two girls stretching outside

A Look at 2021 MegaTrends #2: Building a Lifestyle

Today’s consumers are looking for food and beverage products they can identify with and that support their personal lifestyles. Brands that understand this important megatrend will be able to make that connection, stay relevant, and win loyal consumers. 

What Does Building a Lifestyle Mean? 

At the most basic level, consumers buy food because they need to eat. But their choice of foods is based on a variety of factors, such as taste, health, price, and convenience. More recently though, consumers are also considering whether a brand or product is a good match to their lifestyle and self-identity. 

Whether they’re fitness buffs or foodies, consumers are drawn to brands that speak to them in their language and offer products that exemplify their lifestyles. While it may not be possible to be everything to everyone, keeping up with the biggest trends in this area can help manufacturers have the widest reach and ensure they aren't missing key opportunities. 

Strong Emerging Lifestyle Trends 

As more consumers are choosing brands that help build and support their lifestyles, some strong trends are emerging. Vegan and vegetarian eating, which were once niche, have expanded into a spectrum that ranges from vegan to vegetarian to flexitarian eating, with the latter decidedly mainstream. Eating on the spectrum is becoming a lifestyle that is driven by taste, discovery, health, and the rise in conscious consumerism to make choices that are better for animals and the environment. 

Consuming foods and beverages with functional benefits is also becoming a lifestyle as more consumers are taking a do-it-yourself approach to optimize their health. Consumers can choose functional products to help with digestive health, energy, sleep, performance, weight loss, and more—depending on what they need and when they need it. Expectations for functional options continue to grow as consumers become more accustomed to “hacking” their health. 

man eating outside

How Brands Can Incorporate Different Lifestyles into Their Products

To address these growing lifestyle trends, food and beverage companies might add new products to their portfolios or even launch new brands for a more targeted approach. For appealing to the vegan to flexitarian consumer, adding plant-based options is a simple strategy. However, since protein is top of mind for today’s consumers, simply removing animal-based ingredients is not enough. Companies should consider including plant-based proteins, in addition to ensuring the products taste as delicious as their non-plant-based products.

For the consumers looking for functional benefits, companies should lead with the benefit rather than the ingredients to quickly and clearly communicate what the product can do for them. It’s especially important to keep up with the top benefits consumers are looking for, as these can evolve. For example, there are opportunities in functional products for active lifestyle consumers, as well as emerging lifestyles like e-gaming. Companies can fortify products with a premix that precisely meets the needs of these different lifestyles.

Looking Ahead

While lifestyle trends can change, health and wellness are undoubtedly common themes among many of today’s emerging lifestyles, with COVID promising to keep this in the spotlight for some time. To see how the pandemic is inspiring a new wave of holistic health-focused consumers, check out our latest MegaTrends webinar on-demand. And to learn more about Building a Lifestyle and the other four Glanbia Nutritionals food and beverage industry trends, download our most recent MegaTrends guide.

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