Michelle Teodoro
Michelle is Mintel's Global Food Science Analyst based in Singapore. She specialises in food science and ingredients, with a focus on nutrition.

The rate of depression and anxiety among Asia’s teens is increasing. Mintel research reveals that almost half of Chinese consumers aged 16-19 are worried about their studies and their future after school, respectively. The fast pace and mounting worries of life are impacting the mental health of young Asians.

This is opening up opportunities for companies and brands to tap into this consumer segment with products that can help combat stress levels.

Tapping into teens’ hobbies and interests

A high proportion of Chinese male teens claim that they tend to spend their time playing online games and doing sports to release stress and relax. There are opportunities for companies to explore in this area, specifically as it points to a promising future for the sports and energy drink market.

Manufacturers can support and appeal to teens’ interests without compromising health and nutrition by launching functional products that are themed around gaming and sports.

Kwangdong Pharmaceutical Low Calorie HP and MP Soft Drinks, South Korea
This range of soft drinks features the popular League of Legends Game Champions Korea logo. Part of a campaign to reduce sugar consumption among young South Koreans, some of the ingredients found in these drinks are known to either support neurological development or have relaxing and rejuvenating effects.

Bolstering teens’ academic journey with cognitive health products

Stress in school is commonplace across Asia. Products that help achieve academic goals have the potential to appeal to Asian teens, such as providing hydration or boosting cognitive and memory function. Inclusion of brain-boosting natural ingredients and nutrients could create a robust cognitive health product for teens, such as through the use of adaptogenic and nootropic ingredients.

Booster C Mango Berry Flavoured Energy Shot Genius, Philippines
This drink is described as a crash-free shot formulated with L-Theanine to help improve concentration and focus, and Bacopa monnieri which is said to aid in improving memory and long-term recall abilities.

What we think

Manufacturer, companies and brands can position functional products for teens with energy boosting claims to help them excel at their hobbies, such as online gaming and sports. To reduce academic stress and bolster their mental development, cognitive health claims could be a great avenue to be explored.