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Immunity-focused: flavours, ingredients and health benefits

Consumers are showing increasing preference for more natural flavours and functional ingredients that can bring health benefits.

These interests has skyrocketed in the wake of the pandemic, and products associated with supporting the immune system – previously a small but steadily growing segment of the market – have been the main beneficiary.

The new products in the food and beverage sector are focus on ingredients that deliver flavour in combination with health, riding the 'botanicals boom' trend with botanicals that have adaptogenic or nootropic benefits.

Deliver flavour profiles using ingredients that provide flavour plus adaptogenic or nootropic benefits

Focus on ingredients that deliver flavour plus health (perceived or proven), such as ingredients that deliver flavour plus adaptogenic or nootropic benefits.

“Food as medicine”, “proactive health”, and “superfoods” all come to mind when thinking about naturally functional. Behind all of these ideas is a focus on health benefits that are inherent in foods. As we learn more about nutrition science, we’re beginning to understand that foods are more than the sum of their parts. An orange is much more than the vitamin C it contains; there are many other components of an orange that can interact with our bodies, or with each other inside the orange, and this creates different health effects than vitamin C alone.

Consumers want clean ingredients, mental clarity, more energy, improved athletic performance, better mood, and lower stress. This has led to the rise of “miracle beverages” such as collagen water for hair and skin; kombucha for gut health, and CBD for reducing anxiety and pain. As new products continue to emerge, the global functional beverages market size is expected to reach 208.13 billion by 2024, a CAGR of 8.66 percent from 2019-2024.

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