Due to the huge popularity and mainstream status of yoga, the ancient Indian healing practice of Ayurveda has become better known to American wellness consumers. Packaged Facts finds this ancient wisdom is influencing food and beverage choices for some Americans, according to the firm’s Cutting Edge Wellness: Culinary Trend Tracking Series.
Ayurveda is a complex holistic approach to restoring balance in a person that includes physical, mental, emotional and spiritual elements. People lose balance due to disease, aging, improper diet, stress and trauma. To restore it, Ayurvedic practitioners use food, beverage, herbal supplements, meditation and exercise as well as mindful eating habits.
Due to the huge popularity and mainstream status of yoga, the ancient Indian healing practice of Ayurveda has become better known to American wellness consumers. This ancient wisdom is influencing food and beverage choices. For Boomers, Millennials, and anyone else seeking holistic health approaches, Ayurvedic principles are intriguing and attractive.
This notion of holistic well being is appealing to wellness consumers who aspire to healthier living that includes restful sleep, balanced exercise and diet, traditional herbal supplements, and meditation. For example, Packaged Facts found that for Boomers, Millennials, and anyone else seeking holistic health approaches, Ayurvedic principles are intriguing and attractive, providing a historical context and reasons to believe.
“For yogis and those meditating along with Dr. Deepak Chopra or Oprah, Ayurvedic ingredients may already be part of a personal regime,” says David Sprinkle research director at Packaged Facts. “Paleos, Keto dieters, and natural food lovers also find inspiration in some Ayurvedic items, such as ghee and supportive herbs. “
However, a specific Ayurvedic diet is not likely to be an exclusive practice beyond those working with a healer for a specific treatment. Instead, as is typical in our try-it-on-for-size wellness society, a few star ingredients and food items have risen out of the tradition and taken on lives of their own. Turmeric, for example, is a super spice gilding hot beverages in coffee shops across the country. Another example, ghee, is a rising good fat in the natural and specialty grocery channels, reports Packaged Facts.
Behind these health food darlings are more traditional Ayurvedic herbal and medicinal teas, as well as a host of novel ready-to-drink functional beverages, touting potent botanical benefits that appeal to consumers seeking tonics with a touch of tradition, according to Packaged Facts.
“Brands committed to Ayurveda say so and find their audience in yoga adherents and others tapped into this wellness vein. For new product or brand development, being authentically part of a real Ayurvedic practice will be key if that positioning is desired. Alternatively, many wellness brands that are picking and choosing healing ingredients—pinch of ashwagandha here and a sprinkle of turmeric there—can still offer education, resources and supply chain reassurances on marketing materials and websites to ground a product’s legitimate benefits,” according to Packaged Facts.
On the culinary side, regional Indian cuisine flavors and forms connect diners to a deeper cultural context and offer great taste, especially in vegetarian fare. But as these ingredients become more familiar, they don’t always have to be dressed up in that fashion. Instead, they can be part of a broader approach to wellness that intelligently draws from multiple traditions.
Ultimately, Packaged Facts anticipates the biggest opportunities for such products lie in the functional health space, where tonics and elixirs offer refreshment with natural-feeling energy boosts and other benefits that are more subtle and long-term, like adaptogenic support.