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Wellness food and drinks: Support wellbeing with active nutrition


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What we eat every day is our “fuel”. We also nourish our bodies with food. As a result, what we eat has long-term effects on health and life expectancy. There is good reason why health awareness is increasing among consumers - and this is having a massive impact on the food and beverage market. Which new trends have been created in the area of wellness food and drinks in 2021?

Active Nutrition_wellness Food and Drinks

A healthy lifestyle with a balanced, conscious diet makes a decisive contribution to maintaining wellbeing. Numerous studies show that various diseases can be favoured by wrong diets.

In contrast, the regular consumption of fruit and vegetables, for example, together with other factors such as sufficient exercise and little stress, often supports health and wellbeing to a decisive extent.

Wellness food and drinks: niches for new drinks are emerging

Already in the past few years, beverages and food that take into account the consumer’s desire for wellbeing and growing health awareness have been very popular. This will continue in the future and is reflected in a growing range of products.
Therefore, active nutrition, including the new wellness food and drinks trend, is one of the biggest trends in the beverage market in 2021. Established product categories are receiving new impulses and niches are opening up for specialized drinks. The focus is on products that, through their formulation and ingredients used, can contribute to a healthy lifestyle in different ways and meet the personal needs of consumers for a balanced and individually supportive diet.

Around half of the population favours a healthy diet

40 percent of consumers worldwide have already taken a more proactive approach to health to ensure they can stay fit and active late in life. 42 percent of US consumers claim that they currently attach great importance to their mental health, which is driving the trend towards wellness food and drinks: after all, the body and mind have a strong influence on one another.
The health and function of the brain is also moving into focus in terms of a conscious lifestyle: 35 percent of Japanese seniors over 65 years agree that their diet should maintain healthy brain function and 42 percent of Chinese seniors between the ages of 55 and 74 years are interested in foods that are good for the brain and nervous system. Ideally, 51 percent of South African consumers would like their diet to help maintain healthy brain function.

Source: FMCG Gurus

40 percent of adults in Chile and Australia also want their diet to increase their energy level, which is why they prefer wellness food and drinks - in India the figure is as high as 49 percent. At 54 percent, more than half of Italians believe they need more energy boosts as they get older. They would then also like to get them through their diet, i.e. with wellness food and drinks.

Source: Mintel, The Future of Water, Sports and Energy Drinks, 2020

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Healthy nutrition provides power and strengthens the body

The supporting function of nutrition, with which the various challenges of everyday life in the different age groups can be optimally mastered, plays a decisive role for the success of future beverage and food concepts. The industry is now asked to meet this demand in a targeted manner with wellness food and drinks. In the coming years, consumers will therefore primarily be concerned with reducing stress, supporting the immune system - especially in times of Corona - or enabling the supplementation of essential valuable ingredients.

Most consumers strive for products with which they contribute to holistic solutions for their lifestyle. Immediate results are not required: after all, the focus is clearly on the long-term benefits for physical, mental, and emotional health. Diet has become a crucial part of a long-term concept of life, and drinks that are fortified with vitamins and minerals, for example, are on the upswing: According to Euromonitor, 51 percent of consumers worldwide take in the necessary vitamins and nutrients through food instead of dietary supplements.

Source: Euromonitor International’s Health and Nutrition Survey, 2019, n = 20166

The corona pandemic strengthens the active nutrition trend

The pandemic, which is still present, is of course contributing to the growth of general health awareness in different ways. This development is also reflected in the sub-trend Body Resistance, which includes new product solutions to support the immune system. The already high stress level of the population was increased in the past year by new challenges in (professional) everyday life, so new potentials for food & beverages that can support cognitive and mental health were created.

The Mind & Mood trend will include wellness food and drink products with ingredients such as adaptogens, CBD and L-theanine as well as botanicals, which are said to have a calming effect.
The consumer demand for a fast, nutrient-rich beverage solution has also established so-called juice shots: These clean label shots are special wellness drinks: They provide a functional nutritional boost in small bottles, with younger consumers as the main target group.

active nutrition_wellness food and drinks_juice shots

The future: tailor-made food

The Smart & Personalized trend deals with smarter lifestyles and the steadily growing interest in products that are perfectly tailored. Data acquisition and home biological test kits are becoming increasingly popular. The results show consumers their specific nutritional needs and lead to a changed diet with tailored foods and drinks that contain (new) functional ingredients.

Smart also includes the increasing active renunciation of high-calorie products and the constant reduction in alcohol consumption, especially among the younger generations. This automatically opens up new possibilities for alcohol-free alternatives with a sophisticated adult taste.Exciting times that bring many novelties for industry and consumers!


About half of the consumers worldwide have chosen an active, conscious lifestyle. A balanced diet with food and drinks that support good health has become an important part of it. In addition to wellness food and drinks, various new niches are emerging for the food and beverage industry in order to serve the consumer interests. The corona pandemic has intensified the development of the active nutrition trend under the aspect of general health awareness: Above all, measures to strengthen the immune system are now the focus of many people's attention. In particular, vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables can make a nutritional contribution in this segment.

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Cornelia KerschbaumerAuthor

Director of Marketing & Communication


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