. As mentioned earlier, there was an “acceleration” in the search for health and well-being and formulations that contain natural ingredients. In fact, according to data from Mintel, 75% of French consumers said that sports drinks contain too many artificial ingredients. Because of the quarantine period, formulations that promote “mental energy” also gained space quickly. Therefore, products and ingredients that have natural benefits, such as products with natural caffeine or products containing herbs and superfoods, will gain prominence.
Due to greater access to information, mental health complications such as anxiety and stress have increasingly generated attention and discussions. With the experience of social distancing due to covid-19, care with well-being and mental health has increased among society. Thus, there is a search for products and services to support mental health. Teas and hot drinks with marketing claims related to sleep or stress are highlighted. In fact, according to Mintel data, there was an increase in launches of these products from 3% in July 2018 to 6% in July 2020. Among the ingredients most associated with these launches, chamomile, lavender and ginger stand out in a bigger dimension, but there are also others like lemon grass, mint and cinnamon.
BECKETT, A. A year of innovation in tea, malt and other hot drinks, 2020. Mintel. 20 aug. 2020.
FAULKNER, D. Plant milk could boost health image for energy drinks. Mintel. 21 mar. 2020. TEODORO, M. A new approach to energy