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Health and wellness packaged food is growing faster than regular packaged food. This is driven by consumers preferring more natural offerings as they aim to adopt a more holistic approach to a healthy diet.
The big winners of this trend are organic and free from foods, particularly in Western Europe and North America, where fashionable eating habits and health-conscious consumers are making free from food and organic popular. This has led to rapid shifts in the category and brand portfolios of key manufacturers to meet these new demands, alongside growing innovation from smaller players.
Free from has consolidated as the category with the most dynamic growth in the health and wellness space, moving beyond intolerance. The health-conscious consumer and fashionable eating habits towards gluten- and dairy-free options are likely to keep contributing to the bright future of the free from offering.
Organic has gained popularity in developed markets as a more natural and sustainable offering. Although the US stands out as the largest organic market, greater growth opportunities are expected to come from France, Italy and China. However, a lack of understanding as to what organic really means is likely to drive movement to other, easy-to-understand claims around clean label and animal welfare over coming years.
Although fortified/functional foods are losing traction in the Western world for their perception as a more artificial and processed offering, probiotic yoghurt is set to remain a hot trend in Asia Pacific. Moreover, micronutrient fortification is key in emerging markets to address malnutrition, which is estimated to bring further growth in the future.
Energy is a key element of contemporary holistic lifestyles. There has been a massive movement from the concept of weight management towards the adoption of a diet to help remain energetic for as long as possible. Energy bars are a key winner within this trend and natural energy coming from plant-based protein, derived from clean label ingredients such as nuts or peas, is likely to continue to thrive as consumers seek natural snacks.
While food categories that consumers choose are changing, there are also broader shifts in how consumers shop for packaged foods. Subscription meal boxes with a focus on health and wellness foods are on the rise, and spurring innovation in this space is expected to grow in the coming years to differentiate in the market.
To learn more about the biggest trends driving future growth, download the Top 5 Trends in Health and Wellness.