Consumers nowadays are increasingly health-conscious, and they recognize the need for sufficient nutrition and hydration for the human body to flourish. Eating healthier foods is also considered a way to prevent future healthcare expenditures. People who follow a well-balanced diet have stronger immune systems and are less likely to develop chronic illnesses and infectious disorders, including COVID-19 infection.
Consumers are increasingly eating healthier meals that include more locally sourced ingredients such as fruits and vegetables. They are matching their calorie intake with calorie expenditure, avoiding processed carbohydrates and salt, and increasing their vegetable consumption. Simultaneously, they’re paying more attention to items with information on their packaging concerning the status of natural/environmental claims, such as third-party certifiers for fair trade and non-GMO.
More people are changing their diets to incorporate more plant-based meals for health and environmental concerns. More people are becoming flexitarians, or vegetarians who consume meatless meals regularly. Veganism is also gaining popularity. From customized healthful beverages to locally sourced whole grains, breakfasts enriched with vegetables and legumes, vegan options, chef-inspired children’s fare, and meatless options, the health and wellness trend is quickly gaining traction, with an increased presence on quick-service menus and grocery store shelves.
Here are some new food trends which are healthy and are in demand by the health-conscious consumers-
1. Functional or energy drinks
Beverages can be harmful to your health because of added sugar, artificial sweeteners, and acidic properties, or they can be a simple way to incorporate nutritious nutrients into your day if you choose the right one. More people are realizing this as they replace regular soda with more functional fizzy drinks or energy drinks like prebiotic soda with added fiber, effervescent tonics with adaptogens, and gut-healthy kombucha, or in India, you can simply go with buttermilk or lassi for that matter, or even nimboopani.
2. Non-diary milk
In 2022, the popularity of non-dairy milk skyrocketed, with oat milk leading the charge. Alternatives to dairy milk derived from grains, seeds, vegetables, and nuts are also gaining popularity. You can find various types of milk which do not consist of dairy such as Soy milk, almond milk, or new in the town potato milk, yes it sounds weird but yes it exists and is popular and European countries and even in China.
Mushrooms are gaining a lot of popularity as a good meat substitute, thanks to the increasing interest in plant-based milk or a plant-based diet. Mushrooms’ robust texture, delicious flavor, and absorbency make them a good meat substitute. For many people, mushrooms’ enhanced health and long-term viability fix the deal. Instead of a beef patty, top your toasted sandwich with a grilled mushroom, or add mushrooms to soups and stews as a savory addition.
4. Recycled ingredients
New food or goods made using recycled ingredients or by-products from the food manufacturing process are referred to as recycled food. The strategy, which has been gaining pace in recent years, received some attention during the pandemic when barren grocery shelves forced some producers to see the significance of additional waste reduction. If you don’t want to buy the recycled ingredients, you can practice it at home as well. So if you have any leftover rice or chapatis or any salad do not throw it away, instead, try and make new dishes out of them.
5. Healthy snacking
Consumers in India are experimenting with the changing role of healthy snacking. According to a recent study, approximately 81 percent of Indians choose to snack instead of eating at least one meal per day. Consumers are now seeking a variety of snacking options to balance their enjoyment with their nutritional needs. Consumers choose healthy snacks as meal alternatives, comfort food, and wellness promoters, according to multiple research. Snacking has evolved as an important exponent for consumers to aid manage their nutritional and physical needs because no single snack can satisfy all of the emotional, mental, and physical health parameters.
6. More intake of the superfoods
Millets, Ragi, Jowar, and Bajra are superfoods that have been a part of India’s food history for generations. Millets are grown in India in over 80 different types, therefore each state has its millet. India’s Finance Minister declared 2022-23 to be the “International Year of Millets” in his latest budget announcement. The Indian government will continue to support millet cultivation and would assist enterprises in branding the product for domestic and international markets. The emergence of superfoods has gained traction as customers gravitate to healthier options. Although people in tier 3 or 4 cities still eat Bajra, Ragi, or Jowar regularly, it is steadily emerging from its infancy in urban areas.
These were some of the trends which consumers are following in 2022 to lead a healthy life. And yes Health-conscious consumers indeed prioritize healthy meals to live a healthier lifestyle in the future.