What’s Next For “Mood Food”?

February 2023

After a long and grueling day, what’s better than sitting down to a warm, homemade meal to fill your belly and lift your spirits? Instead of relying on comfort foods that are often not as nutritious, consumers are seeking healthy foods that improve their mood. Coupled with the rise in interest of “food as medicine,” global consumers are increasingly looking towards natural ingredients for a source of mood-boosting power—also known as “mood food”. In fact, 40% say they’re highly interested in mood-based food and beverage experiences1. Whether it’s for relaxation or catching some quick Z’s, mindful shoppers want the foods that make them start to feel better.

How can brands tap into the mood food trend? By using natural, nutrient-dense ingredients, like freeze-dried fruits and vegetables. You can take these ingredients and whip up a tasty offering that boasts a wide range of benefits, like brain health, anxiety reduction or mental clarity. To expand your audience and improve the mood of a larger crowd, begin by innovating a creative twist on indulgences that incorporates elements that are high in vitamins and minerals.

Check out three in-demand benefits of mood food:

1. Stress-Relief
While many people turn to comfort foods like chocolate to reduce stress, health-conscious consumers are seeking a more nutritious way to “eat” their feelings. With nearly two-thirds ranking their stress levels as 3 or higher on a scale of 1-5, and one-third of individuals desiring foods and beverages that make them feel happy1— there’s a growing opportunity to develop foods that ease unpleasant emotions and bring joy.

Full of antioxidants and vitamins, fruits and vegetables have been found to minimize feelings of stress2, helping to deliver a comforting calm that will keep your customers feeling their best.

2. Energy Boost
Who couldn’t use an extra boost of energy during their day? Instead of adding more caffeine to their daily diet, you can provide people with a steady stream of nature’s energy—fruits and vegetables. With over half of global consumers seeking healthy energy products1, there is a growing demand for nutritious, energy boosting foods made from fruits and vegetables.

Whether it’s a nutritious oatmeal to start the day right or a mid-day snack to avoid the 3PM slump, adding proven energy boosting benefits can give your products that extra something shoppers can trust and feel good about.

3. Sleep-Aid
Counting sheep doesn’t get everyone off to dreamland, but that’s where natural sleep-aid formulations can come to the rescue. As many as 35% of U.S. adults suffer from varying symptoms of insomnia, a common sleep disorder3, meaning that the 55% year-over-year growth of online sleep-supplement sales may just be the tip of a very sleep-deprived iceberg4.

You have an opportunity to take nutritious ingredients containing proven natural sleep-inducing qualities and help your customers overcome a challenge millions face every night — all without upping the nation’s dependence on sleep medications. Among the most common natural solutions for helping you fall asleep and wake well-rested are fruits and veggies like sour cherries, bananas, pineapples, kiwi, carrots, and ginger.

When using natural ingredients, like freeze-dried fruits and vegetables, that provide the benefits shoppers want most, your team can do its part to improve their daily lives in a nutritious and noticeable way. Chaucer Foods’ portfolio of wholesome freeze-dried and baked ingredients can help you get there—making it easier to deliver in-demand benefits, without sacrificing quality, a clean label, or, most importantly, taste.

Looking for more insight on innovating mood foods for your consumers? Head over to our conversation with Aurélie Jacquet, EMEA NPD Manager, and Natty Baudrillard, NPD Project Leader at Chaucer Foods, on mood food innovation here, or contact us today to talk to our team of experts.

1“The mood food movement: Meeting consumer motivations,” Food Dive. 2022.
2“Role of antioxidants in generalized anxiety disorder and depression,” National Library of Medicine. 2012.
3“The Best Foods To Help You Sleep,” Sleep Foundation. 2022.
4“Are consumers ready for sleep-support foods and beverages?” Nutritional Outlook. 2022.

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