Lifestyle Shifts Are Reshaping Food & Beverage Innovation

Consumers are proactively managing their wellbeing with functional nutrition, close-to-nature ingredients, and foods that signal self-care.

CHICAGO — Five behavioral shifts will reshape and create opportunities within the food, beverage and supplement spaces.

According to research from ADM, an agricultural origination and processing company, 60 percent of global consumers are planning to improve their overall health and wellness in the coming year.

Consumers are also taking a more proactive approach to managing wellbeing with functional nutrition, close-to-nature ingredients and foods that signal self-care.

"Health and wellness remain at the forefront of the global conversation," said June Lin, vice president, Global Marketing, Health & Wellness at ADM. "The pandemic has transformed how consumers perceive holistic health and wellbeing. It's impacting how we live and increasing the importance of the foods, beverages and supplements we choose, presenting new opportunities for our industry to meet their needs."

ADM has identified five health and wellness behavior shifts that are creating opportunities for manufacturers to create innovative, health-forward foods and beverages that support consumers’ evolving health and wellness needs:

1. Renewed motivation to improve individual health and wellness

While pandemic experiences have varied globally, a nearly universal takeaway is the renewed focus on preventative health and wellness behaviors. For example, 76 percent of global consumers say they will eat and drink more healthily due to COVID-19 and 41 percent plan to be more physically active.

Products designed to optimize physical health and mental wellness at all life stages will help consumers protect themselves, their families and their communities, ADM suggests.

2. A holistic approach to managing the mind-body connection

Fifty-one percent of global consumers are planning to improve their cognitive and mental health over the next 12 months. A desire to keep their physical and mental health in balance is promoting new techniques to manage stress, from exercise and meditation to eating foods with perceived mood-enhancing benefits.

As consumers return to more active lifestyles, convenient products with functional ingredients that boost energy, enhance cognitive performance and regulate mood are gaining prominence, ADM finds.

3. Tailored nutrition supports personal health and wellness goals

Nearly two-thirds of global consumers are interested in foods and beverages that are customized to meet their individual nutrition needs. A greater understanding of how diet can impact health is spurring more consumers to choose wholesome, nutrient-dense ingredients in home-cooked and prepared meals, with particular focus on fiber and protein.

ADM suggests brands can help consumers stay motivated in the kitchen with innovative flavors and convenient formats.

4. A proactive perspective on immunity

With 65 percent of global consumers more concerned about immunity since COVID-19, they are shifting from a defensive approach against illness to one that's more proactive and holistic, and are looking for ways to incorporate immune function-supporting solutions, like probiotics and vitamin C and D, into their daily lives.

ADM projects products with functional ingredients that support a healthy immune system will increasingly attract consumer attention.

5. Purposeful indulgence is the new "permissible indulgence"

During the pandemic, consumers gave themselves permission to consume indulgent food and beverages as a form of self-care. In fact, 56 percent of global consumers have purchased comfort food regularly as a result of COVID-19. Consumers are recognizing as long as these are purposeful — and not impulsive — choices, indulgence has a role in a positive relationship with food.

ADM projects new opportunities for beverages, snacks and confectionery products that deliver functional benefits with delicious flavor.

ADM is headquartered in Chicago.