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Although consumer behaviour is shaped by a wide range of internal and external factors, there are several themes that have a significant influence on buying choices. For many consumers, lingering concerns regarding the effects of the pandemic, as well as anxiety regarding the future of the planet, have prompted a lasting change in their shopping behaviour. The current FMCG market is dominated by demand for products that promote wellness, environmental responsibility, and a kinder, more compassionate lifestyle

Here we consider some examples of how manufacturers and hospitality businesses have taken advantage of this trend to increase their sales. We also suggest how other businesses who wish to push their brand as one that fits the health and wellness niche can create a product that ticks the right boxes. Lastly, how brands can influence buyer behaviour, especially for trialling new products.


Recent figures show that kombucha sales are likely to reach US $1.8 billion by the end of 2021. A fermented tea product that originated in China, kombucha is lauded for its health benefits. Similarly, sales of bottled water are predicted to top US $1,105 million in 2021, with an average growth in the market of 4.59% predicted between 2021 and 2026. Low-alcohol wine has been another success story – current predictions suggest that their market share is likely to increase by 15% year on year from 2021 to 2025.

There are a number of similarities between these products – not only are they alleged to have health benefits, but they’re also designed to be luxurious, indulgent products. Smaller manufacturers are able to compete successfully with more established names by crafting brand stories that emphasise the premium nature of their product, its ethical and environmental credentials, and the active nature of its healthful properties. 

organic and plant-based meals

Recent studies suggest that Australia is second in the world for veganism. The number of vegans and vegetarians is predicted to increase as time goes on. Many people are stopping meat consumption due to health, environmental and ethical concerns. This trend has opened up the market for plant-based foodstuffs. 

Just like everybody else, vegans don’t always have the time to make their meals from scratch or search for plant-based snacks amongst the huge variety available. This has prompted a demand for everything from luxury plant-based snacks as an indulgence to plant-based ready meals, vegan fast food and “make it quickly” kits. 

Plant-based eating is perceived as a way to enjoy clean, healthy nutrition that also tastes amazing. For manufacturers, marketing plant-based products as a healthy, ethical choice is a great way to tap a market that’s only going to get bigger. Paradoxically, sales of vegan processed products are growing at a faster rate than natural foods that are vegan (fruit, for example). If you plan on launching a vegan FMCG, now is a great time to do it!

The success story that several plant-based food manufacturers have made shows that building a strong brand is paramount for sustainable sales growth. Dairy Free Down Under, for example, is seeing sales soar of non-dairy cheeses and spreads. Many traditional manufacturers are also boosting sales by introducing a plant-based addition to their current merchandise. Nestle, for example, has introduced a plant-based KitKat as an alternative to the traditional dairy-containing Kitkat. Four n Twenty has launched a meat-free, plant-based pie and most major fast-food chains now have plant-based alternatives on their menu.

Of particular interest is the growth in “alt-protein” products – items that are plant-based, but marketed as direct alternatives to traditional meat products. Alt protein options include burgers, sausages, steaks, grills, rashers and pies that are all 100% meat and dairy-free. Alt protein items are designed to provide an indulgent treat (similar to a meat burger or patty), at the same time as being marketed as a healthier, kinder and more ethical choice. A great taste along with great values, alt protein products usually achieve spectacular sales in the current environment.


By recognising what the main trends are with respect to healthy eating, food as a wellness product and ethical considerations, it’s possible to create a brand identity that’s going to work well in the current climate. For businesses in the hospitality business, adding plant-based alternatives to your menu is almost always going to be a winner. Food and beverage manufacturers may consider launching plant-based alternatives or drinks designed to promote wellness and/or a more natural lifestyle. 

Ideally, a plant-based product needs to taste amazing, at the same time as having impeccable, plant-based credentials. From recyclable or reusable packaging to the use of ethically sourced materials and ingredients, a plant-based wellness product should show evidence of care in its sourcing, manufacturing and distribution. 

The right brand stories are essential for wellness and food-based health products. Key messages include “being kind to yourself”, “non-guilty pleasures”, “good for you and the planet”, “high-grade nutrition”, “natural ingredients”, “health benefits” and “ethical sourcing”. 

Incentivise behaviour change

Gift cards and promotions, including consumer promotions with mechanics like money-back guarantees and instant wins, can be effective tools to encourage customers to try new healthier options. By offering promotions that provide additional value or an extra incentive, customers are more likely to try out the new products.

Money-back guarantees are a popular promotion mechanic that can help overcome consumer skepticism and encourage trial. For example, a brand could offer a money-back guarantee on a new healthy meal kit if customers aren’t completely satisfied. This gives customers confidence in trying out the new product and can encourage them to switch to healthier options.

Instant win promotions can also be effective in driving trial and creating excitement around new healthy meal kits. For instance, a supermarket could offer an instant win promotion on new healthy meal kits that offers prizes like Gift Cards, free products, or even a grand prize like a vacation. This creates a sense of urgency and excitement for customers to try out the new products and potentially win a prize.

Overall, gift cards and promotions are effective tools for encouraging customers to try new products. By providing additional value and incentives, brands can promote their healthy offerings, overcome consumer skepticism, and create positive associations with their brand. This can lead to increased customer satisfaction, repeat business, and a more health-conscious customer base.

Discover how consumer promotions and Gift Cards can persuade consumers to try your new FMCG brand, talk to us today.