Covid-19 Drives Immune Interest
Undoubtedly, global consumers have been heavily preoccupied with supporting their immune health through nutritional avenues since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the anxiety is ongoing even with vaccination rates steadily rising. The company’s 2020 Consumer Survey indicated that 54% of global consumers claimed to have spent time educating themselves on ingredients that could boost their immune health.
Dairy products such as yogurt and fermented drinks have long been associated with immune health, largely as a result of the development and mainstreaming of probiotics, the company said. More recently, interest has also risen in the immune benefits of antioxidants, and a greater use of fruit, herbal, and spice extracts for flavor and function.
Achieving Balance with Complete Solutions
Another broad trend, which Innova refers to as ‘nutrition hacking,’ has permeated the market of dairy-based nutritional products. According to their survey, four out of five global consumers said that they believed progress in food and beverages through science, and developments in the dairy space are tapping into improving nutrition, leveraging food technology, and balancing diets.
Traditionally, popular claims included high protein for the protein-loving consumer, fiber-rich for digestive health, or sugar-reduced for weight and overall health, Innova said. However, this is now evolving toward more complete balanced solutions. Products such as dairy drinks offering ‘advanced’ or ‘complete’ nutrition are leveraging the best of both worlds for natural and technology-driven options.
Another top trend advancing the dairy nutraceuticals industry, Innova said, is growing interest in mood health. Citing the World Health Organization, it highlights that depression may be the leading illness globally by 2030 if no action is taken. New product development in dairy with mood benefits is seeing rapid growth, especially pertaining to the usage of on-pack claims relating to specific mood health benefits. Calming/relaxing and energy boosting are the most established platforms. While sleep-related claims are still niche, they are growing from a smaller base and showing potential for further innovation. The use of adaptogenic herbal extracts for combating mental and physical effects of stress is also trending, as upward interest in more holistic wellbeing develops.
“There is clearly ongoing potential for the dairy market,” Lu Ann Williams, director of innovation at Innova Market Insights, said. “It remains one of the world’s most valuable food sectors, with a healthy, nutritious, and versatile image and the potential for ongoing added value. However, the recent struggle with Covid-19 and a generally tougher consumer environment may prove challenging.”
On March 10 at 10 a.m. EST/ 4 p.m. CET, Lu Ann Williams will host a webinar to present the Top Ten Trends 2021 for Dairy that will impact the industry over the coming year and beyond.