A survey conducted on behalf of ingredients supplier BENEO with 5,000 consumers across Spain, France, Germany, Poland and the UK found that improving mental wellbeing, overall mood and physical energy levels were some of the most important health aspects that gained momentum as a result of the pandemic.
According to BENEO’s research, almost 1 in 3 consumers in Europe have been juggling with feeling tired and a lack of energy during the pandemic.
In order to improve energy levels, half of those surveyed said that they have been looking to food and drink products to help them make it through the day. This figure rises even more among younger adults (18–34-year-olds), with 8 out of 10 young European consumers seeking out energy-boosting products (increasing to 85% in the UK).
The demands of parenting during a pandemic have also left their mark, with 7 out of 10 European consumers with children saying they have turned to food and drink to boost their energy levels (growing to 82% in the UK).
Diet and health
As well as fatigue being an increasing issue, the pandemic has also made people more aware of the fragility of health and the need to look after themselves. More than ever before, consumers are making the link between their diet and their health, with 63% making an increased effort to eat and drink healthier in the future because of the pandemic. Also, staying fit and active and having a balanced diet have been major concerns during the pandemic and 2 in 3 consumers now see a healthy diet as key to controlling their future health.
A common way of boosting energy is via energy drinks, which have a wide appeal - being consumed by parents, young adults and gamers to name but a few.
Taking into consideration the research, many consumers are looking for products in these categories with healthier attributes, more natural ingredients or benefits of sustained energy. At the same time, awareness is growing among consumers that some types of sugar are healthier than others.
Blood sugar levels
Today, 1 in 2 consumers see sugars or carbohydrates that have a lower impact on blood sugar levels as enticing. Alternatives such as BENEO’s alternative sugar ingredient, Palatinose, appealing as it also supports a healthier lifestyle and provides sustained energy.
Researches said this fact makes a compelling argument for the continued development of healthy alternative energy boosting products.
Myriam Snaet, Head of Market Intelligence and Consumer Insights at BENEO said: “This survey quantifies the trend we have been seeing played out throughout the pandemic. The safeguarding of mental health and physical energy has now become key to European consumers. This higher interest in health and nutrition also links itself to an increased focus on preventative health, where blood sugar management can play a role.
“What is particularly interesting about this study is the significant size and diversity of the target group that is more interested in claims relating to balanced blood sugar levels. With such a broad appeal for healthy lifestyles, manufacturers who incorporate the balanced sugar, Palatinose, into their products will be well set to make the most of this trend both today and in a post-pandemic world.”