“Layered wellness”: Functional ingredients to star in 2021, says Givaudan
11 Nov 2020 --- The coming year is full of uncertainty, so well-established tastes along with all-time favorites will continue to grow as consumers seek comfort in tried and tested flavors. This is according to Sri Nagarajan, global marketing manager for Sweet & Natural at Givaudan. For beverages specifically, the notion of functional ingredients will also be at an all-time high, she tells FoodIngredientsFirst.
“Hybrid taste profiles will be created through this pairing of functionality with traditional flavors,” she says.
Global tastes expand
With citrus being an all-time favorite flavor for consumers, Nagarajan believes there are many creative ways to pair it with functional flavors, such as pairing blood orange with guayusa or Valencia orange with tulsi.
As functionality and traditional Chinese medicine gain popularity, there is also more global awareness about the Indian subcontinent’s beverages.
“For example, the Dalgona coffee craze [which started in South Korea and] accelerated in India, increased interest in other popular Indian beverages such as nimbu pani (a lemon drink with Delhi Lime) and raw mango drinks with citrus flavors,” she notes.
Additionally, according to Nagarajan, beverages that feature citrus infusion, for example, provide positive positioning and on-pack labeling.
COVID-19 spotlights wellness
Givaudan recently refreshed its proprietary trends program, FlavourVision, through a COVID-19 lens to understand how the pandemic affects vital consumer trends.
Of the seven existing FlavourVision trends that the program tracks, three were very highly impacted – “risk-aware,” “augmented self” and “layered wellness,” Nagarajan details.
“This has several implications for flavors,” she urges.
The “risk-aware” consumer will be looking for transparency in clean label and sustainably sourced flavor ingredients.
Consumers striving for an “augmented self” will be on the lookout for functional botanicals that provide both flavor and a protective halo as well as organic ingredients.
Finally, the “layered wellness” trend, which addresses the physical and mental, emotional, social and spiritual aspects of well-being, further highlights consumers' focus on a healthy lifestyle with themes such as self-care and relaxation.
“These trends again lead to an increased interest in ingredients that are sourced from nature for taste and functionality,” Nagarajan continues.
“We see these wellness-centered themes in beverages, for example, where we’re expecting to witness considerable growth in the global hydrating drinks market in the coming year. Hydrating drinks are, of course, compatible with other trends, leading to the creation of beverages that provide hybrid taste, functionality and hydration,” she explains.
Growth in functional and sparkling beverages
According to Nagarajan, functional and sparkling drinks are “hotspots for potential growth as they fit with consumer demand for health and hydration.”
Segments with low sugar content in drinks will also see growth along with plant-based products.
“These include not only milk but also new segments such as yogurt, ice creams and desserts,” she flags.
In addition, plant-based dairy products are continuing to grow, fueled by several drivers, including sustainability, health and novel taste.
In Tune with Immune
As pegged by Innova Market Insights, “In Tune with Immune” is the market researcher's fifth Top Trend for the coming year.
According to the Innova Consumer Survey 2020, six out of ten global consumers are increasingly looking for food and beverage products that support their immune health. One in three raised concerns about immune health in 2020 compared to 2019.
Immunity-boosting ingredients will play a significant role in the coming year, while research and interest in the microbiome and personalized nutrition as a way to strengthen immunity are expected to accelerate.
Rising botanical stars
Looking ahead to the new year, areas that have already been strengthened by the pandemic will likely continue to grow. “These areas include immunity, energy and relaxation,” Nagarajan continues. “Each area comes with its own rising botanical stars,” she adds.
For immune health specifically, one example is acerola, one of nature’s richest vitamin C sources.
“Not only do consumers associate vitamin C with immunity, but it’s also already backed by regulations that allow it to support health claims. Ingredients like acerola thus offer on-pack claims while responding to consumer demand for naturality,” Nagarajan notes.
South American energizers like guarana and yerba maté are also poised to continue their rise in popularity into next year. They can easily be incorporated in beverages designed to boost energy, she flags.
On the relaxation side, traditional herbs such as lavender or passion flowers will make a splash when presented in an “infusion” format.
“The authentic taste of the botanical can be combined with various flavors to create a hybrid, in line with the flavor trends of 2020,” she concludes.
By Elizabeth Green
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