Woman sleeping with pillow on her head and glasses in her hand for trend article on sleep products and relaxing functional food and beverages


Sleep is an ongoing subject of interest as consumers continue to search for a full night’s rest. Sleep is inherently linked to health and wellness. It is essential to support the immune system and brain function. According to Euromonitor International’s 2019 Health and Nutrition Survey, 53% of global consumers claim that they usually get around 5 to 7 hours of sleep per night, while 41% said that they need 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night to feel their best. The National Sleep Foundation reported that 89% of working adults have regular sleep problems. Prior to the pandemic, many individuals struggled to get a good night’s sleep. COVID-19 has increased stress and anxiety and is disrupting sleep patterns worldwide. Brands and manufacturers are responding with a variety of sleep products such as supplements and relaxing functional food and beverages.

Sleep Products Abound

The need for sleep has accelerated the growth of sleep and relaxation supplements. According to PharmaLinea, Google searches for “sleep supplement” grew in 2020 and January 2021 saw a 37% year-over-year growth. In addition, consumers view food as medicine and are on a never-ending quest for functional food and beverages that promote sleep. It’s no surprise that functional food and beverage sales increased 9.4% and reached $78 billion last year, according to New Hope Network.

New products that tackle sleep issues, such as sleep aids and relaxing food and beverages, have been steadily growing. For example, award-winning brand Nightfood, Inc., makers of sleep-friendly ice cream, reached sales of 262,574 pints of Nightfood ice cream in the twelve months ending June 30, 2020, up from 63,041 for the previous year. According to Innova Market Insights, global food & beverage launches with both digestive health and sleep positionings have seen a CAGR of 21% between 2016-2020. The top category is Baby & Toddlers, followed by Hot Drinks, and Sports Nutrition.

Chew On This – Sleep Remedies

According to IRI, U.S. sales of sleep remedies totaled nearly $1.04 billion, an increase of 17.9% compared with the same period the year before, for the 52 weeks ending March 22, 2020. Natrol rolled out the Natrol Sleep+ line of melatonin-focused sleep aid gummies in three adult formulas and two children’s formulas for kids 4 years old and older. The line includes Natrol Sleep+ Immune Health, Natrol Sleep+ Calm, Natrol Sleep+ Beauty, Natrol Kids Sleep+ Immune Health, and Natrol Kids Sleep+ Calm. The gummies are drug-free, non-GMO, vegetarian, and gelatin-free as well as free of synthetic dyes and artificial flavors, sweeteners, and preservatives. SmartyPants Vitamins added two new functional sleep products: Healthy Sleep Adult and Healthy Kids Sleep. The Healthy Sleep Adult formula contains a blend of melatonin, L-theanine, probiotics, B6, C, D3, and zinc while the Healthy Kids Sleep formula, features L-theanine, saffron extract, magnesium, chamomile flower, and lemon balm extract in a gummy. Both formulas are vegetarian, GMO-free, gelatin-free, and do not contain synthetic colors, artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, or eight major food allergens.

Bulletproof has added two new sleep products to its portfolio: Sleep and Sleep Collagen Protein. Sleep is a pill-based supplement that has been formulated with melatonin, valerian, passionflower, and hops. Sleep Collagen Protein is a blend of collagen, melatonin, chamomile, and magnesium citrate to enhance sleep and support hair, skin, nails, and joints. It is offered in a Lucuma Vanilla flavor and can be mixed into either cold or hot water. Sandland Sleep “is a non-pharmaceutical line of sleep-aid products harnessing the power of the cannabinoid CBN, a natural, hemp-derived ingredient.” Fall Asleep is administered under the tongue while Stay Asleep is a tablet. The products are vegan, non-GMO, and formulated with all-natural ingredients including CBN derived from top-graded hemp and its terpenes, hops, peppermint, and melatonin.

 Sip On This – Relaxing Beverages

In general, beverages are a hotbed of innovation. There has been plenty of activity in functional beverages and powder mixes with a focus on sleep and relaxation. Mude “is a range of functional wellness SuperLiquids that support your immune system and provide benefits based on your mood.” The drinks are available in five varieties: Chill, Play, Protect, Sleep, and Work. Mude Sleep (Elderflower) features a chamomile and valerian root while Mude Chill (Mixed Berry) highlights ashwagandha and chamomile. PepsiCo joined the fray with Driftwell, “a drink designed to help people relax.” According to PepsiCo, stress is one of the main reasons people don’t sleep well with 45% of Americans reporting lying awake at night because of it. The non-carbonated beverage highlights subtle blackberry and lavender flavors with 200 mg of L-theanine to promote relaxation and 10% of the daily amount of magnesium.

Celestial Seasonings Tea extended its TeaWell blends line with three new variants: Laxative and Gut Health (with a blend of prebiotics, probiotics, and fiber), Mood Tonic, and Sleep (with melatonin). The Sleep tea features a chamomile mint flavor with melatonin, chamomile, spearmint, nettle, catnip, coconut oil, and lemon balm. Buzz Lite coffee is a microdose roast that is “a unique blend of 90% decaffeinated and 10% caffeinated beans.” The coffee is formulated with a micro-dose of 20mg of caffeine per cup and “is a post-2 pm pick-me-up that will keep you grooving without the jitters or losing zzz’s.”

Lifeaid Beverage Co. released Dreamaid Go! Sleep, the brand’s first sleep enhancement product. Tranquil Tangerine is a powdered mix that contains 5mg melatonin, chamomile, and valerian. Wellness brand Hydrant launched Sleep, an elderberry flavored mix, which contains “a combination of electrolytes to hydrate the body overnight and melatonin, magnesium, L-theanine, GABA, and chamomile extract to promote serene sleep.” The mix can be made with hot or cold water and the brand recommends using it 30 minutes before bed.

The lack of sleep seems to be a universal problem impacting individuals of all ages. The pandemic has exacerbated sleep issues worldwide. Brands and manufacturers are creating a variety of consumer products designed to aid sleep. Sleep-focused supplements, as well as functional food and beverages, are here to stay to enhance consumers’ well-being.

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