Today’s consumer is highly interested in, and educated on, how food ingredients affect their personal health and the environment’s wellbeing. With a stronger focus on nutrition and sustainability now more than ever, better-for-us has emerged as an umbrella trend for products that meet both of these demands. To meet these demands, formulators must reevaluate their ingredients, ensuring that each aspect of their formulation provides nutrition—without harming the Earth.
We spoke with Itzel Rincon, Sales and NPI Director at Chaucer Foods, to learn more about how consumer demands have shaped the food and beverage industry and evolved the better-for-us trend.
Q: In your own definition, what is the better-for-us trend?
A: For me and from what I am seeing from consumers, the better-for-us trend focuses on how to combine health and happiness for consumers looking for flexibility. Whether it be for health or sustainability, consumers want to feel good about what products they are consuming. The pandemic drastically evolved the consumer’s typical habits, making room for them to care more about how they can personally improve their health and better the environment.
Q: What is driving the growth of interest in better-for-us products?
A: Research shows that global consumers are prioritizing investments in health and wellbeing, with 61% intending on increasing their spending in these areas over the next year1. Consumers—primarily younger generations—are also taking action to manage their mental health by demanding foods that fuel their bodies for success. As a result, we are seeing a proactive approach emerging within the better-for-us space through innovative, healthy, and sustainable products hitting the market.
A: While the pandemic accelerated the change in consumer interests, the better-for-us impact has been a long time coming. When I used to work in research and development 20 years ago, nutritional products were mainly formulated with premixed blends of synthetic vitamins. We are now witnessing the slow change going into using natural ingredients, like freeze-dried powders, within supplement products as a result of the better-for-us trend.
Because of this, initially slow, gradual rise in consumer popularity, better-for-us offerings are here to stay. Instead of it phasing out like some micro-trends, other trends will blend into better-for-us with more product markets offering healthy and sustainable products.
Q: Are there any common formulation challenges with developing better-for-us products?
Chaucer Foods’ ingredients can assist formulators with the help of their natural ability to enhance flavor and color of the offerings. The freeze-dried fruits and vegetables’ naturally functional qualities, such as a high content of pectin in some fruits, allow formulators to utilize them within diverse food recipes, not only as a flavor or color enhancer, but to improve texture or other sensory properties.
Q: How can brands strengthen their better-for-us offerings?
Q: What is Chaucer Foods doing to ensure that its ingredients meet the needs of the better-for-us consumer?
Are you curious about what the next steps to innovate a better-for-us product are? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to connect with our team.