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Nocturnal Food and Drink

James Keyes, Small Business

Nocturnal Foods Source.PNG

The consumption of food close to sleeping can be problematic: eat too much, too close to bedtime and your sleep can be disrupted due to fullness; don’t eat, and your sleep is disturbed by a rumbling stomach!

Consumers faced with this dilemma need natural, nutrient dense and fortified food products, which will help, not hinder sleep.

‘less than 1% of global food and drink launches had functional - stress and sleep claims from Nov 2019 - Oct 2020’ (Mintel, 2021)

A wide range of snacks fit the ‘between-meal’ gap offering a satisfying experience, although the category of snacks with a sleep-friendly nutritional profile is underdeveloped.

‘29% of UK consumers are looking for food / drink that improves their quality of sleep, and 37% look for food / drink that helps them relax’ (Mintel, 2021)


The Opportunity for Irish Suppliers

Irish food and drink producers have an opportunity to be solution providers through the creation of micro-sized sleep enhancing products which inherently control portion size.


Fortified snacks containing botanicals, vitamins, and specific blends of diverse and scientifically proven relaxing ingredients are where the innovative solutions to night times snacking issues reside eg:


  • Melatonin – fall asleep faster.
  • Lavender – relax the mind and body.
  • L-theanine - improve sleep quality and reduce fatigue upon waking.

(Mintel, 2021)


Active Brands include:
  • Unwind (ROI) – snack bars for to help you relax.
  • Goodnight (US) a snack food, not a supplement, that helps you relax and prepare the body for sleep . (Truffles)
  • Nightfood US sleep experts formulated Nightfood for guilt-free nighttime snacking. (ice cream)



Sufficient sleep is seen to improve mental, physical and emotional health, these bite-sized products which provide portion-controlled night time functionality deliver upon a growing need for sleep benefits amongst the global contemporary consumer.

In order to translate the benefits of these formulated products into commercial success, brands must communicate to consumers the multiple long-term benefits that can result from consumption. These night time specific products are most conducive to people falling asleep faster, staying asleep longer and waking up feeling refreshed.


Irish food and drink producers are well placed to deliver upon this evident need as

Ireland’s diverse range of creative producers are at the forefront of innovation, of which this snacking category needs plenty!





  • (Mintel,2021) Chronic stress awakens the need for night time food


  • (Mintel,2021) Nutrition watch: sleep health in APAC - (Mintel,2021)


  • (Mintel,2021) The right sweet for the right time