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How Food Will Fuel Consumer Fitness Goals in 2022

The new year means a fresh start—with exercising more and losing weight at the top of the New Year’s resolutions list for many consumers. Explore how consumers are likely to choose foods for fitness support in 2022 and the opportunities this will create for food companies. 

Consumers Seeking Foods for Fitness Support

The pandemic has undoubtedly wreaked havoc on the fitness goals of many consumers. Reduced access to gyms, fitness classes, and competitive sports, along with spending more time at home, has led to less moving, while the ease of snacking at home and a resurgence in home cooking has led to more eating. Fortunately, with kids expected to be back in school and an end in sight, many consumers are ready to get back on track. Food will play a key role in supporting these efforts. 

Sports Nutrition Products

Sports nutrition products will be top of mind for consumers focused on getting back in shape. Their high protein demands will make sports nutrition powders, ready-to-drink beverages, and bars simply the most convenient way to get the nutrition they need. Sports nutrition products that also address immune support for optimum health will be especially appealing. A custom premix can include ingredients consumers associate with immune support like vitamin C, zinc, and echinacea, for example. Probiotic bars and shakes also fit this need.

Keto Lite

Food will also be important in helping consumers achieve their weight loss goals. The keto diet in particular continues to be a popular approach, but it’s undergoing an interesting shift. More and more, consumers are buying keto foods and beverages for their protein, healthy fats, and low net carbs, but they aren’t actually aiming to achieve ketosis. This strategy, known as “keto lite” or “lazy keto,” seems to be increasing in popularity. Functional foods and beverages to support the keto lite diet should contain coconut oil or MCTs and make use of non-caloric sweeteners such as stevia.

Check out our latest Keto-friendly solution, KetoSure™ MCT for you next keto beverage or snack. 

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Plant-Based Proteins

Expect consumers to continue reaching for plant-based protein products in the new year for both sustainability and health. The surge in plant-based meat sales during COVID-related meat shortages served to push plant-based proteins further into the mainstream. For fitness enthusiasts, plant-based meats can represent a healthier balance of nutrients (for example, higher in fiber and lower in fat) than regular meat. Plant-based sports nutrition products are also growing, with protein sources ranging from peas to chia to sacha inchi.

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Functional Beverages for Mental Health

The stress of the past year has made it challenging—both physically and mentally—for consumers to stick with their exercise routines. Functional beverages that offer support for stress, sleep, and mood are expected to do especially well in the new year as consumers readjust their routines once again. Ingredients associated with relaxation or calmness include adaptogens like ashwagandha, as well as L-theanine, chamomile, melatonin, and magnesium. 

Winning with Functional Nutrition

With a strange and unprecedented year behind us, consumers are looking forward to things getting back to normal in 2022, including their fitness routines. Foods and beverages that are aligned with consumers’ fitness goals and offer healthy nutrition with key functional benefits are sure to win in the new year.

We offer a wide range of ingredients that support the development of sports and lifestyle nutrition products. From our dairy and plant-based proteins to our health beneficial bioactive ingredients like KetoSure™ MCT, we have solutions to help you support these consumer needs. 

Get in touch to find out how we can assist in making your next great fitness product. 

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