Mintel’s APAC Food and Drink Landscape 2023 spotlights senior nutrition, brain health and guilt-free indulgence

August 24, 2023

Mintel releases its annual APAC Food and Drink Landscape report, exploring key consumer needs and opportunities for brands across three distinct areas: ageing consumers, brain health benefits, and indulgence.

Silver Economy: Catering to an ageing population

Nutrition is a key focus area among adults aged 55+. The report discusses how consumers’ desire for overall health creates avenues for brands to introduce diverse products tailored to the specific health and nutrition requirements of seniors.

The COVID-19 pandemic has further underscored the significance of health for seniors, with 46% of Chinese consumers aged 50-59 agreeing that health-specific products contribute to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, according to Mintel research.

However, data from Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD) shows that less than one per cent of global food, drink and vitamins, minerals and supplements (VMS) launches between October 2017 and September 2022 hold a senior claim.

Brands can support seniors’ holistic health by incorporating key botanicals and nutrients such as lutein and folic acid. Mintel suggests brands can highlight ingredients that support specific benefits like beauty, urinary tract health and circulatory health.

Staying Sharp: Focus, energy and brain health

Another window of opportunity for food and drink brands highlighted in the new report is brain health. Products containing B vitamins, choline, adaptogens, and natural caffeine can enhance focus, clarity and support brain health. Mintel research reveals four key ingredients for ‘Staying Sharp’: alternative caffeine, B vitamins, adaptogens, and choline.

While coffee and tea are natural sources of caffeine, their use as an added ingredient is often synthetic. Brands have the opportunity to educate consumers about less conventional sources of caffeine. B vitamins, encompassing B1 to B12, can be positioned as familiar and safe nutrients for mood and cognitive health, supporting metabolism and energy production.

Adaptogens are botanical substances that restore balance and manage physical and mental stress. Among the notable adaptogens to watch are ashwagandha, holy basil, schisandra, and brahmi. Choline, an essential nutrient with under-discussed benefits, supports positive outcomes at all life stages.

Brands also have the opportunity to attract parents with kids who don’t drink enough water by leveraging traditional trusted nutrients to boost their child’s brain performance. In Thailand, over half of parents are willing to pay more for packaged drinks with added Thai herbal ingredients that improve cognitive function, according to Mintel research. Such claims must, however, be substantiated with scientific proof.

Unguilty Pleasures: Ushering a new level of indulgence

Mintel’s 2023 Food and Drink Trend Unguilty Pleasures looks at how brands can support consumers to indulge in the enjoyment that food and drink delivers without feeling guilty about the experience. In the carbonated soft drinks category, brands can engage new consumers and broaden consumption occasions by evoking comforting flavours reminiscent of childhood treats like candy or ice cream. Incorporating traditional sugar confectionery flavours can also appeal to younger consumers who are proud of their culture.

Lastly, Gen Z’s nighttime snacking habits offer another avenue for food and drink brands. By understanding these habits, brands can offer products that provide comfort and satiate hunger pangs. In the US, almost three in five Gen Z snackers snack to relax, while two in five say they snack to relieve stress. Salty snack brands can explore adding adaptogenic ingredients that help consumers relax in preparation for a good night’s sleep.

For additional information on Mintel’s APAC Food and Drink Landscape 2023 or to schedule an interview with Mintel experts, please contact the Mintel Press Office.

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