April 27, 2021

The latest market research, product innovation insights, and consumer trends shaping the nutrition, health and wellness space have been published by Mintel.

The company’s Future of Nutrition, Health and Wellness 2021 Report, also presents opportunities for companies to act on now, and strategic recommendations for brands over the next five years.

Daisy Li, Associate Director, Mintel Food and Drink, APAC, said: “The pandemic has exposed critical truths related to nutrition, health, and wellness and shown that health is both a personal and public concern. The Future of Nutrition, Health and Wellness 2021 Report takes a look at shifts in consumer behaviour related to health, the role holistic solutions play, and the opportunities for healthy, affordable, accessible, and sustainable food.”

Mintel research highlights that 70% of Chinese consumers regularly include immune-boosting food in their diet because of Covid-19, and 50% plan to continue doing so this next year. The report also showed that in Brazil, 56% of consumers aspire to eat a diet that reduces the risk of lifestyle diseases such as hypertension and diabetes.

Li said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has reinforced the importance of having a healthy immune system. Immunity benefits continue to resonate as people look for ways to support their immune systems and protect themselves from illness. Our research shows that demand for healthy food and drinks has increased as Covid-19 has made healthy eating a higher priority to reducing the risk of chronic diseases. 

“The desire to stay healthy will keep consumers engaged with immune-support products, even after the pandemic has subsided.”

Mintel said that in the coming years, nutrition will be practised as self-care. According to its research, 78% of US consumers say eating healthily is important for their emotional wellbeing. Whereas, in China, 44% of adults aged 18-59 believe having a good gut reduces anxiety.

Li said the next wave of healthy diets will be those that also support the health of the planet and everyone on it – and affordable nutrition will gain traction in the next five years. 

Mintel research highlights that almost three in four Mexican consumers (71%) agree that it’s harder to eat healthily when money is tight, and one-third of Chilean consumers (34%) strongly agree that healthy food is too expensive to buy on a regular basis.

Li added: “In the near future, reeling from the impacts of Covid-19, there will be a push towards more holistic health. Nutrition will be used as the foundation for health, both mentally and physically. Food and drink brands can tap into the self-care movement, such as healthier options, packaging to support mindful eating or even mood food formulations. Brands can look at a multi-faceted approach to support immune health to help meet consumers’ overarching wellness goals.

“The pandemic and the subsequent economic downturn, coupled with recent social justice movements will make nutrition equity an important cause moving forward. Brands can address nutritional inequalities by facilitating localised solutions, improving the affordability and accessibility of nutritious food, and shifting to sustainable food systems.”

Li said that over the next five years and beyond, sustainable nutrition and the focus on the environment will become the underlying factors at the core of consumers’ dietary choices and behaviour. 

“Consumers’ holistic mindset about health and wellbeing will shift the conversation about healthy diets from ‘better for you’ to ’better for us’,” Li said.

“Diets designed to support individual, as well as planetary, health, will be prioritised by consumers. Food and drink companies need to complement environmental efforts with ethical programs dedicated to human welfare, a critical issue brought forth by the pandemic.”

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