Consumers increasingly demand functionality from their food. The concept of food as medicine is also gaining ground not only in light of coronavirus, but also as a tool to manage chronic disease. With such growing interest comes a greater role for regulation, and front-of-pack nutrition labels are increasingly moving into the spotlight. This report provides an overview of recent trends nd innovations within functional food.
Since the initial impact of COVID-19 the concept of wellness is being redefined and preventative health has become top of mind for consumers. Gut health has seen an additional boost due to its relation to immunity health. Products positioned to support immunity or containing ingredients such as probiotics known to help the immune system are expected to thrive in the future.
The role of food to treat chronic disease such as diabetes is a concept that increasingly takes shape and attracts the interest of food manufacturers, retailers and even insurers.
Consumers seek products that pick them up throughout the day and provide energy, allow them to focus or help them to go to sleep. This offers opportunities for manufacturers to cater to new consumption occasions, as it is often consumer beliefs that drive the success of products with functional claims.
The rise of mental wellbeing awareness opens opportunities for new products often called mood food. This has the potential to further boost the interest in CBD-infused products, an emerging trend that develops quickly despite regulatory hurdles.
Despite the fact that protein continues to be over-consumed in developed countries, it remains a key functional nutrient. The call for sustainability drives product innovation with interesting developments, for example in the plant-based space. These have the potential to disrupt traditional protein sources.
Front-of-pack nutrition labels continue to gain ground. There are regional differences in the approach of informing versus warning consumers. These developments urge food manufacturers to re-evaluate product formulations.
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