Health of the nation

Health and wellness considerations are driving consumer behaviour, with over 80% of people placing a high level of importance on eating a balanced diet, according to Bord Bia.* With this in mind, here we explore the best new and classic products in the category


Brand Central

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31 August 2020

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Consumer interest in healthier options has soared in recent years. Healthy snacking has become easier and more affordable than ever, while the frozen aisle has expanded to include some of the best of what’s on offer for family mealtimes. Last year, health remained a key concern for consumers, with health categories growing faster (+5.3%) than other FMCG categories (3.5%) according to Nielsen data.

With child obesity being on the rise, Euromonitor found that parents are becoming more conscious of their children’s diet. The levels of ingredients such as sugar, salt and fat in products which target children specifically are being watched closely by parents to make sure that the products comply with their children’s diets.

In a recent Bord Bia study based on 7,700 diary entries, four in 10 adults cited awareness of the food they eat and the impact it can have on physical and mental wellness as having a great deal of influence on evening meal choice*.

*(Source: Bord Bia in conjunction with Red C Research: ‘What Ireland Ate For Dinner’, February 2020)

Q&A with… Niall Phelan, founder, The Naked Collective

Niall Phelan

Q: What are the consumer trends that led you to develop the Mude range of functional drinks?

A: We saw a gap in the market for a ‘Super Liquid’ product fortified by immune boosting ingredients. We felt that there wasn’t a healthy drink alternative that spoke to what is now a more educated and informed consumer who makes more thoughtful decisions about what they spend their disposable income on. The younger generation of today care about being informed and see products and brands as extensions of themselves, especially when it comes to their thinking and beliefs on how humans affect the planet environmentally. They also have the greatest affinity with health and wellness activities and our vegan ingredients, zero plastic and carbon neutral creation appeals to them. Furthermore, we are seeing a significant decline in consumption per capita of sugary drinks in the developed world and consumers are demanding healthier alternatives, not just for their own body, but also for the world they live in.

Wellness is now a status symbol, with consumers turning to the parts of their lives they can control, such as their health. Under 35s care about the collective good and wellbeing and they want to support people and groups that are authentic. They’re interested in meaningful social change. Perhaps more than others before them, this younger generation has a chance to change the world for the better and they’re taking it and I think our products speak to them.

Q: Who is the main target audience for Mude? 

A: We see Mude having a wide appeal with our healthy functional range fitting into anyone’s daily routine. The Mude range will be very relatable to those who are health and wellbeing focused. Food lovers, gym goers, and anyone who has a general positive outlook on life will see a purpose for the Mude range in their routine.

We feel we will resonate especially with those under the age of 35. As mentioned above, these younger generations have a growing care and interest in their own health and wellbeing. 62% of millennials and gen Z are now buying beverages based on how it directly impacts their health and wellbeing. Furthermore, 66% of global consumers are actively buying natural food and drink products.

Q: How significantly have you invested in marketing the Mude range over the next 12 months and what activity will the brand campaign encompass?

A: Over the next 18 months, we will have invested over €2m in marketing in Ireland alone. Our brand campaign will very much encompass a marketing plan that will be implemented across the board. We plan to team up with our customers and suppliers to activate and grow visibility in-store to further our footprint. We are running a large scale OOH campaign on digital screens across the UK and ROI which will feature us on 700+ digital screens for 40 consecutive weeks. With public health and safely our priority, we will be keeping one eye on Covid if any safe out-of-home sampling opportunities are to arise. Furthermore, we will be trialling an innovative ‘try at home’ sampling opportunity where we will be sending thousands of cans of our products directly to people’s homes to sample the product.

Q: How has The Naked Collective worked to ensure the business is operating in a sustainable fashion?

A: From the offset, we hired a sustainability manager to set our goals to become a leader of sustainability in beverages. The Naked Collective has chosen a plastic free solution where every sip from our cans are 100% vegan. We will agree clear targets with our suppliers to reduce the impact of our products on the environment. We calculate all carbon emissions from our production cycle, so goals for lowering our impact on the environment can be targeted and our carbon neutral goal can be maintained. Local producers and suppliers are prioritised for a shortened supply chain to lower our carbon emission footprint and support local communities and their economy.

We will produce a sustainability report at the start of the year for transparent communications to all of our consumers. We are constantly monitoring up-to-date research and models for sustainability. With the United Nations Development Goals and our hard-working team, we will provide reachable but very rigorous goals for 2030.

Q: As an Irish start-up, how have you navigated the challenges of Covid-19 and what are your plans in terms of expanding stockists and growing the brand?

A: Initially the team took Covid as an opportunity to press pause for a moment and reassess. We reassessed our products and we refined and enhanced our immune boosting ingredients in all of our products, further enhancing functionality and taste. We witnessed the struggles of not being able to leave home due to the restrictions on movement, and with this the huge growth in importance of e-commerce. We launched our online store on Shopify to great early success.

Our goal is to work with all key retailers in grocery, forecourts and convenience and to develop and expand a ‘good for you’ range of products for consumers. We plan to launch our range to North America and across Europe in the coming 12 months.

Built around your day

Mude Sleep blends organic chamomile and valerian root to naturally soothe individuals towards a restful slumber

Mude Sleep blends organic chamomile and valerian root to naturally soothe individuals towards a restful slumber

 Mude, the new range from Irish start-up, The Naked Collective, consists of five functional drinks, specifically designed to help people take control of their day: Sleep, Chill, Play, Work and ImmunoBoost. All products are naturally brewed seltzers with a unique function and flavour for different points throughout the day. These drinks are designed to support a positive and desired physical and mental change, within 5 – 20 minutes of consumption

A 2019 study by labelled Ireland as a ‘sleep deprived nation’.

Skip to 2020, and Nytol’s latest research tells us that six in 10 adults have difficulties getting to sleep, or staying asleep, every night, with several further studies identifying stress as the main culprit behind Ireland’s sleepless nights. And, with the world experiencing new stresses every day due to Covid-19, combatting poor sleep is high on everyone’s agenda.

Mude Sleep has been created to help people take control of their dreams, naturally. Perfect for defending against the sleep-stealing effects of stress, the blend of organic chamomile and valerian root soothes individuals towards a restful slumber the natural way.

Brought to you by Irish start-up, The Naked Collective: powered by plants, people, and purpose.

For more information, visit, telephone 01 2530870 or email:

Support your immune system

The total Actimel brand has grown by +29.1% in value +19.2% in volume terms during the latest 12 weeks

Each 100ml bottle of Actimel contains 10 million exclusive L. Casei cultures, alongside vitamins B6 and D, helping to support an individual’s immune system*.

The popular fermented milk drink offers a choice for all palates; available in a range of flavours.

Actimel’s No Added Sugar range has continued to perform strongly since growing its range just over two years ago. In fact, it has achieved +33.8% value and +30.1% volume growth in the latest 12 weeks.** This year, the brand has continued to grow the No Added Sugar range, with a new Supermix flavour now available.

What’s more, in late 2020 and 2021, Actimel is set to launch some further exciting innovation – maintaining a focus to support consumers’ immune systems.

Overall, Actimel has achieved impressive results, recording strong performance and growth over the past few months. The total brand has grown by +29.1% in value +19.2% in volume terms during the latest 12 weeks.**

*(With Vitamin B6 and D to help support the normal function of your immune system. Enjoy as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle.)

**(Source: MAT Nielsen Data ending 14 June 2020)

Oat so good!

Flahavan’s new Vitamin Rich, Organic and Barista Oat Drinks and are made with 100% Irish oats

Flahavan’s, Ireland’s favourite porridge brand, continues to hold the number one position in the hot oats category with more than 56% market share – a testament to its consistent quality, strong brand communications and the loyalty of its consumer base. Traditional porridge remains at the heart of the company’s business in Ireland, with Progress Oatlets and Organic Porridge experiencing the strongest growth in the first half of 2020 as a result of shifting consumer habits, including a rise in home baking as well as more time spent at the breakfast table due to changing work patterns.

Flahavan’s drives its innovation strategy through ongoing consumer research, which helps provide insight into the changing needs and habits of Irish consumers – this research continues to highlight what an important role “health” plays in influencing consumers’ choices around breakfast. As a result, the company has recently expanded its reach beyond hot oats, launching a new range of vegan friendly ‘No Added Sugar’ Oat Drinks to cater to the needs of younger audiences seeking plant-based products.

As oat experts, the move into this new market sector represents a natural step for a brand with such established heritage and over 200 years’ oat-milling expertise. Available from this month onwards, the three new variants include Vitamin Rich, Organic and Barista and are made with 100% Irish oats. Targeted at younger health-conscious consumers choosing plant-based products for both lifestyle and dietary reasons, Flahavan’s Oat Drinks range will be launched with strong marketing support across out-of-home (OOH), digital and social channels, aimed at amplifying awareness and education about the new range as swiftly and effectively as possible.

Easy way to go meat-free

With 17g of protein and only 160kcal per burger, the Glas Irish Beef-Free burger is made without soya or gluten and is 100% allergen-free

Glas has just launched two new exciting products into its plant-based range including an Irish Beef-Free burger with 17g of protein and only 160kcal per burger which is made without soya or gluten and is 100% allergen-free. Glas has also re-launched the long-awaited return of the plant-based sausage, which now has a new and improved recipe with only 68 calories per sausage. A new plant-based casing developed by Glas, means consumers now get the same bite as they would with a regular meat-based sausage, making the change up to meat-free that much easier.

The Glas Curried Cauliflower, Beetroot and Kale and Garden Vegetable burgers are one of an individual’s five-a-day and are also steamed rather than fried unlike many other similar products on the market making them lower in calories and fat. Glas has plenty up its plant-based sleeve for the rest of this year with some very exciting product launches coming to Ireland’s top retailers very soon.

It’s a matter of pride

The Irish Pride Slimsters range is perfect for an even healthier choice with no compromise on goodness and taste. At Irish Pride, the team love baking and take pride in producing a fantastic range of products to suit all customers’ needs.

For convenience, consumers can try Irish Pride’s range of Hi-Fibre Slimsters, mouth-watering, soft and delicious in taste and topped with millet, linseed and poppy seeds. With only 101 calories in each square, Irish Pride Slimsters Squares are a great option as part a healthy lunch.

They are also perfect for children’s lunch boxes as they return to school. For parents who are stuck for time, but still want to give their child a healthy lunch, simply pack these with the recommended portions of veggies, as an ideal solution for the lunch box.

Meanwhile, for those who want to create a beautiful sandwich as so many customers do, Irish Pride Slimsters allow shoppers to beef up the toppings without counting the extra calories. This tasty, low calorie, high in fibre bread offers a full-size slice so consumers can get maximum enjoyment and satisfaction from their lunch.

Baking up a nutritious treat

Pat the Baker’s range of Slimbos in white, wholemeal and seeded are perfect for a lighter bite. Diverse and tasty, Slimbos make delicious burger buns and toasted sandwiches that still provide the protein and fibre necessary for dietary requirements.

For parents looking for something different to give kids returning to school, Slimbos can provide a solution that is quick and easy, especially on those busy days. With all the nutrition and the added extra vitamins from the seeds, parents can be assured their little ones are receiving the nourishment they need.

And now as the kids are returning to school, fitness-conscious parents are returning to their daily training routines. Pat The Baker High Protein, low in sugar bread is available in both 400g and 800g, perfect for training needs.

Pat The Baker’s protein bread contains 15g of protein per 100g which helps contribute towards the growth and maintenance of muscle mass and is an essential component in the diet of an athlete. It is used to rebuild and repair muscle after exercise.  It can be challenging for an athlete to consume the required quantity of protein, and high protein products can help with this. Pat The Baker High Protein bread is also a low sugar product.

Endless versatility

The Porter & Nash range of plant-based sauces is made with a gluten-free recipe, with no fat, low salt and low sugar

Porter & Nash’s range of plant-based sauces were created by Gavin Cassidy and Eoin Lennon, both professional chefs with over 50 years of combined experience in the food industry including training at two-star Michelin level. The duo met while topping up their qualifications with a culinary arts degree in TU Dublin Tallaght and developed a range of plant-based gravy and sauces made with roasted root vegetables and Irish Sea kelp. The range is made with a gluten-free recipe, with no fat, low salt and low sugar; they taste and look like a meat-based sauce but are entirely plant-based.

The Porter & Nash range of products can be used as a cooking sauce or a pouring sauce for finishing roast dinners; their versatility is endless, they can be used as a base for soups, Asian broths, casseroles, stews or to complement beef, pork, chicken, fish and vegetable dishes.

The team at Porter & Nash say they know educating children’s taste buds and knowing how to utilise healthy nutritious food products in family meals can be difficult for parents and so they have created a cookbook showing how to incorporate the sauces into delicious dishes for all the family, which can be found at

Nutritious start to the day

Weetabix is still firmly the UK’s number one breakfast cereal brand and a must-stock for retailers, offering a nutritious choice to start the day. Weetabix Original is and will always be, a low sugar cereal, and displays all green traffic lights on-pack to make it easy for shoppers to make a healthy choice. Personalisation of cereals is a growing trend and something Weetabix has tapped into with its Any-Which-Way-A-Bix campaign, which encourages consumers to share their unique Weetabix creations. Stocking dried fruit toppings and different milks near the cereal aisle is a great way to encourage this personalisation and boost basket spend.

*(Source: Nielsen data to 30 November 2019)







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