How do millennials feed their growing interest in health and wellness? A new Food Trends Report analysing Google Search data, discovered a significant rise of “functional foods”.
Today’s dinner table looks quite different than it did just 10 years ago. For one, there’s likely a smartphone next to the fork. And on each plate, there might be a different meal—mom’s paleo, dad’s vegan, the kids’ gluten- and nut-free. At first glance, you might think these changes are unrelated. And you might bemoan what’s become of the family dinner. But it could be that, thanks to the technology at our fingertips, people are actually much more thoughtful about what they feed themselves and their loved ones.
Fueling interest in health and wellness with digital “To eat healthy, you have to pay a lot of attention,” says Dr. Frank Lipman, the founder of Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in Manhattan. And people are, especially millennials, he contends. “They are 10 times more aware than my generation,” says Lipman, and are “much more interested in staying healthy and eating healthy.”
Perhaps this growing “obsession with health,” as food and restaurant consultant Michael Whiteman puts it, is in part due to the fact that people are living longer, and want their extra years to be healthy ones. (As the saying goes “If I knew I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.”) But both he and Lipman point to digital as a major catalyst for our growing health food fixation. “There’s no question it’s coming from the web,” says Lipman.
On the Food Trend Report
With every query typed into a search bar, we are given a glimpse into user considerations or intentions. By compiling top searches, we are able to render a strong representation of the United States’ population and gain insight into this population’s behavior.
Consumers are increasingly turning to food to fill needs beyond hunger or cravings. They want to be educated on the impact of each ingredient on one’s body, and how to optimize their diet in order to look and feel their best.
While they may be more aware of the added benefits that certain ingredients are said to provide, they are going online to educate themselves on how to consume these functional ingredients. This behavior is more likely to occur during the beginning of the week, when consumers are perhaps most motivated to reboot and optimize their lifestyle habits.
> Traveling Through Taste
People are turning to food to experience new cultures—whether they’re eating the dishes themselves or watching others.
While there’s a big appetite to create these dishes at home, global cuisines may be tough to make at home. Consumers turn to the professionals for help and seek restaurants “near me” to satisfy their cravings.
> Seeking More Personalized Food Formats
Consumers are looking for snacks that fit into a healthy, convenient lifestyle. Whether it’s for portion control or convenience, they’re looking to indulge in bite sizes. While flavor has always been important for snacking, consumers are now also
prioritizing dietary restrictions and health benefits. Just as snacks come in a variety of flavors for personal tastes, consumers are also demanding that they come in a variety of dietary restrictions to fit their personal needs.
> Food With a Function
Functional Food is a Natural or processed food that contains known biologically-active compounds which when in defined quantitative and qualitative amounts provides a clinically proven and documented health benefit, and thus, an important source in the prevention, management and treatment of chronic diseases of the modern age. Among the top trending functional foods we discovered turmeric, honey, kefir, avocado oil, cardamon pods, ground ginger, cinnamon.