As we step into 2024, all signs point towards continued positive momentum in natural health. We explore the key trends driving growth across the sector.
Better-for-you snacking isn’t a new trend. But on the back of the ‘snackification’ of mealtimes and a trend towards healthier and more plant-based eating, the better-for-you snack segment will continue to grow in 2024. Better-for-you confectionery alone is seeing a 21.7% yearly uplift.1
Snacking between meals is increasingly common, with 40% of Australian consumers engaging in the habit. Not only that, there are more snackers, each consuming a greater number of snacks each day.
It’s a category ripe with innovation, using trending ingredients in new ways that offer greater nutritional value. Brands like Health Guru, DJ&A, Ocean’s Halo, LoveRaw and Carob Farm hero this innovation with trending better-for-you snack and confectionery ranges.
Today, wellness is mainstream. Not only are consumers considering wellness beyond health but they’re also looking at different ways to meet their health goals.
From functional ingredients to innovative supplements, the focus on total wellness is surging. According to research, 50% of proactive health consumers eat functional food to aid their health. For nine in ten consumers, the drive to follow a healthy diet isn’t driven by health needs, such as diabetes or coeliac disease. Instead, they are driven by a desire for wellness.
Consumers are seeking new supplements, from brands like IMUNI, Ritua or Switch Nutrition. They’re also giving their pantry an overhaul and looking for trusted staples and better-for-you convenience options. Bragg, Plantasy Foods, Loving Earth, Niulife, Mingle and Purely Potato have broad offerings for these clean-eating wellness seekers.
Protein is a driving force in 2024, off the back of phenomenal growth in 2023. Sports supplements saw an 81.4% uplift, with impressive gains in protein powders – up 37.7% – and protein/energy bars – up 18.7%.1
The consumer base for protein is also expanding. The majority of consumers report that they take protein supplements for general health, followed closely by energy and immune health. When it comes to plant-based protein, the customer base extends well beyond vegan consumers, with just 17% of people who consume plant-based protein identifying as vegan.
Leading brands in protein include Macro Mike, Botanika Blends, Protein Supplies Australia and Happy Way. In the energy bar category, CLIF is Australia’s #1 selling plant-based energy bar brand.
Clean and green
Sustainability continues to matter to consumers with 51% stating that it’s an important factor in their purchasing decisions. Almost all consumers – 96% – engage in at least one sustainable practice in their own lives.
Green claims are particularly important in the cleaning category with 47% of consumers seeing green. This is the largest eco influence across market segments. It’s also of great concern in the personal care sector, particularly in relation to claims such as cruelty-free and plastic-free or compostable packaging.
Leaders in green cleaning and personal care are ACURE, ecoegg, Koala Eco, Ethique and Ever Eco.