The health and wellness trend is on the rise. According to a survey conducted by McKinsey & Company, 79% of respondents in six countries believe wellness is important and 42% consider it a top priority.
The management consultancy estimates that the global wellness market is worth more than $1.6 trillion, with annual growth of 5-10%.
Alon Chen, CEO and co-founder of Tastewise, believes that the COVID pandemic played a big role in driving this trend. “During COVID, people became much more conscious of their health and well-being…” At the same time, increased use of different social media platforms means that consumers have greater access to content related to health and wellness.
But consumers aren’t just interested in general health, he suggested, citing data from Tastewise, a platform that analyzes restaurant and delivery menus, social media interactions, and online home recipes to help food innovators and beverages to find opportunities in the market.
“They’re talking about bloating and gut and cleansing and detoxing. They’re talking about no carbs, no sugar, no cholesterol.”
This presents an opportunity for the industry, Chen told us. “This is a good time for the food industry to adjust product lines…and reposition existing products for the different ingredients and experiences people need.”
Nick ‘The Pickles Man’ Vadasz has already positioned his brand in this way. But Vadasz, whose company (also called Vadasz) is now part of Compleat Food Group, didn’t fully approach kimchi, sauerkraut, and pickles through this lens.
“I started fermenting foods and making pickles solely from a chef’s point of view. I wanted to make great products that tasted great. The upside is that it turns out that they are really healthy and good for you.”
Today, Vadasz believes that kimchi and fermented foods have become popular. “It’s through the door and it’s locked behind it. It’s in the mainstream. We have had a huge increase in consumer awareness.” he told FoodNavigator.
“I think that’s because of people like Tim Spector, whose ZOE project [which aims to understand how food affects the body by analysing gut, blood fat, and blood sugar responses] It’s really driving new research into the associated benefits of the gut microbiome and the relationship with the food you eat.”
While Vadasz serves the mainstream retail market, in Germany, a new food and nutrition company champions holistic nutrition with a particular consumer base in mind.
Ole Schaumberg is CEO and Co-Founder of Just Legends, a start-up serving professional esports players and athletes with snacks and supplements that help support energy levels, as well as sleep and recovery.
“Sleep and recovery was one of the most fascinating topics for us over the last three years since we started the company, because there was no benchmark,” remembered. “Today, when you launch a product, there is always someone who did it before you. But we were the first gaming nutrition brand to address the issue of sleep.”
The company combines magnesium with melatonin and vitamins, as well as other ‘superfoods’ such as ginseng extract and passion flower, to cater to its target market.
“Holistic nutrition really represents the connection of the body, mind and soul. Physical health and mental health are deeply connected.” he told this post. “We create products that are healthy… but we also combine them with functional ingredients and specific B vitamins for the mind. And then great taste and overall customer experience, that’s more for the soul.”