You Can’t Put a Price Tag on Health

You can’t put a price tag on health.

A statement like this can easily come off as cliche, but consumers worldwide seem to agree.

According to McKinsey & Company’s Future of Wellness Survey, the value of the global wellness market has already reached an impressive USD 1.8 trillion.

Though a concern for one’s health is nothing new, the focus has grown even stronger in recent years. In 2022, McKinsey found that around 50% of US consumers saw wellness as a top priority in their day-to-day lives, up from 42% in 2020. Now, just two short years later, a staggering 82% of Americans are prioritising wellness (87% in the UK).

For many of these consumers, addressing this comes down to what they stock in their pantries and put on their plates; they are willing to pay a premium for it.

Paying the Price: Navigating Nutrition & Clearing-up Confusion

While people are ready to pay more for products that can benefit their health and well-being, how they define “healthier” products can be hard to pin down.

Global research from ingredient supplier Ingredion discovered that despite the current inflationary environment, 78% of consumers said they would pay more for clean-label, natural claims.

In the past, terms like “clean” and “naturally” might have been closely associated with the idea of “fresher” or “minimally processed” products, but that isn’t necessarily the case for today’s consumers.

“Ultra-processed foods” (UPFs) have historically had less-than-positive, if not downright negative reputations, when it came to matters of nutrition. However, the tide appears to be turning, and the move is led primarily by younger consumers.


A 2023 survey from Ayana Bio notes that two-thirds of adults, regardless of household income, would eat more and pay more for ultra-processed foods if they included more nutritious ingredients or health benefits.

Looking deeper, Millennial and Gen Z adults, as well as parents with children, were much more interested in trying and paying more for healthier UPFs. In real numbers, this comes out to 84% of 18-34 year olds who feel this way, standing in stark contrast to the 43 of those over 65 who felt the same way.

However, when asked about specific functional benefits, 74% of all adults said they would try a UPF if it benefitted cardiovascular function, brain function, sleep, immunity, or energy.

Functional Foods

This data correlates perfectly with the idea of targeted nutrition responsible for the rise of functional food and beverage products.


As the number of health-conscious consumers grows, so does this more nuanced and tailored approach to one’s specific health and nutrition needs.

One significant example is the increased emphasis on gut health. Greater than 80% of consumers in the United Kingdom, the United States, and China view gut health as important, with over half of consumers planning to make it a higher priority in the coming years.

Whether with biotics (pre/pro/post) or fibre, the global market for these gut-focused innovations is thriving.

“Ancient” ingredients like ashwagandha, ginseng, and other adaptogens are also growing in popularity for their ability to reduce stress and increase energy.

Unfortunately, paying more for these benefits also means tolerating them for their taste.

Dismantling the “Unhealthy = Tasty” Paradigm


We are all familiar with phrases like “A spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down” or the experience of a mealtime standoff with parents trying to get their children to eat their greens or other “healthy” foods.

Still, the reinforced expectation that things that are good for you might be less than enjoyable and food that is “unhealthy=tasty” might not be all our parent’s fault.

A recent study published in the journal Cell Metabolism found that eating a lot of sugary or high-fat foods activates the dopaminergic system, the motivation and reward centres of your brain. This effectively teaches your brain to crave sweets and seek out unhealthy foods.

Although this might not be news to health-seeking individuals, there is still a different, frankly lower, level of taste expectations when it comes to healthy and nutritious foods, even if they are paying more.

Yet, there shouldn’t be a reason why affordability, health, and taste need to be mutually exclusive.

Healthy, Affordable, and delicious…Yes, it is possible

At Edlong, our international team believes that none of these should be barriers to the success of your product.

We work with you to understand your consumers’ functional, financial, and flavour expectations for your product so we can help you meet and exceed them. 

Are “cleaner” or “more natural” labels a priority for your target consumers? We can help with that. With a wide range of Natural dariy and dairy-free flavours, you can give shoppers what they want without what they don’t.


Functional ingredients may help positively impact health, but that often comes with a negative effect on taste. Our suite of effective masking solutions and authentic characterising flavours can help cover up distracting off-notes or pair with problematic ingredients for a holistic development approach. Using flavours we are able to boost or balance notes while keeping the true taste of the product present.

Flavours also have the power to help you optimise your formulation and potentially reduce your costs. From commodity reduction to customised flavour solutions, Edlong will partner with you to make your product as nutritious, delicious and affordable as possible.

The way we look at it, you might not be able to put a price tag on health, but we will do our best to help you lower the price tag on your healthy products.

About the Author: Emily Sheehan, Applications Manager, EMEA

Hi! I’m Emily Sheehan. I’m the Applications Manager, EMEA at Edlong, and my job is rooted in creating exciting new possibilities for our people and processes. It’s inspiring to reflect on how much Edlong has achieved and even more amazing to be involved in such thoughtful innovation. We enjoy pushing boundaries in food and flavour, and we welcome everyone in the food industry to join us. If you’re in need of expertise or inspiration, I’d love to collaborate and help you design flavour solutions that resonate with consumers!

Topics: Better For YouDairy flavorsDairy-freeHealthy Reduction
Resource Type: Article
Resource Region: EULATAMUS


Stay Connected

Subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter.