Demand for healthy products rising amid pandemic

Consumers are ramping up their purchases of products that support health and address the new environmental risk factors they are facing in a post-coronavirus world.

“The Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic has brought about a renewed interest in healthy eating. Looking forward, develop products that are nutrient dense while being low in sugar and sodium,” said the Market Intelligence Digest released by the Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB).

The report said even before the pandemic, there was a shift toward more intuitive eating which is intended to help people break away from chronic dieting and establish healthy eating patterns.

Branded weight management program Noom is an app-based system that helps users establish lifelong habits through cognitive behavioral therapy tools, it added.

The report also underscored the need to offer holistic immune system support by addressing inadequate sleep, poor nutrition, and stress in functional food and drink products.

It said it is also imperative to offer solutions for new environmental risks as the pandemic has changed the way many consumers live, creating new health risks.

“Incorporate key nutrients that consumers need as they adjust to their new circumstances, such as antioxidants for eye health due to prolonged screen time and vitamin D for indoor lifestyles,” it added.

Standing out with a holistic approach to support immune health by pairing complimentary benefits is also important.

“Vitamin/mineral fortified claims are established in immunity food and drink products. Other claims such as fiber, protein, pro/prebiotics, and stress/sleep have room to grow,” the report said.

More people working from home as a result of lockdown measures also generate opportunities for better-for-you (BFY) mental energy drinks

“Drinks that offer mental focus are well-suited to home workers. This presents opportunities for adaptogens and nootropics. In drinks, the appeal of these ingredients is currently limited owing to low awareness and high pricing. However, the growing focus on mental wellness products could inspire more affordable offerings from
mainstream brands,” the report added.

It said brands may also explore new opportunities to provide eye health supplements and functional foods to consumers who may be exposed to prolonged screen time.

“Outside of the baby food category, very few food and drink products make functional claims for eye health,” it said.

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