Revealed: The single biggest Indian health concern offering vast functional food and drink potential…

By Millette Burgos

- Last updated on GMT

India's tired citizens' may unlock a market for energy-boosting functional foods. ©iStock
India's tired citizens' may unlock a market for energy-boosting functional foods. ©iStock

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India’s tired citizens may just be the key to unlock a new market for functional food and drink formulations. 

Tiredness and fatigue is currently the leading health concern in India, said global market intelligence agency Mintel. According to the firm’s latest findings, as many as 22% of adults in India say they are concerned about their tiredness and fatigue levels.

“With so many consumers in India concerned about their tiredness levels, the time is ripe for energy-enhancing food and drink innovation,”​ said Neha Nayak, Innovation Consultant at Mintel.

“Evening is tapped as a new occasion for functional food and drink formulations. There is potential for night time products that help consumers of all ages calm down before bedtime, sleep better and restore the body while they rest.”

Also, Indian consumers tend to consume a lot of junk food when hunger pangs hit at midnight, said Nayak.

Thus, to ensure snacking at midnight is not detrimental to health, food manufacturers are urged to develop healthier and functional food products for night time consumption

India’s millennials are some of the most overworked in the nation, and they put in more hours at work than their peers from the rest of the world, clocking in 52 hours per week on average, Nayak revealed.

And as these overworked consumers battle with tiredness, Mintel’s research indicates that they are turning towards food and drink for energy.

“While three in four (75%) Indian consumers snack once a day or more, over one quarter (28%) do so to get an energy boost. And the food and drink industry is taking note.”

Mintel’s Global New Products Database (GNPD) said that between 2012 and 2016 there was a 100% increase in the number of food and drink products launched in India containing the words “energising”​ or “energetic”​ on-pack.

Yet while the local food and drinks industry are lining up products to boost the nation’s flagging energies, another big concern is not relaxing enough, especially at night.

 "As the global workforce grows and technological advances make it harder to ‘clock out’, more consumers are in need of products that provide comfort or relaxation,”​ Nayak added.

 “Relaxation has become a focus for a number of manufacturers and the majority of this activity is happening across the tea category. Brands looking to develop an offering of relaxation should look to the tea category for inspiration on the kinds of ingredients to use and product communication to target consumers.”

Sleep is currently given the highest priority in terms of the factors needed to lead a healthy lifestyle, according to Mintel. Over half of Indian consumers (53%) interviewed in the study said in order to live a healthy lifestyle, they need to get the right amount of sleep.

“In comparison, 52% say they regularly eat a healthy diet in order to stay healthy, while one in four (24%) say they maintain a healthy weight and 17% say they eat organic or natural foods.”​ Mintel revealed.

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