ANAHEIM, CALIF. — The health and wellness trend has gone beyond nutrition and fad diets to encompass the whole person, reported IDDBA at its annual convention held June 4-6 in Anaheim, Calif. The organization laid out the top five trends it has seen shaping the supermarket perimeter in 2023: Whole health, heart and self; consumer-defined convenience; worth the value; ESG; and technology and innovation. The expansion of health and wellness combines nutrition and portion control with the importance of mental health.
“Healthy combines both physical health and emotional well-being,” said Heart Prach, vice president of education, IDDBA, during the What’s In Store presentation. “Consumers are more educated about nutrition and physical health than ever before, and they want to know what they’re putting in their bodies. It’s no longer taboo to talk about mental health or the overall pursuit of happiness.”
Keynote speaker Alton Brown echoed the sentiment noting that during the pandemic more people went to therapy than ever before and mental and emotional health has become more ubiquitous in the way we think about health. He pointed to a type of consumer he called neo-splurgers: people who don’t eat junk food but splurge on quality. These shoppers look for escalation and permission and are driven by a sense of discovery.
“Healthy is huge, but now the reward we give ourselves through food is also considered healthy because it makes us happy, and happiness is a part of health now,” he said.
Rick Stein, vice president of fresh foods, FMI, noted that this creates an opportunity for the in-store bakery to move away from buzzwords like low carb and talk about portion size and emotional health on the indulgent side of the bakery category. When asking consumers about their “eating approach” — renamed because consumers shy away from the term “diet” — the second highest eating approach behind heart health was “my own personal diet.” Consumers are pursuing a personalized approach to nutrition.
IDDBA found that consumers are now label readers, which offers a lot of opportunities for products to call out their nutrition content and ESG messaging on the front of packaging. In fact, 63% of consumers want basic nutrition on the front of packaging. Retailers could see success gaining shopper attention by calling out healthy foods and specifically why they are healthy.