5 consumer behaviours that are reshaping food, beverage and supplement innovation

Posted: 2 September 2021 | , | No comments yet

ADM has identified five changes in consumer behaviour which it predicts will last long after the pandemic is over, and will greatly influence the food, drink and supplement sectors.


Sixty percent of consumers worldwide are looking to improve their overall health and wellness over the next year, research from FMCG Gurus has identified. 

We’re also witnessing consumers taking a more proactive approach to managing well-being with functional nutrition, ‘close-to-nature’ ingredients and foods that signal self-care.

Food processing company, ADM, has identified five health and wellness behaviour shifts that are creating opportunities for manufacturers to develop innovative, health-forward foods and beverages that support consumers’ evolving health and wellness needs.

1.      Renewed motivation to improve individual health and wellness

The pandemic has impacted us all in different ways, but an almost universal takeaway is the renewed focus on preventative health and wellness behaviours.

Globally, 76 percent of consumers say they will eat and drink more healthily due to COVID-19, and 41 percent plan to be more physically active.2 Therefore, products designed to optimise physical health and mental wellness at all life stages will likely see a rise in demand.

2.      A holistic approach to managing the mind-body connection

More people are embracing their emotional well-being, as 51 percent of global consumers plan to improve their cognitive and mental health over the next 12 months.1

A desire to keep their physical and mental health in balance is promoting new techniques to manage stress, including exercise, medication and consuming foods which are perceived to have mood-enhancing qualities.

As consumers return to more active lifestyles, convenient products with functional ingredients that boost energy, enhance cognitive performance and regulate mood will gain further prominence.

3.      Tailored nutrition supports personal health and wellness goals

Nearly two-thirds of consumers around the world are interested in foods and beverages that are tailored to meet their individual nutrition needs.1

A greater understanding of how diet can influence health is encouraging more people to choose wholesome, nutrient-dense ingredients in home-cooked and prepared meals, with particular focus on fibre and protein.

ADM suggests that brands focus on innovative flavours and convenience to help people stay motivated in the kitchen.

4.      A proactive perspective on immunity

With 65 percent of global consumers more concerned about immunity since COVID-19,2 people are shifting from a defensive approach against illness to one that’s more proactive and holistic.

Consumers are looking for ways to incorporate immune function-supporting solutions, such as probiotics and vitamin C and D, into their daily lives. Products with functional ingredients that support a healthy immune system will increasingly attract consumer attention.

5.      Purposeful indulgence is the new permissible indulgence

During the pandemic, many people gave themselves permission to consume indulgent food and beverages as a form of self-care. In fact, 56 percent have purchased comfort food regularly as a result of COVID-19.3

Consumers are recognising that as long as these remain purposeful rather than impulsive choices, indulgence has a role in a positive relationship with food.

As such, ADM is anticipating more opportunities for functional snacks, confectionery and beverages that still deliver on flavour.


Consumer focus on sustaining health and wellness through nutrition may likely become a longstanding behavioural change, even after the pandemic ends, according to ADM. 

“Health and wellness remain at the forefront of the global conversation,” confirmed June Lin, vice president, Global Marketing, Health & Wellness at ADM. “The pandemic has transformed how consumers perceive holistic health and wellbeing. It’s impacting how we live and increasing the importance of the foods, beverages and supplements we choose, presenting new opportunities for our industry to meet their needs.”


  1. FMCG Gurus, The Growth of Personalized Nutrition, July 2020
  2. FMCG Gurus, How Has COVID-19 Changed Consumer Behavior, March 2021
  3. FMCG Gurus, Top Ten Trends for 2021, January 2021

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