What will consumers be looking for in food products?
Health benefits, ethical, local, sustainability, and traceability are all taken into consideration at point of purchase.
Healthwise, we want foods that can support immunity, help maintain a healthy weight, are good for gut health and also good for mental health. Mood foods will come to the fore with the development of nootropics and psychobiotics. Manufacturers that embrace these concerns and also manage to combine a little indulgence will thrive.
Hot Nutrients for 2022
Consumers will become more aware of the role micronutrients play in wellbeing, e.g. calcium, potassium, magnesium, iodine and selenium.
The obsession with protein will slow, and collagen will become more popular as a supplement. Taken for Musculoskeletal benefits as well as for its anti-aging effect on skin.
Emphasis on Immunity
Turmeric supplements, vitamin D, probiotic and live fermented foods all help with immune function and will become ever more popular, with an expansion in specially formulated immune-supporting combinations for different life stages or conditions.
Weight Management as the new Weight Loss.
It’s all about managing a healthy weight rather than yo-yo dieting. The pandemic highlighted the risk of poorer outcomes for overweight Covid patients, with Intensive Care National Audit Research Centre showing at least two thirds of people seriously ill with coronavirus were overweight or obese. The medical fraternity is starting to embrace the vital importance of nutrition; from a public health standpoint one of the most cost-effective interventions. Expect more dietary advice from your GP and through Government campaigns.
We’re living longer and want to live healthier too. There will be increased emphasis on quality of later life. Rising interest in products that help us be more active and fitter in old age. Particularly supplements, foods and lifestyle changes that improve cognitive health - the biggest fear in our ageing population is dementia and Alzheimer’s.
The rise of the Zoom Doctor
Home testing and remote consultations will become the norm and are preferred by many patients, especially for non-urgent conditions. Tech allows the use of at home testing kits and smart monitors, from diagnosis of minor conditions to the remote monitoring of more serious long-term health issues such as heart disease and Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).
Using colourimetric (measurement of colour) analysis, computer vision, and AI, the smartphone camera transforms into a clinical-grade medical device. Photographs can be used for analysing dip tests, identifying dermatological problems, and even assessing how wounds are healing. The NHS is already trialing this technology in some regions.
Remote diagnosis is becoming far more reliable and can offer results in less time allowing faster intervention.
Increased home testing will enable supplements and diets to be tailored to an individual’s specific needs. We are discovering that people react differently to different foods and one size doesn’t fit all. Personalised nutrition and supplementation will be much bigger.
Post Pandemic behavioural changes in consumers
Research conducted by leading global consumer trends agency Foresight Factory has identified five different personalities.
- 18% are ‘Pragmatics’ and will keep some Covid habits such as washing hands, working from home, online shopping and video calls. They will return to travel and socialising but with caution.
- 18% are ‘Lockdown lifers’ and have high anxiety and will continue to avoid crowds, travel and restaurants, they will do more cooking at home and more online shopping.
- The largest group identified were ‘Habituals’ who don’t want to change their lives at all. Predominantly made up of older than average, lower income males. Learning and knowledge are not valued by this group.
- 15% are ‘Experience Demanders’ who have been negatively impacted in terms of mental health and friendship. Holidays are part of their identity; they want to eat out, visit shops and remain lifestyle focused.
- The smallest group at 11% were the ‘All Changers’, a younger more affluent group, they maintain some caution but actually embrace lifestyle changes such as WFH. The Pandemic had a positive effect on their lifestyle.
And finally… some overall consumer trends
The huge boost in online shopping will continue, with older shoppers also embracing e-commerce. 43% of global consumers now shop weekly online.
Premiumisation – less is more, consumers are trading up, particularly with products like alcohol, where they are drinking less but better quality. This is also true in categories such as meat, where high welfare and provenance is key.
With WFH and flexible working set to continue there are significant opportunities for cooking from scratch, home improvements, garden, online exercise, crafting and gaming.
Experiential online and the metaverse with the rise of the online ‘glocal’ community of common interests, meeting virtually to share news and views over health issues/solutions/latest research.