Unlock the Power of Hormonal Health through Nutrition

Guest Blog - Contributed by Caroboo

Healthy Snacking & The Menopausal Consumer

As the health and wellness trend continues to grow, there is a significant opportunity for retailers to offer healthier snacking options that nurture hormonal health to a significant but often overlooked consumer demographic; perimenopausal and menopausal women.

According to the Gen M Invisibility Report, there are approximately 13 million women in the UK who are either perimenopausal or menopausal – this is nearly 20% of the entire consumer demographic and shouldn’t be underestimated. Most products aimed at this demographic tend to be functional and less about snacking, but as awareness of menopausal symptoms has increased in recent years (with thanks to celebrity voices such as Davina McCall and Lisa Snowden) women are more empowered to take proactive steps in managing their hormonal health through other means such as nutrition.

However, to fully appreciate the opportunity to target this demographic of consumers, it is helpful to understand the general attitudes to snacking in the UK at present. According to the UK Consumer Snacking Market Report, there were three key stand-out metrics that would be useful for a retailer to know:

  • 63% of UK snacks are bought on impulse
  • Lower sugar content is the single most important factor for Brits when seeking out healthy food
  • 62% of UK consumers agree that having snacks in the evening is an affordable treat, indicating that there is an opportunity for retailers to offer healthier snacking options that can be enjoyed as a treat in the evening

Retailers could benefit from the points above by giving more prominence to healthier snacking options and pointing shoppers in the right direction for permissible evening treats.

During perimenopause and menopause, many women experience symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, sleep disturbances, and changes in metabolism; in fact, there are 48 symptoms of menopause which can be seen here. These challenges can be exacerbated by the consumption of caffeine and high-sugar foods. Offering menopausal women snacks that are both caffeine-free and low in sugar can provide them with the sustenance they need while minimizing potential triggers for discomfort.

75% of all women will experience symptoms that require them to make changes to their lifestyle to accommodate hormonal fluctuations. There are three key areas of snacking that can benefit this consumer group (GenM):

Hormonal Health

Caffeine Free Snacking

Research suggests that women can become caffeine sensitive during menopause and that caffeine intake may worsen menopausal hot flashes and night sweats. The main caffeine culprits are tea, coffee and arguably the most important culprit for retailers; chocolate.  This presents a significant opportunity for retailers to offer caffeine-free snacking options that can help manage hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms while still allowing consumers to have a permissible treat.

Brands, such as Caroboo, which offer a range of caffeine-free, lower-sugar chocolate alternatives give women with caffeine sensitivity the ability to still eat their favourite sweet treat without compromising their health.

Caffeine-free lifestyles aren’t solely limited to some perimenopausal and menopausal women; in fact, there is a growing consumer group that are giving up caffeine; those with ADHD, anxiety, inflammatory conditions and those wanting to improve their sleep!

Lower Sugar Snacking

Reducing sugar intake for menopausal women is important for several reasons;

  • Hormonal changes make it harder for women to regulate their blood sugars
  • Too much sugar also contributes to hot flushes,
  • Sugary foods deplete the body of B Vitamins essential in menopause leading to even more intense sugar cravings

According to a report by Statista, lower sugar content stood out as the most important factor when seeking out healthier food. There are shifts in attitude towards preventative healthcare and wellness with consumers looking for options that better their health which gives retailers a key opportunity to meet that need. Clean eating and health and wellness are having a “profound impact” on the UK's eating and drinking habits, according to a report by Nielsen and retail trade journal The Grocer. Consumers want healthy food, and this is reflected in the numbers: free-from is now the UK’s fourth fastest-growing category by absolute value (£200.3m or €221.7m).

Gut Health Snacking

Gut health and menopause are two areas of health that are closely linked. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Hormonal Changes - During menopause, hormonal changes can affect the gut microbiome, which is the collection of microorganisms that live in the digestive tract. This can lead to digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, and diarrhoea.
  • Inflammation - Menopause is associated with an increase in inflammation in the body, which can affect gut health
  • Chronic inflammation can lead to a range of health problems, including digestive issues.
  • Oestrogen - Oestrogen plays an important role in gut health, and its decline during menopause can affect the gut microbiome. This can lead to changes in the gut environment, which can contribute to digestive issues.

By understanding the needs of menopausal women and the link between gut health and menopause, retailers can better tailor their product offerings and marketing efforts to meet the needs of this important demographic. Below we have provided a short but definitive list of ways retailers can highlight ranges and benefits for the GenM demographic:

  • Researching and sourcing products that are designed to support menopausal symptoms such as Caroboo a caffeine-free, lower-sugar chocolate alternative, The Gut Stuff to support gut health and Boundless Snacking to support blood sugar.
  • Highlighting the benefits of these products to customers, such as their ability to manage hot flashes and mood swings.
  • Offering a range of options that cater to different tastes and preferences, such as sweet and savoury snacks and making their position in stores more prominent.

Overall, gut health is an important consideration for menopausal women, as hormonal changes can affect the gut microbiome and lead to digestive issues. Retailers can offer healthier snacking options that are rich in fibre and probiotics, which can help to support gut health and manage menopausal symptoms.

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