On a global scale, COVID-19 significantly impacted consumers’ approach to health. The pandemic caused a significant proportion of end users to take a more proactive approach to their wellness to maintain their health for the long-term.
FMCG Gurus consumer insights highlight that 60% of consumers in EMEA have become more conscious about their health in the last couple of years. For 42% of consumers in Europe, this is because their concerns increased because of COVID-19.
This showcases how the pandemic enabled consumers to re-evaluate their health and adopt a more proactive approach to their well-being.
Importantly, since the pandemic, consumers have maintained these health-conscious approaches to their dietary habits and lifestyle choices … and have committed to preventive approaches to their health and wellness.
Consumers are viewing well-being in a holistic sense and are understanding that multiple areas of health affect others. For example, FMCG Gurus consumer insights reveal that whereas 67% of consumers in the EMEA want to improve their immune status, 83% looked to improve their overall health.
This demonstrates that consumers are looking to address multiple aspects of their health and well-being and understand that different many different aspects are interlinked. This holistic approach includes a health-conscious approach to their diet, a proactive approach to exercising and care towards their mental well-being and sleep health.
In addition, consumers have adopted a prevention rather than cure approach to their health, meaning that they are addressing this before issues or symptoms arise.
The reasons why consumers have taken this proactive approach to health maintenance is because 58% of them in the EMEA are researching the benefits of altering their diet and lifestyle habits. At the same time, 57% “want to remain active and healthy until as late in life as possible.”
It’s essential that food and drink brands cater towards the proactive consumer by producing and promoting better-for-you and guilt-free alternatives that will allow consumers to enjoy nutritious snacks.
FMCG Gurus insights highlight that 23% of consumers in the EMEA have become more conscious about their health because they want to take a more proactive approach to their health.
In addition, fortified products are popular among active nutrition consumers. For instance, FMCG Gurus findings demonstrate that 50% of consumers in the EMEA have looked to increase their intake of functional and fortified food in the last 6 months.
This illustrates that consumers are interested in maximising their nutrient intake in a way that is convenient. Brands should ensure that food and drink products are nutritious, tasty and affordable, especially during a time of financial uncertainty.
Consumers often seek out products that are both high in protein and low in sugars to cater to their active nutrition lifestyle. For example, FMCG Gurus consumer insights show that 56% of consumers in the EMEA have altered their snacking habits from products including chocolate or confectionery to high protein and/or low sugar products.
This illustrates that consumers are looking to maximise their protein intake and often interpret protein as being a halo health ingredient.
As a result, brands must ensure that food and drink products have clearly labelled health and ingredient claims, as well as a streamlined ingredients list that enables consumers to seek out natural, chemical-free and health-boosting products.
In addition, 74% of consumers in the EMEA are seeking out high protein products in the chocolate and confectionery market. This highlights that consumers are looking for high protein products that are also indulgent and offer sensory appeal.
There are concerns about the sensory appeal of high protein snacks, including concerns around the aftertaste of these products. Owing to this, brands must look to improve the taste and aftertaste of their high protein snacks to appeal to a wider range of consumers.