The rise of functional food and beverage

A new consumer

As consumers, we have become increasingly informed, empowered, and demanding over the past decade or so. Furthermore, we’ve become more concerned with health and wellness than ever before and more conscious that our choices today have a direct impact on our wellbeing tomorrow. This has all led to a holistic approach to health and an emphasis on prevention rather than curing.

Top 5 meanings for health

Thus there has been a steady rise in sales of over the counter (OTC) products, dietary supplements, vitamins and, as of late, functional food and beverages. People are looking to get more benefits out of the food they eat, as alternative delivery means for health and wellness. For example, a young mom will not just buy baby food, she will look for organic baby food enriched with nutrients that support early brain development.

What is HOT in times of a global pandemic?

In times of crisis lifestyles are altered, different consumption patterns arise and values and priorities shift; some changes will recede, yet some will remain. Life at home, proactivity towards health management or the digitalization of communication, work and commerce seem to be shifts that will stay with us for the long term.

The global health crisis brought upon the world by Covid-19 has only exacerbated these already existing trends. Anxiety, energy loss, mental issues, sleep disorders, weight management or immunity strengthening are all trending topics.

Consumed vitamins and supplements graphic - food and beverage

Health concerns are boosting vitamin sales. Google searches for ‘food’ + ‘immunity’ have sky-rocketed and 54% of respondents to a Mintel survey this year said they want vitamin-fortified snacks.

Even though there are differences between the regions of the globe, the most popular claims when it comes to new product launches in functional food nowadays are immunity boosting, digestive aid, mental wellbeing and energy/mood enhancement.

Ingredients such as Vitamin C, D or zinc are now found in snacks and cereal all the way to candy bars, confections and beverages.

Probiotics are as popular as ever, not just for digestive health but for balancing out the immune system and even preventing depression. Probiotics have now expanded beyond dairy into all categories from gummies and candy, to biscuits and beverages.

Superfoods’ presence on the shelf is also soaring. Ingredients such as ginger, turmeric, acai, guarana, saffron and of course, CBD are sought after by Millennials and Gen Z.

If we were to categorize the above, we could group the market trends in the following four pillars: immunity, energy & focus, sleep & nerves and microbiota.

food and beverage trends: immunity, energy & focus, sleep & nerves and microbiota

Making a functional chewing gum

We’ve always believed that chewing gum, beyond the pleasure of its taste or the fun of the bubbles, could bring functional benefits to the chewers. At Cafosa we have experienced this with various products in the market already, but nicotine gum is probably the most notorious so far. We see chewing gum as a friendly, enjoyable and effective way of delivering health benefits and the surge in functional foods is giving us an additional impulse.

Moreover, sugar free gum already has known oral health benefits, and would be a ‘calorie free’ way for consumers to ingest beneficial ingredients and supplements, whilst avoiding the problem of ‘pill fatigue’.

Oral absorption can be faster and more efficient.

However, before deciding to launch a nutraceutical or pharmaceutical gum to market, API assessment, release and stability studies need to be performed, as it is very important to ensure correct dosage and release of the active ingredient.

We are really excited about what the future holds for healthy gum.

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