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Everyone is after healthier options this year, but if you’re unsure of what the biggest trends are in health and wellbeing, we’ve rounded up the must-know stories that will give you all the tools you need to succeed this summer and beyond.
Understanding the gut-health trend
Only a few years ago, gut health was a little-known area of the wellness market, let alone the food and drink sector. But today, products that boast gut-health-boosting properties provide a fast-growing opportunity for food brands and retailers.
As Paul Gurnell, general manager of Purearth, explained, “It is now widely accepted globally that your gut is the foundation of everything. It aids in the digestion of the foods you eat, absorbs nutrients, and uses it to fuel and maintain your body. So, if your gut is imbalanced and your immune system isn’t working properly, your serotonin and hormones won’t either, making it more challenging to stay healthy.”
With consumers increasingly focused on a holistic approach to health and wellbeing, sparked in part by the Covid-19 pandemic, gut health will continue to be at the centre of the conversation throughout 2022.
Stocking up with trendy gut-friendly products such as kombucha, kimchi and kefir will ensure you’re ticking the gut health box and generate extra basket sales from health-conscious consumers.
Read more about the gut health trend here.
Mindful drinking is on the rise
‘Mindful drinking’ and moderation trends continue to grow, with more and more of the population seeking out healthier alternatives to alcohol that don’t compromise on taste.
In a recent study, Wine Intelligence found that nearly 40% of wine-drinkers are actively moderating their alcohol intake and a proportion of these seeking out valid non-alcoholic “spacers” in between their alcoholic drinks.
Delis and speciality fine food retailers will be a key port of call for consumers to discover innovative and refined non-alcoholic options this summer.
Find out more here.
Snacks are going healthy
Since the Covid-19 pandemic, consumers have become increasingly concerned about their health, and in 2022, almost 90% of shoppers are trying to consume more healthily according to The Grocer’s latest category report.
Nearly half of the UK’s adults are concerned about gaining weight and 29% of shoppers are trying to reduce their sugar intake, which means that healthy snacks are in and indulgence is out.
With the introduction of restrictions on store locations for high in fat, sugar or salt (HFSS) food and drink in October 2022, shelving your healthy snacks in prime positions instead will help to keep up impulse sales.
But it’s not just any old healthy snack that will do. Modern consumers want their snacks to work harder, putting them on high alert for products that claim high levels of protein. With protein bars being the number one selling product in healthier snacking, they are a must-stock for all retailers.
Find out how to sell healthy snacks here.
CBD is gaining popularity
The pandemic also increased stress levels across the nation, which, coupled with the cost-of-living crisis, could lead to a heightened increase in relaxation products such as CBD.
These types of products have not yet taken off in major supermarkets, as they tend to be specialised with higher price points. In this sense, CBD offers a potential new revenue stream for fine food retailers as well as health food stores.
But what CBD products are consumers looking for? Georgie Abbott, founder of Drops of Heal, told Speciality Food, “In the CBD industry, we could see fewer ‘gimmicky’ products and, rather than buying into the trend, consumers will focus on functional products that will benefit their day-to-day life.
The move away from gimmicky CBD products that don’t really have functional benefits means that the CBD industry is ripe for a fine food takeover, as consumers seek out higher quality products that are tailored to indie retail.
Discover why CBD is a boon for fine food retail here.
Plant-based protein boom
A report by Bloomberg Intelligence predicted that plant-based foods will make up 7.7% of the global protein market by 2030, with a value of $162bn, up from just $29.4bn in 2020.
In fact, daily meat consumption in the UK has dropped by nearly a fifth over the last decade, according to a study published in the journal The Lancet Planetary Health.
More and more consumers are recognising the health and environmental benefits of incorporating more plant-based food into their diets, and this is coinciding with an explosive boom in the alternative protein market.
Speaking about the future of the market, Andy Shovel, co-founder of plant-based meat brand THIS, told Speciality Food, “What we’ll start to see more of is consumer demand for a broader range of plant-based options and for a variety of eating occasions.
“Innovation is at the heart of the plant-based industry. We’ll continue to see some really exciting developments when it comes to the ingredients we’re using and how the products are being made.”
Find out what’s next for plant-based protein here.