New Frontiers in Healthy Food and Beverages

January 2024

Economic conditions may be getting more challenging for health and wellness propositions; yet post-COVID-19 consumer mindsets are also geared towards getting healthier with the right food and drinks. Innovation will be key to answering growing expectations for more away-from-animal food alternatives as well as gut health products. In snacks and beverages, better-for-you positionings will have to be combined with functionality. But the mind is among the most exciting next frontiers

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This report comes in PPT.

Key Findings

Plant-based trend to redefine norms in foods

Despite various challenges (economic, sustainable, legislative, consumer perception), plant-based will stand the test of time and remain one of the most transformative trends for retail foods in the forecast period. As consumers further reduce intake of animal-based foods, prolific innovation will enable plant-based alternatives to widen their reach across the food spectrum.

Widening understanding around gut health creates new interest for related claims

In dairy, gut health moves beyond the realms of digestion to become a greater ally to consumers in their quest for health. High fibre propositions will increasingly appeal alongside probiotic claims as a key to greater physical and mental resilience.

Snacks a welcoming environment for health and wellness innovation

The value-driven snacks category will be a particularly rewarding environment for health claims; that is, increasingly, provided it is part of the brand’s identity. Winning snack propositions will be those combining various sought-after health claims such as no sugar and vegan, whilst also offering a convenient pack format to suit the eating occasion.

Food and drinks for a healthy mind

Through the right drinks and foods, we will seek to alleviate increasing anxiety caused by political-economic uncertainty, technology and climate change. Positioning around mental health will need to be specific; with focus and relaxation being short-term buzzwords and a segmentation of benefits by age groups being a longer-term avenue for innovation.


Key findings
Consumers increasingly shun “negative” food and drink ingredients
While dietary and free from labels shape foods, health benefits lead the way in drinks
Plant-based proliferation
A claim growing across categories
Plant-based speaks to the reducers, the limiters and the restrictors (1)
Plant-based speaks to the reducers, the limiters and the restrictors (2)
Vegan gelling alternatives open up further food categories
UPP sees gold in wasted broccoli greens
Going beyond just digestion, gut health now embraces a holistic perspective
The dairy industry's gut health focus gains ground
Embracing fibre in the dairy and alternatives industry to unlock gut health potential
Avonmore addresses gut health and low fibre consumption with chicory root addition to milk
Good Culture sets the trailblazing example of utilising probiotics in dairy beyond yoghurt
Better-for-you snacking is set to continue expanding to tackle modern diet needs
Health remains a valuable proposition for value-driven food categories like snacks
The snacks industry has been boosting nutritional credentials to capture growth
Ranging health concerns and perceptions are growing the need for combination snack claims
Brain health beholds an avenue of opportunities across food and drinks
Mental health has moved to the top list of consumer health concerns
Brain health is being prioritised to deal with an uncertain world
The activity is shifting to less-traditional brain health categories
Case Study: elements focus
A quest for animal-free food and the atomisation of diets
How to be a leader in health and wellness food and drinks

Health and Wellness

Health and Wellness encompasses a number of key claims made on a food or drink products that suggest a health and/or wellness positioning. It comprises positionings relating to better for you, dietary and free from, fortified/functional, health benefit, natural and organic. Please note that data is not available at this level or other aggregated claim levels.

See All of Our Definitions


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