Some 44% of global consumers are now making a greater effort to seek out functional and fortified food and drink products, a new study by FMCG Gurus has found.
In recent years, demand for functional products that carry active ingredient and benefit claims has grown, as people have taken a more proactive approach to health – some 42% of shoppers say that they are now taking a greater interest in ingredients known to have health-boosting effects.
As consumers adopt a long-term, proactive and preventative approach to wellness, they are seeking to address this through the products that they buy, according to FMCG Gurus.
Focus On Ingredients
A total of 63% of consumers state that they have become more attentive to ingredient listings on food and drink products over the last twelve months, a trait that has been influenced significantly by increased levels of health-consciousness.
When asked why they are changing their behaviour in this way, people were more likely to say that they were looking to moderate their intake of 'bad' ingredients (60%), as opposed to maximising their intake of 'good' ingredients (54%).
Sugar is one ingredient that consumers are actively seeking to reduce – in 2021, 39% stated that they were planning to eat and drink more healthily by reducing their sugar intake.
Seeking Out Authentic Ingredients
In addition, shoppers are making a greater effort to seek out real and authentic ingredients, looking to avoid artificial ingredients that they deem to be detrimental to themselves and the wider environment.
This is likely to drive demand for functional products that are deemed to be 100% natural, FMCG Gurus said, with close to three quarters (74%) saying that such claims are important when buying food and drink in general.
Consumers are also actively seeking out products that contain a variety of free-from claims and streamlined ingredient lists, with ingredients that they know and trust.
A total of 38% say that plant-based claims are appealing when buying food and drink in general, highlighting how plant-based ingredients are growing in popularity.
This in turn is likely to create an opportunity for ingredients such as botanicals in the functional food and drink market, which are associated with boosting physical and cognitive health, FMCG Gurus said.