mother and daughter

Millennial Mothers and Mental Health

Millennial mothers face unique mental health challenges. Targeted nutritional support products with key ingredients can address their needs.

Highlights

  • Among Millennials, mothers are most likely to prioritize managing mental wellbeing.
  • Protein, omega-3s, vitamins, minerals, and functional ingredients can support mental health.
  • Millennial mothers want to improve their health and are interested in nutritional ingredients.
  • Bars, beverages, and supplements are effective formats for mental wellness products.

Mental Health Challenges Faced by Millennial Mothers

Parents are far more likely to be thinking about their mental health, reports Mintel, with 56% paying attention to their mental health status in the past year, compared to only 33% of nonparents.1 For Millennial mothers, 66% say managing mental wellbeing is a high priority, while 60% say this about managing daily stress.2

 These are higher rates than we see for Millennial fathers and for female and male Millennial nonparents,3 indicating Millennial mothers are experiencing greater challenges. Juggling caretaking demands, managing financial pressures, and struggling with work-life balance and self-care are some of key issues for these mothers.

How Millennials View Mental Wellbeing and Stress Management

Gender and parent statusManaging mental wellbeing is a high priorityManaging daily stress is a high priority
Mothers66%60%
Fathers61%50%
Females with no children57%46%
Males with no children49%44%
Source: Mintel, Millennials and Health – US – 2024, February 2024

Nutrition to Support Mental Health

Nutrition has an essential role in maintaining mental health and wellness. Protein is involved in the synthesis of hormones and neurotransmitters, for example, while omega-3 fatty acids are involved in neurotransmitter synthesis and function.

 B vitamins and magnesium have been linked to mood regulation by their involvement in neurotransmitter regulation and nerve transmission, respectively. The amino acid tryptophan acts as a precursor to serotonin, which impacts sleep, cognition, and mood.

mother and son

In addition to nutrients for mental health support, functional ingredients are becoming popular in mood and stress relief products. These include probiotics, which may influence the gut-brain axis, and adaptogens, such as ashwagandha and Rhodiola rosea.

Millennial Mothers’ Interest in Nutritional Ingredients

Products with the right ingredients can meet a real need for Millennial mothers, and these women are showing an interest. More than half of mothers with children under eighteen in the household are interested in added vitamins/minerals and probiotics. At the same time, at least one-third are interested in prebiotics (38%), amino acids (34%), and essential fatty acids (33%).3

Nearly one-quarter of these mothers express an interest in adaptogens.4 However, in looking at what actually drives product choice and purchase among mothers, the top nutritional/ingredient feature is protein, cited by 59%.5 Low/no sugar (43%) and total calories (43%) are also important purchase drivers for mothers.6

Products for Mental Health Support

Appealing, convenient product formats like beverages and bars provide an easy and enjoyable way for busy mothers to get a regular nutrition boost. Supplements are another option. Many Millennial mothers are trying to improve their health or wellbeing, with nearly one-third motivated to improve their health for the sake of others.7

Beverages are a particularly attractive format for delivering protein. Among mothers with children under eighteen who consume nutrition drinks, over half (51%) are motivated by getting extra protein in their diets, and nearly three-quarters (74%) take time to look at a nutrition drink’s label before choosing it.8

woman grocery shopping

Bars have the benefit of being strongly associated with healthy indulgence. 74% of mothers think bars are a fun way to break up meals, for example, while 79% of consumers overall think bars are a healthier way to satisfy their sweet tooth.9 Parents are also more likely than nonparents to see bars as a meal replacement.10

Ingredient Solutions Tailored for Millennial Mothers

Glanbia Nutritionals offers ingredients and services that support the health and wellness of Millennial mothers and provide the benefits they want. These solutions work in a variety of applications and provide unique benefits ranging from increased stability in the product to better absorption for the consumer.

Protein Solutions

High-quality dairy-based and plant-based proteins sourced from whey, pea, chia, and flaxseed that provide nutritional and functional benefits. 

Bioferrin® Lactoferrin

A milk-derived lactoferrin that supports iron balance and immune health in women and is more bioavailable and gentler on the stomach than traditional iron sources. 

KSM-66® Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha powered by NutraShield® technology for flavor masking—allowing for higher inclusion rates in products to meet efficacy dose requirements.

TruCal® Calcium

A balanced milk mineral complex that delivers calcium plus seven other minerals found in bone, all in similar proportions to the natural composition of bone. 

Custom Premix Solutions

For a custom blend of key nutrients to support wellness, including those used in stress support products like magnesium, vitamin B12, vitamin D, and choline.

To get started developing your next product for Millennial mothers’ mental health and other wellness needs, contact us today.


References

1. Mintel, Managing Stress & Wellbeing – US – 2024, January 2024.

2. Mintel, Millennials and Health – US – 2024, February 2024.

3.-6. Mintel, Nutrition Drinks – US – 2024, March 2024.

7. Mintel, Millennials and Health – US – 2024, February 2024.

8. Mintel, Nutrition Drinks – US – 2024, March 2024.

9-10. Mintel, Snack, Nutrition, and Performance Bars – US – 2024 , January 2024.

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