Move over medicine cabinet, make room for the mini fridge. Access to enormous amounts of nutrition information is just a Google away, empowering consumers to take treatment into their own hands. The prevailing menu of healthful eating advice stretches from here to the moon, and consumers are beginning to self-prescribe foods to fit their unique needs.
Gut health is one of the biggest challenges consumers target with food. It’s now (a little) more okay to talk about digestion, and a lot more okay to eat unusual foods in an effort to settle down the process. Koji, brines, and kvass all made their way to market as shoppers tested the benefits of probiotics and carbon. Some consumers swing towards charcoal or FODMAP. An apple a day just doesn’t cut it anymore.
Stress eating has a whole new meaning, as people use their food to prevent anxiety, instead of mask it. With calming, anti-inflammatory reputations, foods and drinks like Good Day Chocolate and Neuro Bliss have made the move from specialty markets to everyday grocery stores. Mental health awareness promotes self-care, allowing for permissible food indulgences. Beating yourself up over a strict diet is stressful, and prolonged stress might just be worse for your body than that chewy double truffle brownie. Some minimalist consumers take de-stressing to a new level with products like Soylent, Svelte, and Mush, which deliver convenient, compact nutrition on the go.
Concerns about the planet and its growing population also sway consumers away from traditional diets. They might forego lower-calorie processed foods for a locally-made choices, or opt for a GMO plant protein with a low carbon footprint instead of meat. Many of today’s consumers track food through its production lifecycle, scrutinizing safety and ethics, rather than the grams of fat or carbs on its nutrition label.
This movement goes far beyond weight loss, though traditional dieting programs are also feeling its effects. Consumers now turn to highly-personalized, new age nutrition plans, based on individual mind and body chemistry. Along the same line as designer vitamins and tailored skin care, several services advise clients on the specific foods that will help or harm them, based on a client’s DNA test or intestinal scan.
Yo-yo diets become “you-do-you” diets, as consumers build self-prescribed eating regimes that fit with their bodies and beliefs. To keep up with the modern consumer, individual customization must be the norm for new products.
Hyde Park Group Food Innovation is a strategic culinary company connecting consumer insight to new food and beverage development. Uniting strategy with five-star culinary and packaging design, we identify new opportunities and bring them to life through rapid proto-cepting development and consumer research. For further information about our services, or to hear our 2018: What’s Tipping? Food Trends presentation, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.hydeparkgroup.com