Photo source: Etsy
Multiple times this week I have either read or heard the term “mood foods,” most notably on Wednesday when Liz Moskow, a food futurist based in Denver, spoke at the American Spice Trade Association annual conference. She identified mood foods as an upcoming space for food innovators.
Mood foods are a natural progression from the comfort foods we have been craving the past few years. It’s also a natural evolution in the better-for-you foods sector. Moods foods remain better-for-you foods, containing more of the good stuff and fewer refined sugars and processing. It’s just another layer of premiumization. Call it a layer of love, of loving thyself.
Mood foods are part of the self-care movement. And, it’s growing in popularity among young adults, many of whom have not gotten over the mental trauma of the pandemic.
“Healthy is in the Head,” a recent global study from HealthFocus USA, identified a group of consumers highly committed to eating for mental and emotional well-being. Compared to others, these “mood-food consumers” place the highest level of importance on choosing foods and beverages that enhance their mood and emotional health and say they always consider their emotional health when they choose products. Thus, they are much more proactive about their health than the average shopper. What specifically sets them apart? Turns out, a lot, according to Cali Amos, director of human insights at HealthFocus.
“Health is no longer rooted in the physical. Consumers now view emotional well-being as the cornerstone of health, fueling greater desire for mental power, feeling confident and stress reduction,” said Amos. “Eighteen-to-29 year olds struggle the most with mental/emotional health issues, including stress, anxiety, depression and mood swings, and they are turning to foods and beverages to help them cope. Mood/emotional health benefits play an important role in their food and beverage choices, ahead of physical health and even nutrition.”