Active nutrition in 2022 and beyond

14-Apr-2022

The growth of active nutrition has surged during the last couple of years, reports Will Cowling, Marketing Manager at FMCG Gurus, owing to consumers increasingly looking to address their health and well-being

Consumers across the globe are now focused on health goals such as disease management and prevention as opposed to cure, whilst re-evaluating their diet and lifestyle choices in a way that previous generations have not. Proactivity towards health is something that will significantly influence their choice of food and drink products when seeking out everyday product offerings and functional/sports nutrition products. So, what exactly are consumers looking for?

The active nutrition consumer

FMCG Gurus identifies active nutrition consumers as people who demonstrate the following traits. First, they’re taking a proactive approach to their health whilst exercising 3–6 times a week. However, it’s not someone who is engaging in strenuous activities such as running marathons or competing in extreme sporting events.

Instead, they are more likely to engage in casual exercise with a focus on improving their overall level of health. Active nutrition consumers are not defined by body shape and may be people who deem themselves to be unhealthy … but are actively looking to address this.

Attitudes towards health

During the last 2 years, FMCG Gurus consumer insights show that six in ten consumers state that they have become more conscious about their health. It’s important to note that the coronavirus pandemic accelerated this trend, something that has had a direct impact on consumer attitudes towards health and well-being.

These growing concerns have resulted in to consumers putting a stronger focus on prevention rather than cure — and people are actively looking to address health issues irrespective of whether they feel that they are suffering from such problems or not.

This is highlighted by the fact that 52% of global consumers say they have adopted a more long-term approach to health, whilst 58% state that they have educated themselves more about their health in the last 2 years. To stay fit and active until as late in life as possible, consumers are also researching different health topics, such as new ingredients, illness-related symptoms and nutrition in general.

Dietary changes

As people look to address their lifestyle habits and lead a healthier lifestyle, 49% of global consumers state that they have improved their diets. When looking to do so, they’re focusing on the concepts of positive and back-to-basics nutrition, and looking for known and trusted products and ingredients.

FMCG Gurus research shows that 72% of consumers have increased their intake of fruits and 64% have eaten more fresh food, which is a direct result of them associating these products with being natural, nutritious and trustworthy.

Positive nutrition is also important to consumers. They want to avoiding the so-called dietary evils and the war on sugar is something that will continue to intensify, especially as many consumers believe that they have experienced weight gain in recent years.

Mainstream sports nutrition

The sports nutrition market is no longer associated with a specific audience of avid gym goers and/or athletes. Instead, it has become increasingly mainstream, with everyday consumers substituting traditional snack and beverage products for sports nutrition alternatives that they believe to be guilt-free, conveniently nutritious and that help them to manage their health goals.

FMCG Gurus market research reveals that 56% of global consumers say they have switched from traditional snacks such as chocolate and confectionery to high protein/low sugar replacements in the last 12 months.

Actionable recommendations

Although many consumers are looking to address their health and adopt a longer-term approach to wellness, there are many barriers that the industry need to address. It must be remembered that despite increased levels of proactivity towards better health, this is something that consumers can struggle to maintain in the long-term.

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Better-for-you products can often be associated with being more expensive or less tasty. Therefore, it is important that brands position products as being hassle-free whilst offering a conveniently nutritious health boost without compromising taste.

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