We see a world that is changing for the better. With increased life expectancy, improved standard of living and the rise of conscious consumption, consumers’ behaviour and preferences are becoming shaped through globalization, digital reach, and individualism, which poses the question: what does the shopping cart of your customer look like and how do you best cater to their needs?
The growing health and wellness trend opens the possibility for new product innovations and business for food and beverage manufacturers. Below we highlight the most significant health and wellness factors reshaping consumer preferences.
Our research focuses on the growing wellness trend, where fit and active lifestyles are fast becoming the new status symbol, as more people seek a healthier and happier life. Consisting of a range of factors, including reduced sugar, immune and gut health, free from diets, active lifestyles, healthy ageing and good nutrition, we highlight these trends as way for food manufacturers to explore the possibilities of the wellness movement and transform it into new product innovations.
Sugar reduction is a trend that is here to stay as consumers become increasingly aware of its contributing role to dietary related diseases – a concern validated by the World Health Organization’s active push for stricter regulatory measures on sugar intake. Consumers are looking for honest indulgence, preferring products with natural sugar alternatives in lieu of artificial additives, without compromising on taste and texture. Food manufacturers, in response, will benefit from continuing their developments in reducing sugar content.
Digestive wellness encompasses a large portion of dietary needs for people looking to enjoy natural foods without discomfort. This presents an opportunity for food manufacturers to provide solutions to diverse nutrition interests including probiotics, prebiotics, and free from - especially lactose free. With consistent quality and natural ingredients from Valio Eila® lactose free offerings you can expand your product range with superb taste and textures that support digestive wellness.
The growing awareness of the link between food and immunity contributes to consumers’ demand for diets that support their immune health. Dairy is a natural source for beneficial nutrients that the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) labels as a contributor to the normal function of the immune system, which include vitamins B12 and D and selenium, in addition to calcium and essential amino acids. Nutrient-rich dairy ingredients provide a valuable opportunity for food manufacturers to develop products that support the wellness trend with convenience.
Consumers are more frequently using food to support their health and to improve their mood. Dairy contains phospholipids, complex lipids naturally occurring in milk, which are essential for brain and cell function that enhance mood, mental well-being, and cognitive performance at all life stages. With Valio’s dairy ingredients, food manufacturers can create desirable and beneficial food products that contributes to a healthy lifespan.
Fats are vital for the body. Containing twice the energy of protein and carbs, it is an essential fuel source for growth and cell building. Fats are enjoying renewed approval, largely due to the popularity of low-carb and keto diets. Strategies for fats include highlighting its functionality in foods, and the advantages gained from the quality and source of fats used, as well as focusing on the science-based benefits of phospholipids – including its role in maintaining the function and structure of the brain and nervous system.
Protein maintains its positive association as a valuable nutrient that answers the needs of various health interests. Consumers want to obtain protein from recognizable sources while preserving an appealing taste and texture. Milk protein is a proficient source of high-quality protein in its natural and intrinsic form. Dairy can be considered a complete protein that is not only rich in other nutrients but also provides high nutrient density with excellent taste properties. There is space in the market for new products that promote competitive advantages such as increased protein and reduced sugar with straightforward, natural ingredients.
Trends in digestive wellness and weight management are driven by consumer demands for fewer and better carbohydrates. Through our innovative value-added food solutions, food manufacturers can explore new possibilities to reinvent carb categories and develop new strategies, including reduced sugar, increased protein with lower carbs, better quality carbs, carbs for energy, and carbs for honest indulgence.