“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” is a proclamation issued by Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine more than two thousand years ago. Little did Hippocrates know that the science of food would be a huge and burgeoning area of focus in an ongoing quest to maintain and improve good health. Food science related to nutrition, technology and consumer behavior gives us a lot to chew on and can yield compelling the stories that resonate with key stakeholders.
Many of us choose certain foods because of what they contain and the impact they might have on physical and emotional health and well-being. The food industry has made huge strides, for example, in the area of functional foods, estimated at more than $175 billion globally and driving the food industry’s growth. These foods resonate with consumers, as demonstrated via a recent survey by the International Food Information Council which revealed that 45% of consumers are “very interested” while another 42% are “somewhat interested” in learning more about foods that have health benefits beyond basic nutrition. The nutritional profile of foods can impact performance or help achieve a state of mind. Nutrients in foods, for example, can be energizing, replenishing or relaxing. Connecting these nutrients with consumer needs is a strategic communications pathway for many food and beverage companies today.