Innovation

How To Win In Functional Food & Drink

Imagine a world where a chocolate bar helped you get a good night’s sleep or a cup of tea helped stave off dementia. No longer the stuff of fantasy, that’s the future functional food and drink is creating for us. As a market forecast to be worth €250billion by 2023[1], there’s an abundance of innovation opportunities for proactive food and drink producers, or indeed pharma producers.

jump! partnered with Bord Bia – The Irish Food Board - to identify high potential global innovation opportunities in Functional Food & Drink over the next five years. We interviewed global experts and conducted primary qual and quant research in Ireland, the US, the UK and Australia, along with in-depth secondary research analysis.

We define functional food and drink as “Any food or drink with an additional benefit – typically health promoting, disease preventing or illness managing – by adding new ingredients and nutrients or more of an existing ingredient and nutrient”.

This is the sweet spot; where the rigour of science and the goodness of nature collide to create products which help address some major health and wellness issues. Integrating functional foods or drinks into existing everyday rituals is far more attractive to most people than relying on synthetic pharmaceuticals.

We identified four key areas of focus for functional food and drink innovation – Brain, Spirit, Gut and Body.

Across these four areas, we created eight innovation platforms – these are inspiring start-points for purposeful innovation, rooted in rising consumer needs and cultural shifts.

Rejuvenation, for example under Spirit Health, is about lack of sleep or poor quality sleep. More and more people are struggling to cope with ‘turning-off’ an ‘always-on’ mindset; aggravated by the infiltration of technology in the bedroom. As this issue grows, people are seeking new ways to wake up feeling refreshed.

Functional products can play a valuable role by blending ingredients that are scientifically proven to aid sleep such as melatonin and CBD with natural remedies like valerian root and magnolia bark to create products that help people sleep faster, deeper and longer. There’s also a growing interest in products which promote ‘lucid dreaming’ and how it can improve happiness, creativity and mood generally.

From helping people improve their intellectual performance, to skin-brightening or nourishing the second-brain, opportunities for food and drink manufacturers are far-reaching. All eight platforms are predicted to thrive within the next 5 years among consumers in Ireland, the UK, Australia and the US. People are ready to embrace the power of science and nature.

To see how you could win tomorrow in functional food and drink, download the full report for free on the Bord Bia site.

[1] Euromonitor, Functional Market Forecast 2018