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The ‘Right Bite’: connecting wellness and lifestyle

Food innovation is increasingly supporting the growing consumer desire to balance the benefits and costs of hectic lifestyles, asserts Innova Market Insights.

This, says Innova, raises the demand for nutritious foods that are easy to prepare, convenient and portable, while indulgent treats also play a role in relaxation and enjoyment.

The ‘Right Bite’ was one of Innova’s Top Trends for 2020, reflecting how food and drinks supporting lifestyle choices can fall into a number of areas.

These all aim to help those wishing to embrace healthy lifestyles, balance busy schedules and/or reject their current lifestyles and search for change.

Consumers embracing a healthy lifestyle tend to love having many things do and are dedicated (working long hours, exercising, etc), but need to plan their time efficiently to get the best benefits.

Healthy snacks, energy-boosting food/drinks and on-the-go food and beverages are all of interest, with high protein and energy claims of particular significance.

According to Innova data, global snacking launches featuring high protein claims had a CAGR of 16.8% between 2015 and 2019, while the use of energy/alertness claims rose 13.7% over the same period.

Those seeking healthier lifestyles also looked to find a balance between health and indulgence, and at the same time also crave their individual needs and preferences to be met, including the development of more balanced and complete concepts in terms of their nutritional needs.

Balancing busy lifestyles is necessary as consumers live life to the full (holidays, dining out etc) and benefit from this, but feel that it also takes a toll on them, with ‘fast’ lifestyles also necessitating compromise and rebalancing.

Convenience is key in this area, prompting a demand for meals that are easy to prepare and cook, which in turn provides opportunities for ready meals and meal kits. 

The demand for home cooked food has boosted interest in meal kits, with 28% growth in the number of launches tracked globally by Innova Market Insights (CAGR 2015-2019).

On the other hand, consumers looking for a change in lifestyle are likely to increasingly distract and distance themselves from their busy lives and try to wind down.

Emotional comfort is key here, with interest in comforting, relaxing and sleep-inducing food and drinks, particularly carrying mood, energy and sleep improving claims.

Stress and anxiety are key concerns in modern life as awareness of their negative impact on mental and physical health grows.

In a 2019 Innova Consumer Survey, 32% of UK consumers and 39% of US consumers claimed to experience stress at least once a day, rising to over half in India. The industry response has included more products targeted at improving low mood, tiredness and fatigue and sleep.

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