The culmination of research by the two firms (including a global survey this year of 26,000 active adults) this year pinpoints three overarching global trends - a holistic approach to health, conveniently nutritious, and conscious indulgence.
Vicky Davies, global marketing director for performance and active nutrition at FrieslandCampina Ingredients, says knowledge of these trends will help formulate future NPD.
“As this dynamic sector continues to expand worldwide, it’s important to understand the most powerful motivations and the strongest consumer preferences. The level of insight we have from this research puts FrieslandCampina Ingredients firmly on the front foot when it comes to co-developing tomorrow’s success stories.”
The research reveals that 61% of active consumers have tried to improve their overall health and wellness in the last two years and major areas of focus in order to achieve this are digestive health and sleep.
Interest in improving sleep is particularly apparent in Asia Pacific where 45% of respondents said they have changed their diet in the past twelve months to try to improve their sleep.
Mike Hughes, head of research and insight at FMCG Gurus, says: “There’s increasing recognition that digestive health and sleep are crucial to living well. What’s more, people are aware they’re likely to live to an older age than previous generations did, and staying healthy well not just now, but also into their senior years is a clear priority. That means a better balance between activity and sleep, which can be strongly influenced by diet.”
According to the research, over half of active consumers skip meals most or all of the time, often due to time pressures creating demand for products that are both nutritious and convenient.
On average, 30% of respondents claim to have opted for healthier snacking options in the past two years. In addition, 54% of respondents say they expect snacks to offer a nutritional boost, and 27% say that they would like to see RTD beverages with healthy positionings.
However, despite the interest in healthy snacks, the research also shows that 53% of active consumers say they are concerned about the aftertaste of high protein products, and 48% are suspicious of their texture.
According to Hughes, the data indicates that consumers have moved on from small and 'forgivable' indulgent moments, towards 'conscious' ones, meaning they are thinking more about the ethical aspects of their product choices.
“This consciousness can take several forms,” explains Hughes, “but one of the most prevalent is ingredient sustainability, which was the biggest instigator of changing snacking habits among the sample group. Similarly, our own previous research found that 73% of global consumers say it’s important that food and drink is 100% natural.”