This is part 1 of a 5 part series featuring insights from Symrise North America's Healthy Lifestyles proprietary study of modern functional health trends. Please reach out to us to learn more!

People around the globe have a deep longing to find balance in an unbalanced world. This is one of the main functional health trends identified through new research released by Symrise. This search for balance focuses on functional ingredients that have proven their value over the years.

Ancient ingredients, such as healthy spices, adaptogens, and foods prescribed through Ayurveda teachings, have grown in popularity with food researchers and consumers alike. We’ve recognized this significant trend using a multi-lens approach that started with exploring secondary data, speaking with experts, and surveying customers and manufacturers. All these sources helped identify macro trends, demonstrate change, and pinpoint trends that are of interest to companies.

Then, we took this data to consumers to validate the findings. Symrise researchers discovered an entire landscape of healthy lifestyles to find new relevance across different categories before using the findings to help steer business decisions.

Related: Top Healthy Food and Beverage Trends for 2022

Overall, we determined five innovation platforms, all driving a shift toward healthy food and beverage ingredients. We found a framework for wellbeing, which offered guidance for food innovation. The five platforms are:

  • Back to the future
  • Let food be thy medicine
  • Blurring boundaries
  • Natural power-up
  • Permissible pleasure

In this article, we’ll look more closely at the “Back to the future” platform.  

What Does “Back to the Future” Mean?

Consumers today are looking for pure and sustainable products created with natural ingredients that have survived many generations. These heirloom flavors, ingredients, and methods have been sources of vitality and wellness over the years. 

The concept is less about innovation and more about finding the value of primal products that fight against disease and sickness while improving gut health. These foods work to cleanse the body and reduce inflammation. 

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This trend takes consumers back to a time of ancient knowledge while acknowledging current and future demands. Together, manufacturers and thought leaders can find an approach to long-term health through food and beverages.

Ingredient Spotlight for Holistic Health

Top trending ingredients in this important innovation platform fall into four categories.

1. Therapeutic Spices

These are spices and seeds considered beneficial in fighting off disease. The dominant flavor in this category is ginger, while turmeric is emerging as a new offering.

2. Adaptogens

Adaptogens are ingredients that support the body’s natural ability to deal with physical and mental stress. Ashwagandha is a traditional ingredient in Ayurveda that remains a leading choice, while the powerful Reishi mushroom is a rising favorite. This mushroom has powerful benefits for improving the immune system.

3. Gut Health

Scientists have recently gained a deeper understanding of the importance of the gut microbiome on functional health. Now, we’re seeing a food trend that looks back to old-fashioned remedies for a healthy gut. Miso, a fermented soy product most popular in soup, has remained front and center, while kefir is gaining attention as an innovation.

4. Ayurveda

A sister science to the practice of Yoga, Ayurveda is rooted in ancient Indian wisdom regarding holistic health. It uses spices and seeds considered sacred gifts from Mother Nature. They include ginseng, which is energizing and preventative, as a top flavor. Maca root is emerging as another powerful ingredient for innovative food and beverages.

To learn more about these new innovative platforms, reach out to us today. 

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