Fireworks, Friends, and FUNctional

Americans are known for many things; quiet celebrations aren’t one of them.

We like to go BIG, and the 4th of July is most definitely not an exception.

It’s the peak of all things summer with friends and family, fireworks and fun, and, of course, food!

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), the average adult spent $93.34 on food for July 4th in, 2022, which increased 11.0% year-over-year (YoY) from July 4th 2022 to 2023 (Capital One Research).

In fact, in 2023, American consumers spent an estimated $13.5 billion on food and beverage ($9.5 billion on food and $4.02 billion on alcohol).

It’s clear the Fourth of July is a time for celebration, and traditionally, that also means a time for indulgence.


However, with more Americans putting personal health at the top of their priority list, is it time we start thinking about what to bring to a better-for-you backyard barbecue?

Whether it’s healthier twists on homemade nostalgic recipes or party staples packed with extra benefits, let’s take a look at some ways to put the “fun” in functional for your summer get-togethers for this 4th of July and beyond!

Pool Parties & Protein

Independence Day just wouldn’t be the same without the good ol’ American cookout.

Burgers, brats, hot dogs, and just about anything else you can char on the grill and put in a bun are bound to make an appearance.

Yet while grilled meats may be high in the protein consumers crave, the buns and that side of chips often come with carbs and calories many are looking to cut.

While lower-carb options are nothing new, some might want buns that can do a little bit more. 


With that said, be on the lookout at your cookout for high-fiber or protein-packed options that are becoming more readily available,

Speaking of protein at the pool party, everyone’s favorite side, chips, are coming with more to dip this summer. From tortilla-style to classics, crunchy, high-protein snacks are filling up store shelves and snack tables across the country.

The Sweet Taste of Summer

What’s more 4th of July than a parade?

Yet, while the candy being thrown from floats at your town’s local parade won’t be functional, the ones you choose can be. From fortified chocolates to gummies, there are more options than ever to indulge in ways that benefit more than your tastebuds.

Looking to cool down after some fun in the sun?

How about popsicles packed with collagen for a sweet treat and healthier skin, nails, and hair?

Or what about a cooling treat that can make parents feel good that their kids are enjoying the outdoors and staying hydrated? Frozen desserts loaded with electrolytes could be just the thing to check both of those boxes.

Not to be left out, the ice cream truck might need to start stocking its own functional finds.

Again, protein is the name of the game. With viral recipes for creamy protein-rich indulgences and developers racing to bring more options to market, the second scoop may soon come without the guilt.


Freedom From Hangovers (and so much more)


The alcohol-free revolution is changing the way people party.

81% of Gen Z consumers and 78% of millennials are open to a “sober curious” or “damp” lifestyle.

Sure, beers and batch cocktails will remain fixtures this summer season, but non-alcoholic options are poised to be more than a passing fad.

But, this next wave of functional alternatives looks to offer even more than a hangover-free July 5th.

With natural botanicals like adaptogens, vitamins, and other health-boosting ingredients, these booze-free beverages have the potential to improve your mood, increase your energy, and any number of different things traditional alcoholic beverages couldn’t dream of.

No matter what’s on your menu this holiday, Edlong hopes your safe and flavorful Independence is everything it can be. If you’re a developer looking for ways to deliver on consumers’ rising demand for delicious and nutritious functional foods and beverages, contact or team of global R&D experts to see how flavors can help, or get a taste of our flavors in action by requesting an upcoming functional snack demo.

About the Author: Jessa Friedrich, Director of Marketing

Jessa has over 12 years of experience in Marketing as well as a Bachelor of Science and MBA in the field. She has also been a keynote speaker and hosted various roundtables at conferences speaking on the use of digital marketing and market trends to drive business growth. She has been at Edlong for over three years working her way up in the marketing department. She works with their global R&D and Sales teams to identify and explore future trends in the food and beverage industry.

Topics: Functional Foods
Resource Type: Article
Resource Region: US


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