woman in grocery store

2023 MegaTrends Part Two: Refocusing on What Matters

Consumers are refocusing on their health and wellness, with mental health and new diets playing key roles. The Refocusing MegaTrend is reshaping what consumers expect from food and beverage companies.

Using the 2023 MegaTrends to Guide Innovation

Our MegaTrends series is designed to help brands see how best to innovate to meet the needs of the moment. Sometimes numerous trends come together to create what we call a MegaTrend, with far-reaching impacts on consumer attitudes and behaviors. 

In Part 1 of our 2023 MegaTrends recap, we covered how consumers are seeking “Eatopia” as they search for the perfect state of holistic wellness through food. In Part 2, we look back at how consumers are refocusing on their health—and that the ways they measure health and wellness are changing. Our data shows health remains a priority to consumers even during the economic downturn, with mental health and new ways of eating especially important.

MegaTrends for 2024 & Beyond

MegaTrends for 2024 & Beyond

Register for our webinar today!

Health Benefits of Tomorrow

As consumers refocus on health, we’re noticing—across age and geography—many turning their attention to mental health. In fact, recent research shows it outranks physical health for many people. Gen Z consumers are especially tuned in to their mental health and show an interest in proactive solutions around diet and exercise that can help with stress, anxiety, and depression.

Gen Z Mental Health Challenges

CountryProportion Facing Mental Health Challenges
UK72% think it's hard not to be anxious about the future
Mexico62% find their day-to-day lives stressful
Japan59% struggled in the past year with depression
Brazil57% want to eat more healthily to enhance mental/emotional wellbeing
Source: Mintel, Inside the curious culinary world of Gen Z: health vs indulgence, October 2022 (ages 16-24 in UK, Japan, Brazil; ages 18-24 in Mexico)

However, mental health expands beyond that to include a range of very specific health benefits such as:

  • Emotional wellbeing
  • Mood
  • Stress
  • Sleep
  • Brain health
  • Memory
  • Cognitive performance
  • Focus
  • Energy

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.

Take our poll

Enter your email on the next step to receive the articles as soon as they go live.

Hello! It looks like you’re using Internet Explorer. Microsoft is phasing out this browser, so we are no longer supporting it and some parts of the page may not look right. To enjoy the full experience, we recommend you use one of these browsers: Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Brave.