Food, beverages brands urged to focus on functional products

Philippine brands need to innovate their products and give focus on functional food and beverages with benefits to reduce stress and improve sleeping habits, now that customers rely on eating as one of their stress relievers amid the pandemic.

“The stress and anxiety of Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) are taking a toll on people’s teeth and jaws which presents opportunities for the food and drink industries to have functional products that would benefit the consumers,” said a Market Intelligence Digest, the online publication of the Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB).

The report also underscored for manufacturers to create and position products that address the physical effects of stress, such as orofacial pain.

“The relationship between oral health and food goes both ways. It’s time to look beyond just how food affects oral health and focus on how oral health affects food choices,” it said.

The report said this will be especially important for stressed out younger consumers, as stress can lead to bruxism or teeth grinding.

It particularly cited UK oral care consumers aged 25-34 who are nearly twice as likely as all adults (11 percent against 6 percent) to rank stress as negatively impacting the appearance of teeth.

Similar figures are reported among oral care consumers in Germany; 14 percent of 25- 34s against 7 percent of all adults think stress negatively impacts the appearance of teeth.

“Food and drink needs to respond with solutions to accommodate stressed jaws and sensitive teeth,” it said. “Solutions can include smaller bites, lighter, and less-chewy textures, or optimizing flavor for consumption at ambient temperatures.”

The report further said manufacturers can also develop snackable foods for stress relief that are also easy on the jaw by focusing on the textures of foods, especially in snacking categories.

“Crunchy was the leading texture in snacks over the past five years,” it added. Further, children’s foods and snacks can provide inspiration for making easy-to-eat foods fun.

“The category is a great source of inspiration for textures that are easy to eat. Melt-in-the-mouth texture is an important feature in baby snacks,” the report said.

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