However, mental health expands beyond that to include a range of very specific health benefits such as:
- Emotional wellbeing
- Brain health
- Cognitive performance
Note that energy is becoming linked to mental health and not only physical health now. Consumers need products that offer sustained energy through nourishment to help them through the day but that also boost certain mental aspects like alertness and concentration.
At the same time, consumers’ knowledge of energy-boosting ingredients outside of caffeine remains fairly limited. As the science around ingredients such as probiotics, prebiotics, amino acids, CBD, and nootropics like ashwagandha becomes better known for mental health benefits, the opportunities for these types of functional products will expand quickly.
Ways of Eating Predictor
We also looked at how consumers are refocusing on their health through new ways of eating. In our primary research of 500 consumers, the low-carb and WW (formerly Weight Watchers) diets ranked as the most popular—but not by a lot. We found consumers are engaging in a wide variety of eating patterns from plant-based to keto to intermittent fasting. The challenge for brands will be to provide products that address these various ways of eating.
For emerging ways of eating, we see big potential for growth in longevity diets, as well as Climatarian-type diets. The longevity diets include the Mediterranean, Nordic, Blue Zone, and anti-inflammatory diets and focus on benefits like lowering blood pressure and improving heart health for a longer and healthier life.
Climate-focused diets like the Climatarian and Reducetarian diets appeal to consumers (especially Gen Z consumers) for their emphasis on helping the environment. However, there is a strong health association, too, which will help drive the trend forward.
Refocusing on Healthy Innovation
The shift in how consumers measure health and wellness will mean food and beverage brands may need to refocus their innovation efforts to include mental health benefits and new ways of eating. The right ingredients and messaging will play an important role here in connecting with these consumers.
Download our MegaTrend eGuide to see the consumer data behind the Refocusing MegaTrend and the other four 2023 MegaTrends.