ADM spotlights six emerging health and wellness trends from gut health to immune function

By Mary Ellen Shoup

- Last updated on GMT

©GettyImages / Oleksandr Glagoliev
©GettyImages / Oleksandr Glagoliev

Related tags Adm Health and wellness coronavirus

Consumers’ attitudes, priorities and behaviors are shifting significantly as a result of the global health pandemic, and ADM has identified six emerging behavioral changes highlighting consumers' prioritization of health and wellness.

Recent ADM OutsideVoice research shows that 77% of consumers intend to make more attempts to stay healthy in the future, and food and beverage manufacturers who successfully manage to balance consumer health concerns with affordability are most likely to win with consumers.

“This evolution is providing a unique opportunity for forward-looking food and beverage companies to bring a suite of trailblazing new products to market,”​ said Ana Ferrell, VP of Marketing, ADM.

1. Increased focus on gut health and immune function connection

Globally, 57% of consumers report being more concerned about their immunity as a result of COVID-19, according to ADM OutsideVoice research.

“As consumers strive to enhance their immunity, they are becoming more knowledgeable about how the human microbiome supports the immune system and overall wellbeing. Products containing probiotics, prebiotics and postbiotics can benefit the microbiome and are already gaining momentum in the marketplace,”​ said ADM in its report.

2. Plant-based becomes mainstream

In the US, 18% of alternative protein buyers purchased their first plant-based protein during COVID-19, and 92% of those first-time buyers report they are likely to continue purchasing meat alternatives, according to the ADM’s research.

Many companies from Impossible Foods​ and Beyond Meat​ have stepped up manufacturing and distribution efforts to meet recent surging demand.

“With health, safety and convenience as top purchase motivators, products that deliver exceptional nutrition and a high-quality sensory experience will be poised for success,”​ noted ADM.

3.  New perspective on weight management and metabolic health

Consumers’ weight management concerns, especially for individuals with hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, have escalated due to the pandemic’s impact on activity levels.

“Consumers are viewing weight management and metabolic health in a new light​,” said ADM.

Over half (51%) of consumers indicated they are concerned about being less active or gaining weight during the pandemic.

“That worry is likely to increase demand for functional solutions supportive of metabolic wellness and healthy weight management,”​ noted the company.

4. Finding Balance: Self Care, emotional wellbeing, and nutrition

“The difficult circumstances stemming from COVID-19 have increased feelings of anxiety and stress as 35% of consumers report being concerned about mental health,”​ ADM said in the report.

“People are looking for new ways to improve their mental wellness during these stressful times, including granting themselves permission to consume indulgent, comforting food and beverages. However, they are tempering this desire with weight management needs and seek a careful overall balance of indulgence and good nutrition,” ​it notes.

Food and beverages designed to elevate mood, sustain energy and reduce stress will grow in popularity in the coming months and years, predicts the company, which also projects new opportunities for comfort foods, snacks and baked goods offering nutrient-rich ingredients and functional health benefits.

5. Personalized nutrition

As COVID-19 increases consumer awareness of individual health risk factors, demand for products offering tailored, highly personalized health and wellness solutions will take off.

ADM research found that 49% of consumers feel every individual is unique and requires a customized approach to diet and exercise, and 31% of consumers are already purchasing more items tailored for health and nutrition.

As a result, products that focus on improving nutrition, self-care and general wellness will increasingly attract consumers’ attention, predicts ADM.

6. Shifting shopping values

An increased focus on health is triggering a windfall in consumer health and wellness spending – 48% percent of consumers plan to purchase more items related to health and wellness, ADM found in its survey.

At the same time, growing concerns around widespread economic decline and joblessness have prompted a shift to value-based shopping, including growing demand for basic pantry staples, increased spending in private label products and increased food traffic to value retailers.

All of these behavioral shifts are likely to persist well after the pandemic crisis peaks, creating opportunities for food and beverage manufacturer to take advantage of the current trends, added ADM.

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