NEW DELHI: According to a report by researcher Mintel released on Monday, the coronavirus pandemic has made healthy living a prime focus for many in India.
According to the results, more than half of Indian consumers said they included essential nutrients (such as proteins and vitamins) in their meals. Around 52% of participants said they consumed more foods and drinks with potentially healthier ingredients (such as brown rice, organic fruits), while 50% said they consumed such ingredients more frequently during the pandemic (2020) than before the pandemic (2019). . About 51% said they would exercise more regularly (fast walking and yoga) at least three times a week in 2020 than in 2019.
Nine out of 20 consumers said they would be actively looking for ways to improve their sleep and reduce stress (practice meditation) in 2020.
For the majority of Indians, physical activity (through jogging, cycling) (57%), eating regularly (55%), and building immunity by preventing colds, etc. define a healthy lifestyle.
Nidhi Sinha, Head of Content, Mintel India Consumer, said the pandemic had increased the need for healthy lifestyles and increased consumer focus on holistic health solutions in nutrition, physical, mental and environmental health. “Brands can tap into consumers’ changing habits and stimulate them to make healthier choices by innovating such as additional functional benefits in food and beverages and cultivating relaxed-minded products based on familiar traditional ingredients,” she said .
Holistic wellbeing is a common goal among Indians today, given the impact the pandemic is having on people’s lives. Consumers today associate healthy sleep with a healthy lifestyle. Food and beverage brands can capitalize on this wellness trend by introducing a variety of sleep-promoting products that help ensure restful, stress-free sleep.
“For consumers focused on boosting immunity, including more than half of women, our research shows that there is an opportunity for brands to position supplements that focus on life needs such as bone health and hormonal problems in women. Additionally, it will help brands reach audiences interested in trying new things.
Approximately 48% of Indian consumers are “influenced health consumers” who are guided by advertising and social media campaigns to live healthier lives. Around 62% state that they ate healthier foods in 2020.
One in five Indians (22%) are “health seekers,” people looking for products and services that fit their way of life and help them lead healthy lifestyles. 35% of these consumers state that they actively reduced the consumption of unhealthy ingredients in their foods in 2020 compared to 2019.
Sinha noted that while “health seekers” believe that physical and mental wellbeing is important, they tend to look for fun and easy ways to achieve their health goals, particularly by consuming foods with added nutritional benefits.
“Grocery brands could innovate with ingredients like millet and flaxseed that add fiber to the diet to improve the health quotient of categories like snacks and baked goods. Including stress relief, emotional wellbeing and paraben or sulfate free claims in categories like bath products, body oils and creams could help this consumer group develop a holistic health regime, “she added.
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