Keeping the “Fun” in Functional Foods and Drink

May 2023

Today’s shoppers all have unique, individual needs, but they often share one common interest. Whether it’s a parent shopping for their family, or a single professional on-the-go, many consumers rely on the foods they buy to help fuel their busy lives. Since the 1980s, the functional foods market has been growing as people became more interested in nutrition, such as eating protein for muscle repair, carbohydrates for energy, and vitamins and minerals for improved cell function. In fact, two-thirds of U.S. adults say they’re now more focused on their own health than they were a year ago, and seven out of 10 are more health conscious1. In addition to an increasing interest in disease and illness prevention and the rising costs of health care, shoppers know that there’s a recipe for success in the functional foods market.

Despite the interest in nutrition-first products—people still want to enjoy what they consume. By highlighting the “fun” in functional products, your audience can be dazzled while still fueling their bodies with nutrient-dense foods.

Here are three opportunities for innovating your next batch of functional food and beverages to make them exciting for shoppers to buy and even more fun to enjoy:

1. Benefits for Breakfast
A bright start to your day begins at the breakfast table. This is where you can help your customers start with a smile and a boost of energy. In fact, four out of five consumers see breakfast as a suitable time to consume products that provide digestive, immune and joint benefits2. With two-thirds of people prioritizing healthiness and half of all shoppers seeking out specific nutritional benefits that fit their lifestyle3, your business can jump onto this emerging trend by offering them quick, delicious options — like foods full of fruits and vegetables — to ensure they feel good and focused from morning ‘til night.

2. Functionally On-The-Go
Once they are out the door, your customer’s day is just getting started. Whether it’s work or school, finding the time to get in that midday walk or participating in sports, everybody is moving more. Moving more burns more calories and makes the ability to have convenient nutrition desirable, with more than half of all consumers seeking easy-to-prepare options and one-third demanding on-the-go options3. Younger generations are already showing an early demand for this trend, as half of all global consumers between 18-25 use sports nutrition beverages on a regular basis2. Freeze-dried ingredients are a great addition to any shake mix or protein bar, as they’re more shelf-stable and can be used in any form from powders to pieces

3. Kid-Friendly & Functional
But let’s talk about the pickiest of picky eaters. Kids. As the heaviest users of functional foods and beverages1, the future of their physical and mental health relies on eating right and consuming what keeps them active and energized. In a recent survey, more than half of respondents with children point to immune health as their top reason for purchasing healthy lifestyle products2. That’s enough to necessitate your push to provide fun, appealing options that can build them up. With the right products — like nutrient-rich, additive-free fruits and vegetables — you’re also creating lifelong consumers.
The choices your business makes can have a huge impact on the direction of your customer’s health and wellness. By leaning into fun, creative ways to highlight your food and drink’s functional benefits, you’ll position your brand to be leaps and bounds beyond the competition and draw eyes from every shopper to your tantalizing tastes on supermarket shelves. The team at Chaucer Foods has years of experience implementing the best of freeze-dried and baked ingredients to help you lead the way. Where’s the fun in going it alone when you’ve got a global partner ready to help you create the next outstanding functional food innovation?

For more details on how freeze-dried ingredients can help innovate functional foods and beverages, check out our article with Shaby Fisher, Global Marketing Manager; Brittany Colasuonno, Marketing Associate; and Jerard Whitehead, National Sales Manager at Chaucer Foods, or contact us today to talk to our team of experts.

1 “Top 10 Functional Food Trends,” IFT. 2022.
2 “Functional Health Benefits for Every Generation,” Kerry. 2022.
3 “What’s for Breakfast: Trends and Insights to Inspire Innovation,” FlavorSum. 2022.

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