Functional Nutrition Trends: Active Aging

See how the trend of active aging has developed within the landscape of functional nutrition

May 10, 2024 – Innova Market Insights uses a combination of top-down and bottom-up approaches to identifying consumer trends, product trends, and the drivers behind them. The top-down trends include global megatrends and shifts in lifestyle and attitudes. Bottom-up trends include food and beverage market category and positioning trends, as well as insights from a team of global trend-spotters.

The Global Megatrends Impacting Active Aging

When conducting consumer trend research on lifestyle and attitudes, Innova asked consumers several questions about global issues: Which of these global issues concern you most? To what extent are you concerned about the following crises/issues and their impact in your country/community? To what extent have you changed your lifestyle in response to these issues? Consumer trends research results show that consumers are most concerned about health of the planet, the top megatrend driver. Next, consumers are concerned about health of the population. A majority of consumers say they are making personal lifestyle changes because of their concerns. Increased cost of living is another megatrend driving concern among consumers. The fourth megatrend relates to how technology impacts the way people live and work.

Active Aging is Affected by Lifestyles and Attitudes

Lifestyles and attitudes affect active aging. Several consumer trends demonstrate this relationship. One is ‘healthcare to self-care,’ where consumers increase their focus on prevention and functional nutrition solutions. Another consumer trend related to lifestyles and attitudes is home-centric living, where consumers are rediscovering the home for eating and entertainment. A related consumer trend is the value of connection with family, close friends, and community.

Consumers Prioritize Prevention

Prioritizing prevention is one of the Top 10 Trends for 2024. Consumers are taking positive action so that they can prevent health issues before they occur. Sometimes this involves seeking functional nutrition products that meet their personal well-being needs for a longer, healthier life.

Functional Nutrition Trends

Diet and Functional Nutrition for Every Age

Concerns over physical health motivate consumers to seek healthier lifestyles. When asked what drives or influences consumers to seek a healthier lifestyle, younger consumers say they want to look good and achieve fitness goals while older consumers admit to concerns over their physical health.

Differences also can be seen regarding the importance of healthy aging. Younger generations are more concerned about appearance while older consumers want to keep an active mind. Still, when asked about actions toward living more healthfully, consumers of all ages name healthy, nutritious diets and physical exercise.

Functional Nutrition and Healthy Foods

Consumers of all ages define a healthy food or beverage as being fresh and having natural ingredients. Additionally, younger consumers value balanced nutrients, while older consumers value functional foods and beverages that are low in ingredients considered unhealthy.

The #1 Top 10 Trend in 2024, Ingredients: Taking the Spotlight, supports the tendency of consumers to check for one or two ingredients that they care about most when purchasing foods and beverages for functional nutrition. Protein is at the top for Gen Z and Millennials while vitamins are at the top for Gen X and Boomers. Fiber and omega-3s resonate with older generations.

Developing Functional Nutrition Opportunities for Healthy Aging

Functional nutrition development opportunities can be based on purchase levels and desirability. The most desirable functions are healthy aging, heart health, brain health, detoxifying and cleansing the body, and bone or joint health. Older consumers desire these functions most.

Innovation is shifting from anti-aging to being proactive about health. Top health claims include high/source of protein, high/source of fiber, vitamin/mineral fortified, immune health, and brain-mood health. Innovative new products include a microbiome-nourishing prebiotic fiber, a whey protein supplement for slowing metabolism and loss of muscle and bone mass, and spirulina and seaweed to support health and wellness. Muscle health claims can be accompanied by vitamins, minerals, and collagen.

What’s Next for Active Aging?

Functional nutrition products need to attract younger consumers while keeping consumers whose priorities change as they get older. Different generations have different health concerns, for example, weight management and skin health among Gen Z and Millennials and heart health among Gen X and Boomers.

Healthier lifestyles appeal to consumers who want health support along with functional nutrition products that are natural and nutrient-rich. Keeping an active mind and staying physically active are expected to become a major consumer focus. Consumers prioritize protein as an ingredient of interest on the product pack and the most important ingredient.

What’s Next in Functional Nutrition? New Pathways for Active Aging

Functional nutrition can focus on protein-rich products, novel ingredients, and new solutions for holistic wellbeing. Weight management and balanced diet are the new pathways to healthy aging. To be proactive about health, companies can capitalize on behavior changes among younger adults that could help drive future functional nutrition product development for major health concerns in the future.

Tomorrow’s focus should be on preventing health issues before they arise.


This article is based on our report, “Active Aging: Global Opportunities for Functional Nutrition.” If you are interested in reading this report, feel free to request a demo.
You can do this by either booking a demo or using our Contact Form.

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