Consumers seek Natural, Non-Addictive Solutions to Relieve Stress & Anxiety

“People aren’t coming into the category (natural products and organic)  because they got a raise, they’re coming because of health issues and a variety of other reasons, and they’re staying.” – Nicholas McCoy, Whipstitch Capital

To feel their best – physically, mentally, and emotionally – consumers are seeking relief from stress and anxiety and are pursuing solutions and experiences that help them relax and unwind and that also support their overall wellbeing. Consumers are being intentional in their choices and unabashed in sharing what they are doing to feel good. Here are a few ways consumers are doing so:

Introducing new Ingredients

Food & Beverage brands are introducing non-addictive offerings with nootropics/adaptogens, amino acids such as L-theanine, and cannabinoids to provide balance, ease anxiety, and enhance mood. FOCL uses plant-based products including hemp CBD, botanicals, and adaptogens to help consumers feel better in order to perform – mentally and physically – better. They offer specific formulas for both Day and Night. Combining whole herbs, fresh lemons, and maple syrup, SUNWINK crafts low-calorie soda alternatives to elevate the body and the mood without adding anything artificial. Unilever will acquire supplement maker OLLY Nutrition whose mission is to help “people feel happy inside out.”

Firing Alcohol 

We conducted a mini-social media ethnography about beer consumption and found that concerns around beer have been elevated to just a heightened awareness around alcohol in general and its effects on one’s well-being – physically, mentally, and emotionally. Consumers are firing alcohol and replacing it with self-discovery experiences, non-alcoholic beverages (beer, wine, etc.), choosing to not drink altogether, CBD oil, and more. Learn more >>>

Tapping into Nostalgia 

Another avenue consumers explore is connection to their childhood or youth; and with recent introductions of nostalgic foods that have been reinvented and reformulated with beneficial ingredients, brands are tapping into the emotional and physical needs of consumers. Read more >>>

Connecting their Consumption to their Values

In an effort to do good, consumers are making choices that support their personal values, and are likely to try offerings from brands who give back and/or have a mission that aligns with their own beliefs and aspirations.

“The way people think about consumption has fundamentally changed. People want it to reflect their values in every way – as one whole… We’re a mission with a company, not a company with a mission.” – Todd Grinnell, This Saves Lives 

Currently, it may be more difficult than not to find a brand without a mission, and brands are communicating theirs through storytelling, packaging, and branding in outreach to like-minded consumers. Brands that are helping consumers feel good from their products and do good by supporting their mission include REBBL which delivers plant-based beverages with super herbs and protein and was born out of a mission to fight human trafficking globally. PepsiCo’s Greenhouse Accelerator program is designed to support innovative, mission-driven entrepreneurs in the food and beverage industry and which provide wellness, convenience, and values. Ten finalists for this year’s program were announced earlier this month. And ReGrained upcycles the grain byproduct from brewing beer and produces nutrition bars and puffs that support gut health. With food waste on the minds of many consumers, this brand is perceived by shoppers as providing a solution. Read more >>>

We’ve previously written about how consumers are firing traditional methods for more holistic pain management options. And we could do a whole other blog post on the emerging tech solutions, like Moodfit, which helps users connect the dot between their sense of wellbeing and their daily routine. And we imagine the majority of brands exhibiting at Expo West will be appealing to consumers’ desires to both feel and do good. Stay tuned….

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