Amy Bond, Assistant Librarian and Information Specialist, Bord Bia - The Irish Food Board
As outlined in Bord Bia’s Consumer Lifestyle Trends, Health and Wellbeing will continue to be of huge importance in consumer’s lives. We define this consumer desire as - “I want to eat, drink and live to optimise my bodies systems, to feel better than well today and tomorrow,” ("Consumer Lifestyle Trends - Health and Wellbeing", 2018). But there are so many conflicting health messages around that it is difficult for consumers to know how to do this. This also creates confusion for food and drink manufactures, who are trying to decide where to focus NPD, or what health messages will resonate with consumers.
Recent reports from Mintel (Mintel, 2019), FMCG Gurus (FMCG Gurus, 2019) and New Nutrition Business (New Nutrition Business, 2018) have tried to identify the key trends that are shaping the industry today, and that will continue to hold influence in the years ahead. Here are some of the key trends that were mentioned across these reports.
- Gut Health is only going to continue to gain prominence in the years ahead. All three reports mention the growing importance of digestive wellness to consumers, with probiotics, prebiotics and fibre being key ingredients.
- FMCG Gurus and Mintel both predict a shift in how age related issues are viewed. People beginning to consider the future impact of their health choices much earlier and are looking for products to help them stay fit and active for longer. And as people take more control of their ageing, they are beginning to view it more positively, and also expect brands to shift from their “anti-ageing” messaging. Though, as noted by Mintel, ageing populations will also see increased demand for clinical nutrition products.
- Plant protein has been at the forefront of health discussions recently, and New Nutrition Business and FMCG Gurus both expect that to continue in the immediate future. FMCG Gurus notes that this is driven by another trend that Mintel calls out in their look at what might be happening in five years and beyond, the growth of ‘eco dieting’, that is a focus not just on what is good for your own health, but for the health of the planet too.
It is clear that health and wellness is going to continue to shape the food industry in the years ahead, but Irish food and drink producers need to be aware of how these conversations are shifting, both within nutritional science and for consumers. It is risky to be complacent, as messaging that speaks to consumers today might shortly seem outdated, and opportunities may be missed.
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Consumer Lifestyle Trends - Health and Wellbeing. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.bordbiaconsumerlifestyletrends.ie/trends/health-wellbeing/
FMCG Gurus. (2019). Top Trends 2019. FMCG Gurus.
Mintel. (2019). The Future of Nutrition, Health, and Wellness:2019. Mintel.
New Nutrition Business. (2018). 10 Key Trends in Food, Nutrition & Health 2019. New Nutrition Business.