The pandemic has accelerated consumer interest in foods and beverages that support health and wellness. “It’s impacting how we live and increasing the importance of the foods, beverages, and supplements we choose, presenting new opportunities for our industry to meet their needs,” according to June Lin, VP of Global Marketing, Health & Wellness at ADM.

Based on research from FMCG Gurus, ADM has identified five behavior shifts that are creating opportunities for food and beverage manufacturers.

1. Renewed motivation to improve individual health and wellness

More than three-quarters (76%) of global consumers plan to eat and drink healthier because of COVID-19. ADM notes that “products designed to optimize physical health and mental wellness at all life stages will help consumers protect themselves, their families, and their communities.”

2. A holistic approach to managing the mind-body connection

Just over half (51%) of consumers plan to improve their cognitive and mental health. “As consumers return to more active lifestyles, convenient products with functional ingredients that boost energy, enhance cognitive performance, and regulate mood are gaining prominence,” says ADM.

3. Tailored nutrition supports personal health and wellness goals

Nearly two-thirds of consumers want products that are customized for their individual needs. “Brands can help people stay motivated in the kitchen with innovative flavors and convenient formats.”

4. A proactive perspective on immunity

Nearly two-thirds of consumers also report being more concerned about immunity. “Products with functional ingredients that support a healthy immune system will increasingly attract consumer attention.”

5. Purposeful indulgence is the new “permissible indulgence”

More than half (56%) of consumers have purchased comfort food regularly during the pandemic. ADM suggests that indulgence is now purposeful, rather than impulsive, and seen as having “a role in a positive relationship with food.” This is creating “new opportunities for beverages, snacks, and confectionery products that deliver functional benefits with delicious flavor.”

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