American consumers are jazzed about how ingredients like protein and probiotics can impact their health. More than half now look for more protein in their diet and nearly one in three see probiotics as essential for a healthy digestive system.* As a result, functional products are seeing an explosion of interest, with top growth in ingredients like plant-based proteins (+10%), added energy (+9%), vitamins (+10%), turmeric (+27%) and, the new kid on the block, CBD, or cannabidiol (+880%), a naturally occurring compound in the cannabis plant.**
This growing interest is driving shoppers to demand more bang for their buck. In typical American supersize-me fashion, if one benefit is good, more than one is even better. Now consumers want products that promote many health benefits, like sports performance, energy cognition, stress management, digestive health, etc.
Brands are responding by launching products with multiple functional claims— and it’s a recipe for success. Think a bar, such as Bulletproof and Primal Kitchen, with collagen and protein offering energy and performance as well as support of skin, joints and bone. A matcha or hemp beverage with apple cider vinegar that provides an alert calm as well as antioxidant support. Vermont Village is a great example with their line of sipping vinegars targeting specific needs like green energy, daily detox, or beauty boost.
The trend is providing a ripe opportunity for retailers to further educate consumers and position their stores as destinations for functional products and lifestyles. Many retail stores are creating store destinations focused on functional products and lifestyles with appropriate signage and ingredient explanations. Social media is another powerful platform that many retailers are using to promote the benefits of functional foods and beverages while also educating their shoppers. Double the function, double the fun!
*SPINsights Protein 2017/ Mintel Beverage Blurring Jan. 2019
**SPINS All channels L24 ending 2-24-19.