Healthy & indulgent – trend insights to new consumer cravings Ecolean Insights
Market trends
04 11 2023

Healthy & indulgent – trend insights to new consumer cravings

Could it be the post-pandemic desire of leading a healthy and sound life that now makes consumers actively choose food, drink and supplements that help address health problems – even if they are not suffering from specific symptoms? And at the same time, enjoying moments of indulgence where consumers pay little-to-no attention to nutrition and move their focus in an opposite direction to pure enjoyment. In this article, we dive into the contraceptive trends of 'healthy indulgence' – where we can introduce the perfect category for progressive liquid food producers which fits the bill perfectly - JELLY.

Following almost three years of pandemic lockdowns; a new focus and awareness of your health is evident, but also the desire for indulgent food, drinks and snacks. As an example, health awareness and indulgence are expected to be the two main drivers of sales of snacks in China in 2023[1] according to Euromonitor, as consumers want to enjoy uncompromised moments of indulgence for reward and escapism purposes. At the same time, they do not want these moments to conflict with their wider health goals. But why let the two cravings consist of separate products, when they can be combined into one?

Health is on our minds

Consumers are becoming more demanding of the products that they purchase, even when it comes to everyday items, and want a genuine experience from the products that they buy. According to FMCG Gurus, even if consumers are not experiencing actual symptoms of any kind they are still looking to find food, drink, and supplements that help address health problems or enhance their overall feeling of wellness. To feel that you have reduced any risk of serious illness and done the work needed to improve your wellbeing is perhaps what has been within your control and reach during the last couple of years of turbulent times, caused by the pandemic. You want control and the food you purchase is one way of gaining it.

an occasional treat

When it comes to health, according to FMCG Gurus, consumers are more inclined to embrace a debit and credit approach to wellbeing, leading a healthy lifestyle most of the time to sometimes enjoy moments of blissful indulgence. Consumers want to avoid feeling moments of compromise and sacrifice, whilst trying to eat and drink healthier. As a result, consumers are looking to lead a well-balanced and varied diet, where they eat and drink healthy most of the time, to allow the occasional moment of decadence and self-gratification.

64 percent of consumers in the Asia-Pacific region, and 65 percent globally, think that it is ok to consume an indulgent treat occasionally as part of a healthy diet[2]:

How can jelly deliver on these demands?

We can conclude that post-pandemic snacking is fulfilling a moment of indulgence if it coincides with making a healthy choice. To be able to find a way of combining the feeling of health with indulgence, can be seen as the golden ticket for food producers.

The jelly texture in itself is considered indulgent and can be balanced with health-enhancing benefits for increased synergetic effects. Launching jelly could include:

  • Immune boosting jelly
  • Jelly made out of alcalic water, zero sugar or natural ingredients, like Aloe vera gel
  • Gut enhancing boosters or probiotic jelly
  • Skin enhancers with collagen and other supplements
  • Protein-enhanced
  • Vitamin-added, or Fruit juice jelly; Peach, Grape, Black currant, Raspberry, Strawberry, Tropical, Vitamin C

Create new category: Mix-and-match with existing products

Creating a jelly-like dairy product, like a yoghurt jelly or strawberry milk jelly combines a new sensation with the experience of an indulgent snack, without compromising on the healthy and nutritious image that dairy products have.

According to FMCG Gurus, consumers seek out functional ingredients in milks, such as protein and vitamins, which are associated with various health benefits. Functional ingredients add to consumers perceptions of premium, efficacy and value for money.

Since your brand portfolio already is filled with nutritious and well-known dairy products, why not extend into the jelly category with a mash-up:

  • Ice cream-flavoured jelly
  • Dairy mixes;
  • Yoghurt jelly
  • Milk jelly
  • Drinking yoghurt jelly
  • Flavoured milk jelly

Growing subcategory: Sports and energy jelly

Taking another step into the world of health and wellness enhancers, energy and sports jelly is a new addition for everyday athletes. These gels and jelly products are convenient when out and about, especially during marathons and long sessions of sporting. Performance boosters and refills of energy are essential in many extreme sports, but also a part of the image of leading a healthy and sporty lifestyle making it an everyday companion to the gym or your morning jog.

Triathletes has long used jelly products as they are a cross between an energy bar and a sports drink, often delivered in a tiny, easy-to-carry package. These concentrated ‘sugar hits’ deliver an easy, instant energy boost during long bouts of exercise, helping to replace depleted carbohydrate stores[3].

Product considerations to match this growing subcategory:

  • Energy gels
  • Hydro gels, Water
  • Hyper gels
  • Salt and Sugar
  • Caffeine
  • Vitamins
  • Electrolytes
  • Antioxidants
  • Maltodextrine
  • Fructose
  • Sodium
  • Citric Acid

[1] Euromonitor, Snacks in China, Country Report, July 2022

[2] FMCG Gurus, Top Ten Trends for 2022 Global report




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Ecolean Insights

This is part of Ecolean Insights. Guiding you deeper into consumer trends, category development opportunities and how you can utilize your Ecolean packaging to set up your brand image and product portfolio for the future.

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