Trends may come and go, but the Augmented Self trend is here to stay. Augmented Self, identified as one of the seven global consumer trends, looks at how consumers continually seek improvement through the use of food as well as technology. With a hyper-focus on the functionality of foods, it also looks at the holistic components of life. Diving into the physical, emotional and cognitive well-being. Ideally, it is this desire that we all need and crave…to feel more balanced.
Why a virtual trek?
As with our previously identified trends, we often choose a city that we believe embodies upcoming trends. I typically ask myself, “What city is next? What trend is next?”
The East Coast rose to the top of the list. My excitement heightened as I looked forward to hearing the famous Boston accent, walking the streets, enjoying the vibes of surrounding cities, and consuming copious amounts of food and beverages. Then, the pandemic hit. Travel was restricted and the trek went virtual. We now have the ability to taste from the comfort of our homes.
Tell me you DOSHA
Our virtual search first led us to the Dosha Bar company which makes snack bars based on..well based on your “dosha.” Think of dosha as your personality, one that encompasses your physical and spiritual being. This is rooted in Ayurvedic medicine. Upon taking the quiz, results will show the recommended bar for you based on your answers. My result, the blueberry balance. Visually appealing, this bar had just the right amount of sweetness contributed by the dry fruit and a nice texture offered by the quinoa crisps.
Next, we looked at meal delivery kits. Daily Harvest and Sakara Life meals quickly ascended the list. A plant-based, chef-crafted set of meals with the belief that food can fix things. All of these meals and beverages contain functional ingredients which make you feel as if you made the right choice about what you are putting into your body. They have smoothies, flatbreads, soups, lattes, chia bowls, scoops (their version of ice cream) just to name a few. I must say I am a fan of this company.
Everything I tasted was GOOD. The green chickpea soup had a thick, consistent texture made of coconut cream. The chickpeas, parsnip and kale gave a great texture and the smell of the turmeric immediately left me feeling better, knowing I was consuming a delicious soup with functional ingredients. The Vanilla and salted swirled black sesame scoops had an ingredient list unlike any other: coconut milk, maple, black sesame, cacao, ashwagandha and vanilla. Trust me, there was no guilt in eating this pleasure.
Even juices can be delivered
Well Well Beverages , Senzu Juice (now part of Green Heart Wellness Juice) and Athletic Greens were the beverage subscriptions and delivery services tasted. These beverages have various functional ingredients such as lion’s mane, rhodiola and valerian root. They are designed to be consumed at various times of the day based on your needs and activity level. So whether you want to get the morning boost, sleep well, hydrate or even recover from a workout these beverages have everything you need. None of the beverages were overly sweet and very satiating.
Well Well Beverages (L-R): Beet Root + Ginger, Lemon + Lime, Watermelon + Tart Cherry
There is an app for that
The pandemic thrust us deeper into the world of functional foods and ingredients. While most of the attention is on food, there is a fitness component that all consumers relate to, whether it is mediation, yoga, or indoor cycling. Fitness trackers and other wearable devices are common as they hold consumers accountable. Two apps that were helpful were the Headspace app and Peloton. Now, I can never get my mind to slow down to meditate but the app may help you as it allows you to choose a meditation time for as short or as long as you’d like. It highlights that each person’s meditation journey will be different. There is even meditation for kids. Carrie tried the virtual live Peloton class and loved it.
I usually try to catch a live class which allows me to be in to moment although I am on my bike at home. I like Peloton because it is customizable so each day is not mundane because not only are we different but our bodies feel different.Carrie Born
The Augmented Self trend is here to stay as consumers seek enlightenment, balance and become the ultimate version of themselves through functional foods and technology. We all want to take care of our health, not only to survive a pandemic but so we can live happy, healthier and longer lives.
Until next time…Cheers!