Vital Natural Health Trends that are Influencing Modern Shoppers

Sep 12, 2019

Convenient, healthy, ethical, premium food products have never been more popular at any time in history. And specifically, for anyone operating in this space, it pays to be aware of what is driving demand and how to harness interest.

Three of Australia’s top experts in the field – Peta Shulman of GoodnessMe Box, Ben Whyatt from Scalzo Foods and Anne Cattelan of Go Vita discussed key trends driving purchase decisions in their popular panel session Keeping Pace with the Modern Shoppers’ Approach to Food, Drink and Nutrition at Naturally Good 2019. Here are the key take-aways from their lively discussion.

Millennials and Generation Z are helping drive the natural product demand

The panel identified that Millenials and Generation Z, are much more aware these days of the health impacts of plant-based diets, functional foods and nutraceuticals compared to young people of past generations. Additionally, the ethics of how a product is created, and transparency of a company’s values and processes is of great importance to them.

“Plant based foods and drinks such as oat milk, cashew nut cheeses, pea and soy meat substitutes, kombucha and mushroom tea are currently big with this demographic,” said Shulman, whose GoodnessMe boxes are filled with high quality health products that are natural and GMO-free. Not only are people wanting to eat less animal-based substances, they’re also looking for products which may have extra nutritional value or can aid with stress-relief such as coffee substitute matcha tea which contains caffeine but does not deliver the “jitters” and also has antioxidants.

Peta Shulman, founder and director of GoodnessMe Box.

Snack food is becoming more health conscious

Anne Cattelan, from Australia’s largest health food co-op Go Vita, says another key trend is for healthier snack options, being driven in part by mothers in the Gen Y and Gen X demographic. “Nowadays mums are so busy juggling so many demands with family and working life, not only do they want healthy snacks which increase their own energy levels, and are low on sugar and salt, they also want healthy snack options for their kids,” she said – particularly as fewer mums now have the time to cook their own snacks for children.

Alternative snack options have really risen in prominence such as pea crisps and beetroot chips. Traditional products that have been given a ‘make-over’ such as potato chips that are GMO-free such as the ones from The Good Crisp Company, which were on show at Naturally Good, have also been popular.

Anne Cattelan, Go Vita

Views of healthy ageing are changing

Keeping the ravages of old age at bay used to mean slathering on layers of face cream and possibly a trip to a cosmetic surgeon. However nowadays people are looking at ageing more holistically. Cattelan said consumers are becoming increasingly interested in nourishing their bodies from the inside out. “This has led to the rise of products such as collagen powder, which I expect to see added to more products as an ingredient and to grow in popularity in general,” she said.

The high levels of amino acids in collagen protein can help nourish skin, support connective tissues, promote wound healing and even ease arthritis symptoms. The powder can be added to smoothies, hot beverages or baked goods. This year US consumers are expected to spend $122 million in collagen products, up 30 per cent form the previous year according to Nutrition Business Journal.

Food on the go is becoming important

Due to the challenges of our busy lives we’re living, and subsequently eating more “on the go”. The demand for healthy protein bars that can be used as a meal supplement are at an all-time high, as are protein powders that can be added to smoothies and vitamin-packed beverages. “The quick and easy convenience factor is a big driver in this space,” said Cattelan.

Social media is impacting our choices

Finally, one major driver of new product choices is the influence of social media according to Innovations Manager Ben Whyatt of Scalzo Foods who amongst other things, produce a range of healthy snack products such as vegetable chips, soy crisps, pea snacks and banana chips. “What consumers see and read about on their social media feeds has become of paramount importance in this space,” he said. “Especially when it comes to the trend-driven Generation Z market.”

Shulman added that engaging social media influencers is one way for any company to really engage consumers. “If you are working with people who genuinely love a product, it’s a great way to get out core values and great reviews.” With people obviously receptive to hearing positive information, the powerful impact of this marketing can literally cement a product or trend into the public consciousness.

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