Snacking is an area that has huge potential when it comes to functional and health benefits, and this idea is supported by data from the Hartman Group. Consumers are looking for snacks that help their immune health. Studies indicated that consumers who were working out of the home last fall were highly interested in snacks that supported their immune system. And the trend isn’t limited to the US. A Glanbia Nutritionals’ snacking case study in the UK and Ireland at the end of 2020 revealed that among nutrition bar consumers, immune system support is very important, with many similar ingredient associations as the US.
We wanted to know where our attendees stood on indulgence and health when it came to snacking. Not surprisingly, most attendees (57%) indicated they had chosen snacks that were both nutritious and indulgent. Nearly 1 in 5 (18%) indicated they had mostly chosen snacks that were comforting or indulgent with 16% leaning toward nutritious snacks. Only 9% of attendees indicated they didn’t snack at all.
For brands targeting younger consumers in particular, understanding their snacking motivation is critical. Younger consumers are most often snacking to cope with stress/frustration or to comfort themselves, but they are also trying to limit their snacking, likely because they are indulging. There are opportunities for brands that can provide snacks that either 1) have ingredients that help with stress relief or relaxation or 2) can make snacking more appealing from a health perspective and for immunity. Brands should focus on nutritious indulgence to appeal to Gen Z & Millennial consumers.
Protein is another opportunity to provide a nutrition benefit. Globally, consumers are making the connection between protein and immune health, as evidenced by data from FMCG Gurus.
Functional beverages are a great opportunity for immune support ingredients. Beverages are used by consumers for a variety of reasons, especially for energy and hydration. However, immunity is now ranking second most appealing in terms of interested consumers and is in the top five for current usage by functional beverage consumers, according to the Hartman Group. Additionally, Glanbia Nutritionals’ own data confirms that functional beverages, especially juices and enhanced waters, are a category that US consumers want to see immune support ingredients in.
Beverages are also a great opportunity to signal immunity to consumers through flavors. For brands considering building a beverage targeted towards an immune conscious consumer, consider citrus flavors which are associated with vitamin C, as well as superfruits like cranberry and the super popular elderberry, or other soothing kitchen remedies like ginger and honey.
Watch the full webinar here that features an in-depth discussion with regulatory expert Justin Prochnow of Greenburg Traurig.
To dig deeper into the insights we found, or start a collaboration on your next product development for the post-pandemic consumer, contact us today.