Health and wellbeing, a growing trend for many years, has now been accelerated by the pandemic, especially in the food and drink industry. Consumers are looking for nutritional benefits in their everyday diets as Covid-19 has created concerns about physical health including weight and immunity. In addition to this, the pandemic and consequent lockdowns have created a national focus and growing awareness of mental health, including the importance of sleep. The Levercliff Tracking Survey shows that 31% of consumers have goals to reduce stress and anxiety.
There has been a large increase in anxiety-related sleep problems due to the stress of the pandemic, changing routines and a large amount of uncertainty for most of the population. While many reports state that the pandemic has allowed consumers to sleep more, the quality has been worse, meaning that a need for energy has remained at the forefront of consumer needs. 55% of consumers state that they are interested in products that can fulfil this requirement (more than any other wellness benefit), while 47% are looking for calming or sleep-inducing qualities (Lumina Intelligence).
With 55% of people looking for natural ingredients when buying wellness drinks (Lumina Intelligence), it is clear that there is a group of consumers that are interested in products which are both natural and have health benefits.
The natural energy drink market is growing with NPD and innovation. Featuring brands such as Tenzing and Purdey’s, the category focuses on healthy lifestyles with added vitamins and minerals, vegan products, and sustainability.
This highlights an opportunity for a range of drinks that have calming/sleep inducing properties which large tea brands such as Twining’s, Pukka and Tick Tock have taken note of in their wellbeing ranges. Twining’s Superblends features a range of herbal tea blended with natural ingredients, vitamins, and minerals for various benefits. Among these is SLEEP containing spices apple, vanilla, camomile and passionflower and CALM containing spiced camomile, vanilla, chicory root and niacin. The range is packaged in white boxes with floral drawing and fruit pictured, emphasising their benefits with clear and to the point product names.
Similarly, Pukka boasts their natural and organic ingredients and consumer benefits by naming products with words such as revitalise, peace, relax and nighttime, while Tick Tock’s wellness range features Bounce, Balance and Bedtime.
These brands must be careful about the claims they make so use descriptive, to the point names due to difficulties with regulations and medical declarations for food and drink in the EU. As well as clever naming, wellness ranges focus on the benefits of key ingredients, rather than the product itself.
Medical claims are a difficult legal battle with regulations and authorisation. This is an important factor to remember for new products or companies hoping to enter the energy or sleep categories, especially when focusing on natural benefits.
As well as testing the product and ensuring claims are legal and authorised, new products must build credibility with the consumer by demonstrating their expertise through marketing and associations. Distribution, packaging, and promotion focusing on the target market will aid with this. Marketing is important in the wellness category to ensure that your target consumer understands clearly the health benefits and trusts that your product can deliver.
The product must also be able to deliver on taste, feature an appropriate format and be priced affordably for the target market. Younger consumers are willing to pay at least 10% more for additional wellness qualities in products while mothers, key workers and minority backgrounds have suffered most from Covid-19 related sleep problems (Lumina Intelligence/The Grocer – Wide Awake).
As the country reopens, the daily commute returns and life becomes, subjectively, more stressful, this focus on sleep and energy is unlikely to disappear creating an opportunity for more calming sleep remedies to enable the UK population to get the quality sleep it needs.