Concept Card: Phospholipid Latte
Concept Card: Phospholipid & Protein Powder
Concept Card: Crispy Protein Granola Bar
Concept Card: Protein & Phospholipid Shake
Concept Card: Probiotics Supplement Capsules
In the first year of the pandemic it resulted in a 25% increase in the prevalence of anxiety and depression, due to social isolation and fear of infection and death.
Despite most parts of the world embarking on recovery, ongoing global issues such as economic and political conflicts, climate change and public health emergencies are threatening progress towards improved wellbeing. This World Mental Health Day, the spotlight is on Making Mental Health & Well-Being for All a Global Priority. As calls to deepen the value and commitment given to mental health gain momentum, we take a look at the global landscape to identify what can be done to protect our wellbeing against pertinent triggers.
Drastic changes caused by COVID-19 have put significant pressure on consumers’ mental wellbeing. At the same time, it has also prompted them to examine their worsening mental state more closely. According to Nutiani’s Global Consumer Wellness Research¹, 89% of consumers believe that their mental health is connected to other aspects of wellbeing, giving them more reason to adopt a proactive approach.
While markets like the US shift their focus to managing the long-term psychological consequences of the pandemic, Chinese consumers are still facing uncertainty due to the country’s zero-COVID policy. As authorities continue to adopt strict measures such as lockdowns and mass testing where new cases are found, anger and public unhappiness have grown in tangent.
Shanghai, which experienced a citywide lockdown for two months, reported a significantly higher proportion of people (62% vs 40% of total) who were moderately or extremely worried that the outbreak may impact their personal life². Such uncertainty has spurred a desire to feel in control and safe, as consumers seek out security in other aspects of their lives.
Beyond the pandemic, sleep is commonly perceived as a risk factor for mental health. Bad sleep is seen as the biggest driver of stress by 45% of consumers, rated above other top stressors including money and work or school. Stress is well documented as triggering insomnia, resulting in a vicious cycle that consumers struggle to resolve.
Consumers are increasingly recognising the need to manage sleep for holistic health, which topped the list of prioritised wellbeing aspects in Nutiani’s Global Consumer Wellness Research. The importance placed on sleep is particularly evident in Asia and the US. Notably, Japan has the shortest average sleep in the world³, and consumers generally feel dissatisfied with their quality of rest such as feeling unrefreshed upon waking up in the morning and fatigue during the day⁴.
Similarly in China, almost half of respondents surveyed by Mintel have experienced sleep disorder symptoms, demonstrating how significantly it is impacting the quality of life across markets. Improving sleep is therefore a key opportunity in the wellbeing nutrition market. Furthermore, results from our LinkedIn poll found maintaining a balanced diet and improving sleep as the most effective measures for managing mental health.
While innovation in the sleep management space has traditionally been dominated by tea and herbal products, particularly in Asia where natural remedies are preferred, there is a growing trend of nutritional and meal replacement beverages featuring science-backed sleep-stress functions, such as phospholipids. Phospholipids are the building blocks of the brain and cognitive functions, which emerging scientific studies show help manage stress, by helping us stay focused and positive under pressure⁵.
Consumers with varying demographic characteristics and at different life stages naturally face distinct areas of stress. It is important to understand how these factors impact the state of an individual’s mental health to identify the needed solutions.
Research has found that young people are particularly affected by mental health issues. In the US, around 20% of consumers aged between 18 and 24 label their mental health as poor⁶. Similarly in China, young working professionals experience the highest percentage of anxiety⁷, stemming from stress at work and employment concerns.
From a gender perspective, men and women tend to react differently to stress, resulting in varying states of mental health. Between 1999 and 2019, the prevalence of mental health disorders in women grew in higher proportion than it did for men⁸. While there are many factors at play, an increased incidence of physical side effects from stress such as skin issues, is a significant driver of mental strain among women5.
Did you know? Nutiani’s unique probiotic strains, HN001™ and HN019™, are scientifically proven (across both animal and human research) to provide consumers with digestive health benefits including improving gut integrity and barrier function
At the heart of the relationship between mental wellbeing and physical appearance is our gut health. The discovery of the gut-brain connection led to a better understanding of how gut microbiome influences mental health and a new concept has since emerged – the gut-brain-skin axis⁹. It suggests an interconnected relationship which results in our brain and skin tissues being impacted by what we eat. By incorporating ingredients clinically proven to support gut health, brands have the opportunity to support both mental wellbeing and beauty from within.
Our emotional and mental state of mind are at the heart of holistic wellbeing. Nutrition can play a powerful role in mental health and making small changes, and incorporating functional foods in our daily diets can have a long-lasting impact on the overall quality of our lives.
With consumers at the heart of our innovations, Nutiani is driven by the restless pursuit of nutrition’s potential to help people achieve their best. When you partner with us, you get access to a range of ingredients clinically proven to support mental wellbeing, innovative food and beverage solutions and expert services, designed to help you create winning products to enhance consumers’ wellbeing.
Connect with one of our experts to discover how we can support the development of food and beverage products that support mental wellbeing, from concept to consumer.