Consumer Strategies To Manage Mental Wellness
20 Dec 2021
The uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic has brought uniquely high levels of pressure and stress for many consumers globally. This has prompted a growing awareness for many consumers to put more emphasis on their mental wellbeing.
The pandemic has had an exhausting impact on consumers, with focus & alertness compromised (1).
Psychological stress is a serious and growing health concern across generations, impacting day-to-day performance. From students feeling the pressure of studies, to overwhelmed mothers combating postnatal depression, fast paced lifestyles to always on social media, and even fluctuating political landscapes, stressors have been building over generations.
The pandemic has accelerated this concern, becoming one of the top five health issues consumers experienced in 20202. Most of the time, psychological stress can negatively impact many aspects of people's overall physical and mental health, such as sleep quality, general mood, and cognitive performance.
Consumers are seeking to improve their mood, lift their energy & mental sharpness.
Pictured below: Percentage of consumers who consider the following “essential/key drivers of purchase” when deciding which products to purchase.3
Percentage of consumers who have tried to improve their mental sharpness and awareness in the last 2 years.4
Consumers are using different strategies to look after their mental wellbeing.
They are seeking ways to manage their stress level by adopting preventive health measures, including imporved sleep patterns, healthy eating and making a conscious effort to relax.3
Improved sleeping patterns
Changes to diet
Making a conscious effort to relax
Consuming products with stress relief claims
With growing scientific evidence that diet is as important to mental wellbeing and stress management as it is to physical health, consumers are looking to stress relieving ingredients and products to reduce stress levels, while improving mood & cognitive performance.
of consumers globally prefer to consume health-enhancing ingredients through food.5
Consumers are increasingly turning away from conventional drugs, with supplements now widely consumed to cope with mental alertness, mood, and stress. In addition, consumers also favour convenient, functional, and fortified foods and drinks formulated with health-enhancing ingredients.
There is room for more food & beverage products that can cater to consumers’ mental wellbeing needs.
Pictured below: Global percentage of total NPDs with the following claims (by category, 2016-2021).
Continuing uncertainty brought about by the pandemic is accelerating the awareness and concern on mental wellbeing. Consumers are feeling stressed and exhausted (mentally and physically) which impacts their focus and alertness. There is a growing need to control and manage these.
Consumers are employing various strategies ranging from improved diets, making conscious efforts to relax, or aiming for better sleep quality to address this issue.
The use of functional, ‘care-oriented’6 foods to help consumers manage mental wellbeing is expected to continue. Few food and beverage brands are tapping into this today. We see more products offering energy boosting benefits, but there is still a lot of room in the market for products that help consumers manage stress, promote relaxation and improve focus and alertness
-  Global Data Consumer Survey Q1 2021
-  nfluence of phosphatidylserine on cognitive performance and cortical activity after induced stress. Baumeister et al, 2008.
-  FMCG Gurus Active Nutrition Survey 2021
-  Mintel GNDP
-  Global Data, 2017
-  Nielsen IQ, How consumers are looking at their physical and mental wellbeing in 2021.