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Food & Drink Key Trends for 2021: Brain Food & Sleepy Time Eats

Our Food & Drink strategist team at WGSN shared Eight Key Trends for 2021 from our Key Trend 2021 forecasts for special attention. These trends have been gathering strength and speed in recent months and are poised to grow even stronger in 2021. Our two health and wellness trends are sure to pop next year.

Brain Food

It’s been hard to focus this year, but help is on the way! Functional brands will leverage the mental clarity benefits of natural ingredients to offer support. Amino acid L-Theanine, commonly found in green tea, as well as that memory aid gingko biloba are powering beverages and even mints that fall under the emerging category of nootropics. They can help us think clearly and manage the extra stress that Covid-19 has brought.

Look for enhanced sparkling waters, meal replacement drinks and energy drinks catered to focus rather than speed, such as 7-Eleven’s new Triton sugar-free beverage with caffeine and L-Theanine from green tea leaves. Gummies, snack bites and enhanced chocolate are likely next up to offer boosts for the brain.

Ones to watch: Neuro Mints, Soylent Stacked, Koios, Nerd, Numi Daily Super Shots Energy Lift, Talking Rain Elevate, 7-Eleven Triton

Sleepy Time Eats

Need some rest? Turn to new food and drink designed to promote a good night’s sleep. New snacks, desserts and drinks tap natural botanicals, fruits and other nutritious ingredients that promote relaxation, calm the mind and help us transition from our busy days to quiet slumber. With sleep now viewed as crucial to good health, the interest is there for support.

Brands are discovering unique ingredient combinations that can help, including botanicals such as lavender and passionflower, minerals including magnesium, dairy protein casein (think a warm cup of milk) and foods such as melatonin-rich sour cherries. L-Theanine returns here, too, with relaxation benefits. In fact, PepsiCo features 200ml of L-Theanine plus magnesium in its newly released enhanced water, Driftwell. In 2021, the choices will continue to expand, offering tired consumers new choices for sleep support. Could sleepy time popcorn be next?

Ones to watch: Som Sleep, Nightfood ice cream, Goodnight Snacks from Nestlé, Good Source Snacks Evening Chill, Driftwell beverage from PepsiCo

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