Happy me, healthy me

Happy me, healthy me

How to address mental wellbeing with food & drink products

Health has become a priority for consumers, and the times are over when this was only perceived as physical health. According to the World Health Organization, health is defined as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

During the challenging times we are currently facing globally, with increasing uncertainty, the pandemic, economic and financial pressure for many and a war going on, mental wellbeing has taken center stage on health topics. 64% of consumers globally rank mental wellbeing as the #1 criteria for health according to Euromonitor’s Voice of the Consumer: Health and Nutrition Survey. The Covid-19 pandemic especially has elevated awareness of the topic, with 44% of consumers globally agreeing to having become more aware about their own mental health according to FMCG Gurus.

Main challenges for balanced health

Mental wellbeing is nothing to be considered in isolation; it goes hand in hand with other areas of a balanced life: physical exercise, relaxation, sleep, and work-life balance. Overall, consumers face three main challenges linked to leading a more balanced life:

  1. Reducing stress: with issues like relaxation, time management, and physical activity being closely linked to reducing stress hormones.
  2. Maintaining or improving mental wellbeing: with focus areas such as cognitive health, social contacts, happiness, and self-care of any kind.
  3. Improving sleep: focusing on the importance of restful sleep, peace of mind, and time for comfort.


The role of foods & drinks in mental wellbeing

Have you ever heard of ‘mood foods’? Food plays a crucial role in both physical and mental health. Certain foods can improve our mood, calm us down, decrease our stress levels, or just make us happy and content. We can observe a 20% increase in food & drink launches with a sleep & stress-related functional claim (Mintel GNPD 2018 vs. 2021).

One way to tap into this is by using food ingredients that have a positive image and are associated by consumers with mental wellbeing and relaxation such as:

  • Botanicals & herbs like chamomile, lavender, hibiscus, rosemary, valerian, linden flower, and lemon balm
  • Nootropics such as B vitamins, amino acids, caffeine, choline, L-theanine, MCT oils, omega-3s, and gingko
  • Adaptogens like ashwaghanda, tulsi, ginseng, maca, and reishi
  • Hemp fiber seed or oil and derived products such as CBD

The second route to ‘mood foods’ is by fortifying products with vitamins or minerals such as zinc, magnesium, or complex B vitamins for example.

Depending on local taste preferences and food regulations, our network of R&D specialists has in-depth expertise in combining the right ingredients in our preparations and tailoring them to your application. Fortifying a product via a preparation makes handling on the customer side easy and helps reduce complexity in production.

Check out below some examples of our broad offering of preparations customized to mental wellbeing suitable for dairy, ice cream or food service applications:

  • Pear chamomile 
  • Blueberry lavender 
  • Apricot Brazil nut
  • Ginger passionfruit
  • Honey ginger lavender
  • Cherry aronia ginseng
  • Peach zinc
  • Strawberry magnesium
  • …many more combinations possible – just ask!

Curious to find out more?

At AGRANA Fruit, we are proud of our global network of experts experienced in tailoring solutions to your needs. Our range of ‘mood food’ solutions is broad and fully adaptable to local taste preferences and regulatory requirements. Reach out to us to jointly create the next dairy, ice cream or food service hit for mental wellbeing.


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