Beyond physical health, the future of food is also set to be transformed by a consumer desire for ultimate cognitive functioning – or Cognition Nutrition, as we’ve termed it. As Tastewise’s Food for Function report states, 37% of consumers now use food as a functional tool to reach their mental health goals, reflecting how demand for food and drinks that are designed to do things such as elevate mood, sustain energy and reduce stress will grow.
As Savannah Scott, creative foresight analyst and food and drink expert at The Future Laboratory, says: ‘People are adopting new dietary solutions in order to combat wellness issues such as sleep, anxiety and mental focus. This represents a new phase for functional foods, with the pandemic driving demand for products that support mental health and resilience.’
By 2025, a focus on cognitive function and balance will lead to a prioritisation of ingredients such as maca root – an established brain food – along with mood-enhancing botanicals, hemp extract, adaptogens and CBD-infused options.
‘The food-as-medicine movement is being reshaped to fit modern lifestyles,’ says The Future Laboratory co-founder Chris Sanderson. ‘Rising ingredients like adaptogens will enable brands to balance flavour and function in order to shape our physical and psychological states.’
While these approaches differ in terms of foods prioritised, they all share in common one thing: that food is now being used as a tool to deliver personal and planetary transformation. With the cost of living crisis and global food shortages threatening to derail the speed at which this future is realised, the challenge now is for brands help consumers overcome these barriers and ensure the food they eat can make an impact far beyond their plates.
Our bespoke foresight reports are a compelling resource that provide insights to your company internally and help you carve out a distinct viewpoint externally.
Our foresight reports are a compelling resource that provide insights to your company internally and help you carve out a distinct viewpoint internally or externally. They can be tailored through the lens of your company to explore a range of topics including the future of food.
You can also join us at our Food & Drink Futures 2022 online event on 2 December, where we’ll be exploring the cultural rituals, flavour profiles and bio-hacks that are set to propel the food and drink market in unexpected directions over the coming decade.