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With an aging population globally, consumers are increasingly looking for solutions that help them to live their lives to the fullest while maintaining high levels of health and wellness regardless of their age.

While 7 out of 10 global consumers in an Innova Consumer Survey said that they had made changes over the past year to improve their health, these changes were not just for physical health, with consumers balancing physical, mental, and emotional aspects. Changes to improve physical wellbeing continued to lead, with 53 % of respondents saying that they had made a change. However, numbers were also significant for consumers saying that they had taken steps to improve mental health and emotional wellbeing (44 % of respondents) and for consumers saying that they had sought more spiritual time (32 % of respondents).

As a result, nutrition that supports both physical and emotional wellbeing is thriving and can target the needs and preferences of different generations with more specific holistic approaches to help identify opportunities and optimize innovation.

Being aged 60+ continues to be redefined, as this age group strives to remain healthier and more active while potentially working until later in their lives than previous generations out of choice or necessity. Future seniors, however, will come from Generation X and Millennials, raised in a different era to the Silent Generation and Boomers who make up the over 60s of today.

Innova’s 2019 research study indicates that 76 % of consumers aged between 26 and 55 years agreed that healthy aging started with what they ate and drank, while 56 % said that they had increased their consumption of functional foods/drinks over the previous year.

Healthy aging claims are starting to appear more regularly on food products and beverages as younger generations prefer functional food & beverages to classic supplement formats. Global research by Innova Market Insights indicates that while 29.7 % of over 55s cited tablets and 26 % cited capsules as their preferred form of intake for supplements in 2019, among those aged 26 to 35 years, nearly 30 % preferred supplements in the form of food products and 27.7 % as beverages, falling slightly to 22.1 % and 25 %, respectively, for those aged 36 to 45.

This presents opportunities to redefine supplements and how they are used, while we are also seeing blurring boundaries between supplements and food/drinks.

It is clear that products with active health claims are increasingly featuring in the marketplace to cater to a variety of needs. Food and beverage launches with active health claims tracked by Innova Market Insights are seeing a growth of +11 % (Global, 2018 vs. 2019). There is a particular focus on healthy aging or aging well, both for seniors and for younger demographics who already engaging with preventative care.

Joint health, energy/alertness, immune health, and bone health are some of the fastest-growing active health claims for global food and beverage launches in recent years as links between particular nutrients and health benefits are increasingly made.

Brain health is another area of growing interest, particularly in terms of aging well, while targeting physical appearance via nutrition and diet is also seeing rapidly rising levels of interest.

On 7th September 2020 at 13:30 BST, Myrthe de Beukelaar, Market Analyst at Innova Market Insights, will present Health & Happiness: a Holistic Approach to Healthy Aging webinar as part of Vitafoods Virtual Expo event. Join Myrthe to learn more about how consumers are increasingly looking for solutions to live their life to the fullest. Register here.