Trend Watch: A Shift for Health-Conscious Consumers

April 2022

During a time when personal health and wellness is top of mind, consumers look to products they recognize and can trust to be healthy and immune-boosting. As consumers continue to grow interested in the holistic approach to personalized health and wellness, natural ingredients will be a center focus. In fact, Nutrition Business Journal1 found that the personalized supplement market is expected to grow from an estimated $281 million in 2019 to $4.3 billion in 2023.

When looking for products that fit their personal health and wellness goals, consumers want nutritional ingredients that they know and trust. Food and beverage manufacturers that address a variety of these current healthy eating trends as part of their formulations will be better suited to turn today’s one-time purchaser into a lifelong customer. 

Here are three healthy eating trends currently reshaping the food and beverage industry as a result of shifting consumer interests:

Flexitarian-Focused
Nearly 60%2 of consumers believe plant-based diets represent a long-term, fundamental change in how people eat, but not everyone wants to or is able to commit to a fully plant-based diet. A sizeable 36%2 of consumers identified themselves as “flexitarian,” a trending diet that is predominantly plant-based but does incorporate some meat-based foods. Rather than commit to a fully plant-based diet, consumers interested in bettering themselves and the environment have the freedom to choose what is best for them. This heathy eating trend combines individual freedom with a greater confidence about the health factors behind plant-based foods they are consuming.
Global Interest in the Mediterranean Diet
Ranked as the best healthy eating diet, the easiest diet to follow, the best diet for diabetes and the best plant-based diet, the Mediterranean Diet continues to increase in consumer popularity3. Nearly half4 of adult consumers have tried and enjoyed this trend that combines the food and beverage flavors of Greek, French, Spanish and Italian culture. Highlighting an emphasis on fruits, veggies, whole grains, seafood, legumes, and flavorful spices, the Mediterranean Diet is not so much a structured diet but rather a pattern health-conscious consumers can follow to balance healthy living with enjoyable experiences.
Clean and Simple
The push for clean label foods and beverages is at a worldwide high. A global survey found that 52% of consumers would spend 10% or more on a food or beverage product containing ingredients they recognized and trusted5. While the term “clean label” has a range of definitions, nearly 50% of clean label consumers believe that it means not eating foods that are heavily processed6. By incorporating simple, recognizable ingredients, like fruits and vegetables, food manufacturers can gain and maintain consumer confidence that what they produce is and what is being consumer is good for them.

Despite the countless healthy eating options currently trending, many focus on adding nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables to your diet. Incorporating freeze-dried ingredients within food and beverage formulations allows producers to pack in flavor, color, and those hard-to-find nutrients without the need for artificial or unhealthy ingredients. 

Looking to stay on top of the health-conscious consumer food and beverage trends, but don’t know where to start? Check out our healthy eating trends recipe inspirations to see how freeze-dried ingredients can help the development of your new product. 

References:

  1. “The personalized nutrition market isn’t one-size-fits-all,” Nutritional Outlook. March 2021.
  2. “Plant-based drives interest from omnivores, flexitarians, vegetarians alike,” Supermarket Perimeter. August 2021.
  3. “We Surveyed People on the Mediterranean Diet. Here’s What They Say,” U.S. News. 2020.
  4. “Healthy Eating Mediterranean Style,” IFT. 2020.
  5. “75% of Consumers Will Pay Extra For Clean Label Ingredients,” Food & Beverage Insider. 2017.
  6. “Four in 10 consumers identify as clean label eaters,” Food Business News. 2021.

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