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It’s still demanding out there. While one may think that a slower-paced pandemic work week would have revitalized those who had been living hectic lives with long commutes, lack of sleep and dashboard dining, that’s not the case.

Excessive screen time, working around the clock, and increased anxiety and stress have given rise to an energy-deprived population that wants to refuel both body and mind, preferably in a natural manner.

More than 4 in 10 consumers have increased their purchases of functional foods, beverages, and supplements since the start of the pandemic, according to a global survey of 13,000 across 16 countries. As it stands, 31% picked ‘improved energy’ being their primary reason. To develop such products, formulators are seeking to address the two types of energies consumers crave and the ingredients that provide these fuels.

Competing against most common caffeinated botanicals – coffee, tea and chocolate is not the aim but more thinking associated with tropical delights: mango, pineapple, dragon fruit, jaboticaba or rosella/hibiscus as natural sources of sugar that are digested for physical energy + B vitamins being critical components in the Krebs cycle-energy-producing process.

Mental energy comes from a stimulant, such as caffeine, which is not metabolized and therefore calorie free. It functions by attaching to receptors on brain cells, stimulating the brain and thereby increasing mental alertness. Consumers perceive this as a boost of energy. A key opportunity is to use botanicals to deliver a healthy, better-for-you perception to functional products, as botanicals are perceived as being ‘from nature’. In particular, consumers associate guarana and ginseng with energy. Our local rosella tea is also packed to specification and grown in a soil rich in silica, which is essential for collagen production, and packed with antioxidants + vitamins for extra benefits. It comes to that red ruby colour or a dense source of natural goodness to cleanse and refill your mind (without the need of fermented tea to reduce caffeine content). Let us recharge naturally!