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Demand for convenient, functional foods and beverages continues to grow

Demand for convenient, functional foods and beverages continues to grow
(Image credit: Image: Bulletproof )

This post is sponsored by Bulletproof.

Consumer interest in functional foods and beverages has been steadily rising, and an increased focus on health and wellness amid the pandemic is giving the trend an extra boost. In addition to existing fitness and weight loss goals, consumers are also concerned about improving their overall health and managing stress and anxiety.

Weight control is still a key goal for many US consumers, with 46% of consumers citing weight loss/management as one of their strongest motivators for living a healthy lifestyle, according to a Datassential report. Sleep management (43%), increasing energy (40%) and preventing illness (37%) are also strong motivators, the survey found.

Consumers look to boost health with food and beverages

To achieve these goals, many people are taking stock of their diets. About four out of 10 consumers (44%) say they have been eating healthier since the pandemic began, and 39% say they have been taking more vitamins or supplements

A report from the Hartman Group produced similar findings, with nearly a third of consumers surveyed saying they’re consuming more supplements (31%), functional foods or functional beverages (29%) this year.

“The pandemic has further heightened consumers’ concerns about health and wellness, including supporting their immunity, sleep and daily energy needs,” said Tara Staten, marketing director of innovation at Bulletproof. She said the brand, initially known for its coffee, “is uniquely positioned to help people address those concerns because it has always been focused on helping people unleash their potential regardless of what’s going on in the world.”

Bulletproof’s trademark coffee recipe combines brewed 100% Arabica coffee and grass-fed butter with the brand’s Brain Octane C8 MCT Oil and collagen protein for a beverage with functional benefits that include sustained energy levels, increased fat burning and support for bones, muscles and joints.

To address the growing demand for functional food and beverage options, Bulletproof recently expanded its product portfolio with chocolate dipped collagen bars and a line of canned cold brew lattes that put its core functional ingredients into ready-to-consume formats.

“They add versatility to the product line, especially if you want a quick snack or don’t have time to make a hot Bulletproof Coffee,” Staten said.

Convenience is key

Products that emphasize convenience are especially well positioned to appeal to consumers amid the pandemic, as many people find themselves needing to prepare more meals at home. 

Ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee is a convenient option for people who have had to give up their coffee shop habit while sheltering in place. In fact, the retail coffee market is set to grow by 4.9% this year, according to Mintel. Packaged coffee products are especially popular with younger consumers, and 46% of Generation Z consumers drink RTD coffee.

Function meets flavor

Another key factor in the appeal of functional products is taste, which remains a top priority for consumers even when they’re eating healthy. The Bulletproof Cold Brew Latte appeals to a variety of flavor preferences with original, dark chocolate and vanilla varieties, while the Bulletproof Chocolate Dipped Collagen Bars are available in double chocolate, vanilla cookie and coconut flavors. These product lines align with what consumers are looking for by offering flavor-forward, convenient products that deliver functional benefits from collagen protein and MCT oil.

“The great thing about Bulletproof products is that in addition to having awesome macros and game-changing ingredients, they also taste amazing,” Staten said. “That means they can sit in a traditional category in-store and still deliver. That said, retailers can also cross-merchandise with the broader Bulletproof product portfolio to drive consumer understanding of specific ingredients and their functions.”

Learn more about the benefits of Bulletproof.