Overall health and wellness is a prevalent food and beverage industry trend, and sleep health has emerged as a significant aspect of the trend. Consumers are looking to address their sleep issues, and consumer packaged goods brands are introducing food and beverage products to meet the needs of those customers. Som Sleep’s entire portfolio is dedicated to sleep health with a focus on getting that aid from a beverage product. Post Consumer Brands recently released a new line of cereal – called Sweet Dreams – that helps support a healthy sleep routine.
“It’s estimated that more than a third of American adults don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis,” said TD Dixon, chief growth officer for Post Consumer Brands.
Growth in the sleep health category has been driven by “[a]n increase in sleep disorders and the risk of various health issues that a lack of sleep has been shown to adversely impact, such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity and dementia,” he added.
As a result of the coronavirus pandemic and more time spent at home, “more people realized the value of sleep and its role in strengthening your immune system, recovery and overall wellbeing,” said Abdul Khan, co-founder and president of Som Sleep. “We expect the sleep health category to continue to grow.”
Sleep health product development
Sweet Dreams’ two varieties – Blueberry Midnight and Honey Moonglow – are made with whole grains and a nighttime blend of herbs as well as vitamins and minerals that promote natural melatonin production in the body. The line was created to aid in healthier sleep as well as meet the demand for consumers’ nighttime food cravings with a delicious and better-for-you product.
“The things people eat before bed can impact their sleep,” said Dixon. “Even though cereal is a popular go-to pre-bed snack, ranking as the second most popular cereal-eating occasion behind breakfast, there really wasn’t a cereal optimized for nighttime.”
He added that consumers are seeking out natural sleep health solutions – like mattresses, pillows, mobile apps and wearables – and food and beverage products are a clear method of supporting sleep in a natural way.
“In the coming years, we expect to see new innovations and technologies continue to drive demand in the sleep health category,” said Dixon.
Som Sleep is a berry-flavored beverage that contains five key ingredients – magnesium, vitamin B6, L-theanine, GABA and melatonin – to support the natural sleep-regulation cycle, to relax the mind to transition to sleep and finally to enable a deep, restorative sleep for the customer.
“This is why we worked with a food scientist for 15 months before we launched so we can get the right mix of both efficacy and taste for Som Sleep,” said Khan.
Khan was inspired to create the brand due to his own sleep troubles a few years ago. He shared that he wanted to address his sleep health needs, but also wanted to ensure that he was doing so safely. Som’s ultimate goal is to continue spreading awareness about the value of sleep health.
“Issues with sleep is one of our biggest epidemics and it needs to be addressed, but addressed health first,” added Khan.
What about supplements?
Dixon reiterated that Post Consumer Brands’ Sweet Dreams line is not meant to be a replacement for sleep aid supplements. The cereal is intended to provide delicious food that can help shoppers create their own healthy sleep habits. The food industry and the supplement industry are under different regulatory rules, so Sweet Dreams does not contain the same ingredients that would be used in a sleep supplement.
“We communicate the benefits by highlighting the ingredients front and center on-pack and calling out which ingredients help support sleep routines,” said Dixon.
Som Sleep, however, does want to be an alternative to medication for the shoppers that want to remain drug-free and avoid potentially habit-forming products.
“Instead of taking pills or products that don’t taste great, you can now enjoy a berry-flavored can of Som Sleep at the end of the day to help you relax and go to sleep,” said Khan.
The simplicity and convenience of having a beverage before bedtime is a major benefit of Som, which can make sleep more enjoyable.
“We drink almost every other function, why not sleep?” Khan asserted.
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