Permissible Indulgence: Healthy Alternatives to Feel-Good Foods

Healthy food and beverage ingredients offer a way for people to find balance and improve their functional health in an otherwise chaotic world. This is one of the top practical health trends we discovered in the Symrise research we recently released. 

By exploring secondary data, speaking with experts, and surveying customers and manufacturers, we’ve uncovered a trend toward using a holistic understanding of health to treat underlying conditions and achieve balance. 

Based on this research, we’ve uncovered five innovation platforms where companies can thrive by providing healthy foods to their consumers. Whether you specialize in plant-based ingredients, adaptogens, or immune-boosting ingredients, you can find your place within these innovation platforms. Our five platforms include: 

  • Back to the Future
  • Let Food Be Thy Medicine
  • Blurring Boundaries
  • Natural Power-Up
  • Permissible Indulgence

Today, we’re going to take a closer look at the concept of Permissible Indulgence.

Want to learn more about functional Health Trends, reach out to us today. 

About Permissible Indulgence

Consumers want to be healthy, but that doesn’t mean that they’re ready to give up on great tastes and experiences. The Permissible Indulgence innovation platform is all about finding healthy snacks and fast foods that satiate cravings without compromising the quality ingredients consumers expect. 

The core idea is to find ways to make healthy foods interesting and exciting. This may involve mimicking common, feel-good foods using healthy, plant-based ingredients, or coming up with entirely new recipes that hit those feel-good taste receptors and keep consumers coming back for more. 

Functional Ingredients to Feature for Permissible Indulgence

When creating foods for permissible indulgence, the key is to focus on both the taste and the high-quality, healthy ingredients used. There are there major categories of features worth spotlighting in regards to permissible indulgence: 

  • Flavoring Facades: Tinctures like hemp oils and hibiscus can mask the unpalatable flavor palettes of many healthy foods and elevate those foods into something genuinely appealing. 
  • Healthy Sweeteners: Natural sweeteners like maple syrup and coconut sugar bolster the taste of healthy foods without any of the guilt that comes with unnatural sweeteners like glucose or sucralose. 
  • Plant-Based Proteins: As meat sources continue to be a hot topic, especially among younger generations concerned for both their health and the environment, plant-based protein sources are becoming increasingly popular. Jackfruit is a popular choice to create the intersection between health, sustainability, and experience, while seitan is emerging as a newly-exciting alternative. 

Related: Trend of the Year: Plant-Based Foods

Holistic Health Market Examples

Some of the best market examples of how to use these ingredients include offering healthy, plant-based fast food options and nutrient-rich snacks packed with flavor. Right now, it’s on-trend to make pulled jackfruit sandwiches in place of pulled pork sandwiches. The jackfruit can recreate that fleshy mouth-feel, while BBQ sauces made from maple syrup and coconut sugars can help sell the nutrient-packed food. 

Another option that we’re seeing a lot is the use of plant-based ingredients to recreate the texture of carbohydrates without the empty calories. 

Finally, non-alcoholic beverages, such as kombucha beer, are emerging as a new trend. These beverages can allow consumers to engage in a socially-acceptable way while actually feeling better at the end of the night, not worse. 

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