What do consumers really want? As we get into the groove of hectic lifestyles, escalating health issues and greater awareness through the internet, wellness is often a matter of great concern. This is one of the key motivating factors behind the rise of the superfood trends. Each year, new but not unfamiliar superfoods are highlighted and embraced with passion. Health advocates have to harness greater creativity and ingenuity in identifying superfood trends, which may differ by the seasons, continents and sometimes, budgets of those pushing the trends.
How do we keep up with the trend? It may seem daunting. Not really if you review the kinds of superfoods that are the flavour of the moment and correlate these to health, lifestyle and seasonal factors. What are the benefits of the different types of superfoods? From health boosters to beautifying and improving the skin to slimming and disease prevention, there’s plenty to discover!
Health of course, always takes the lead. Think of powder mixes derived from nature’s purest ingredients, superfood in terms of drinks, energy boosters, food mixes, drink shakes, chips and of course, raw and unprocessed superfood. The “natural” trend takes the lead with an increasing interest in processed natural foods including herbal and superfood beverage, superfood bars, powders, snacks, protein alternatives, organic food and more.
We believe consumers will adore maca, moringa, green tea and spirulina in powder form because they are potently packed with vitamins, minerals and many types of nutrients. They are easy to use, convenient to store and can be sprinkled over food or mixed into juice, blends and drinks.
Look at superfoods oils. These are natural oils derived from plants. They are different from hydrogenated vegetable oils made from canola, corn, soy, sunflower and margarine. Olive oil has been proven to be antioxidant-rich; containing polyphenols and vitamin E to lower cholesterol and fights inflammation and cancer cells. Coconut oil has recovered from its initial scare after a Harvard Professor called it a poison and reclaimed its superfood status. Its 50 per cent fat content is a rare lauric acid that is renowned as the destroyer of virus and bacteria, complete with antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungal and antimicrobial properties.
Superfood often comes in the form of nuts such as almonds, walnuts, cashews, Brazil nuts and pistachios. These combos are said to contain omega-3 fats, vitamin E, flavonoids, phytonutrients and other nutrients to keep our body system healthy while tasting great at the same time. Don’t forget to add in walnuts – which are available as raw, roasted and even in oil form. It has extra omega-3 and is great to increase your energy level, heart and eye health, and even skincare!
Nuts and seeds always come together. For ages, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds help the body digestive system. Many of these help to regulate the body system, are rich in Omega-3, vitamins and fibre. We particularly love Chia seeds. They are rich gluten-free and in omega-3 fatty acids and anti-oxidants. Importantly, they are easy to consume. Just sprinkle over your favourite food and shake into your drink for best results.
Drink your superfood!
Oh yes, brands are being more innovative and creative at the same time. With so many emerging brands fighting for a slice of the pie, reinventing the shape and look of superfoods or making these more fun or convenient to consume have “reintroduced” familiar brands and products into the market. Superfoods in the form of readymade drink mixes are the fancy of health aficionados who search for convenience and ease of usage.
Although cow’s milk is still popular today, non-dairy milk is rapidly becoming more popular as more people seem to be battling food allergies and milk-related digestive disorders. Great replacement options include soy milk and nut milk such as almond milk, hazelnut milk and flax milk. These are equally rich in protein.
Plant-based meat substitutes
More people are going vegan and vegetarian these days, due to calls on the ethical treatment of animals, religious reasons and for most health concerns. The trend is well established and will continue to grow further.
Non-GMO and organic
These means ingredients that are clean and regulated. Consumers are willing to invest in their health, often paying a premium price for premiumly positioned products.
Weight loss superfoods
There is an abundance of superfood choices when it comes to weight management. From going on a juicing diet to healthy eating, these common, easily available and wholesome superfoods may just make your smile.
Add eggs to your daily diet as it contains all the 9 essential amino acids and lutein for brain health. Eating one egg daily may also reduce stroke risk by 12 percent. Yoghurt is great for digestive health and provides good fatty acids, protein, Vitamin B12 and magnesium. Add grains such as wheat flakes, oats and barley which are low in calories. They are packed with nutrients such as Vitamin B, fibre, minerals and antioxidants. We mentioned nuts earlier – yes, add lots of nuts into your diet – a variety of them!
How to win with superfoods in 2019
In essence, we are talking about mostly plant-based ingredients. Lifestyle trends have taken these beyond food and into the beauty industry, baby food and even pet food! These superfoods meet consumer needs. Key factors include health, beauty and easy accessibility. Look at superfoods that can be easily prepared or instantly consumed without having to cook or requiring any form of elaborate preparation.
Relook at your target consumers. Expand from the conventional marketplace to include new market segments. Are you targeting at youth or seniors? Are you identifying new users or new needs for your products? How good are you at labelling? Are the product benefits or unique value propositions evident in the product packaging? Are these superfoods cost-effective but yes, people are usually more willing to pay for premium products in the form of superfoods?
Another seemingly contradicting trend may even indicate the flow of consumerism and vegetarianism which is increasing year after year. Superfoods in the form of vegetarian products are much sought after in South East Asia.
Moving forward – more consumers are administrating the concept of “self-care” and trying to improve their health by individually selecting the combination of superfoods to boost their nutritional, emotional and nutritional needs.
As millennials waltz into the realm of new superfood consumers since 2018, there is a tendency to define superfoods with a visual perspective. Do these superfoods look or are processed to look good while providing the same health benefits? From look to smell to the aroma, today’s demanding consumers want more.
There is a need to be innovative and become smarter food marketers to win the heart of consumers amidst the superfood jungle out there. Make this a sensory experience. Combine, mix and modify the presentation.
The list is probably inexhaustive when you run through them. Many of these superfoods are easy to find and can form part of the daily diet for health, beauty and fitness.
Here’s to a healthy future ahead!