Mental health in the spotlight

COVID-19 has increased awareness of mental health, with nearly half (46%) believing that their mental wellbeing has been impacted by the pandemic. Many are modifying their behaviour to help compensate. To that end, as we have seen, consumers are creating new routines and rituals, often including new consumption occasions for comfort and to maintain energy. They are planning more as a means of taking control: 42% saying they are planning meals in advance more than pre-pandemic, while 45% say they are decluttering, organising and planning more generally. Mental health is at the core of future wellbeing, with many consumers and brands recognising that it is part and parcel of physical health.

Opportunity – Self-rewarding indulgence

Related to snacking, particularly as a form of comfort, there is a return to using food and beverages as a simple reward, with nearly a third (31%) saying they are “enjoying little food treats without guilt” more than pre-pandemic. This is likely to continue as an affordable indulgence in a time of ongoing financial uncertainty.

There are chances for products that deliver on this appetite for indulgence, such as through premiumness, visual appeal or by creating new rituals or special consumption occasions, including “time for myself”. There is a clear consumer tension between the trends for healthy eating and self-rewarding indulgence to compensate for down moments – essentially, between physical and mental health – providing an opportunity for brands that can resolve it.

Case study – Dimes, Turkey

Three smoothie packages

Dimes’ recently launched smoothies, with 100% juice content, are positioned as a great-tasting, convenient and healthy snack or meal replacement, notably for breakfast. “We all know we need to eat more fruits and vegetables, and get more antioxidants, vitamins and minerals into our diet,” says Dimes’ Marketing Director, Duygu Süleymanoğlu. “A good smoothie has all of that.”

The smoothies are available in three different flavours – banana/strawberry/apple (red), pineapple/banana/coconut/apple (yellow) and raspberry/strawberry/mulberry/apple (purple) – and packaged in Tetra Prisma® Aseptic 330 Square carton packages and 250ml bottles. The new smoothies are formulated to offer a dense texture, as well as a refreshing taste, to meet the need for a satisfying consumption occasion.

Opportunity – Evening relaxation

There is a growing focus on sleep and its importance to both mental and physical wellbeing. Since the pandemic began, researchers around the world have documented a surge in sleep disorders. For example, two in three Americans report they are now sleeping either more or less than desired. Upended routines, more screen time, increased alcohol consumption, and dissolving boundaries between work and private life are just a few of the factors contributing to problems.

Evening relaxation has seen a 43% growth in occasion occurrence since the start of the pandemic, placing it sixth in our Demand Space growth list. The ideal experience for this occasion helps the consumer to relax and feel completely calm and at peace, while delivering the functional benefit of aiding sleep. Secondary emotional benefits include “helping me comfort myself”, and there are additional functional benefits (good for bone, brain, heart). Suitable products include flavoured milk, milk-and-juice blends and milk-based smoothies.

Downloads and video

Infographics cover

Top ten takeaways infographic

Play button for the explainer video

Tetra Pak Index 2021 explainer video