Written by Marina Mez
On Nov 23, 2010
Over the past few months, there has been a surge in functional food and beverage products on the market and we are starting to see which ones are catching onto consumers. It seems as though products promoting health and beauty are gaining ground.
Consumers are feeling the post-recession pinch and are being smarter with their money. They want products that give them a “better bang for the buck”. Not to say that they are seeking the least expensive options but, on the contrary, consumers are willing to pay a little more if it provides them with more value. So for example, consumers are willing to pay more for a bottle of water that contains vitamins, minerals, electrolytes and antioxidants over the simple bottled water that has no additional health benefits. A beverage that promotes vitality and beauty will always have an edge over one that does not.
Datamonitor, a global business information provider, explains that ‘value consciousness’ makes consumers more likely to assess a product’s total worth in relation to its cost, rather than simply seeking out the cheapest option. Consumers also trust the established brands over private labels on the market for complex product formulations knowing that the big brands have the science behind them. Adding functionality to products is by no means an easy task.
Another major driver for functional foods and beverages is what Datamonitor calls, ‘healthy indulgence’. Adding a health benefit to a food or drink that is otherwise unhealthy can lessen or remove the consumer’s guilt of indulging in such a product.
“Chocolate or candy with beautifying functional ingredients can make consumers feel as though they are having a treat which is not too detrimental,” a consumer analyst at Datamonitor commented.
Who wouldn’t like to indulge in chocolates with beautifying ingredients. Just recently, Barry Callebaut, one of the world’s leading chocolate suppliers, was able to replace all the sugar content in chocolate with the natural sweetener stevia. The sweetness of chocolate without the sugar calories – now that’s what I call guilt-free ‘healthy indulgence’.