Snaxshot #18: Functional Unwinding
moods, they are a changing!
🔮 Peek into the future:
Adaptogenic everything is here to stay.
Comedy of Men Starts Like This
The concept of food as medicine is as old as our relationship to what nourishes us. However, in the past couple of years, it seems that Millennials in particular are rediscovering what has always been inherently part of us, but as industrialization and an appeal to “modern times” were indoctrinated, it seems we have long lost connection with food. Food as we know it has changed as well, blame mono-cropping, mass production to satisfy gargantuan demands derived from a culture of wastefulness, etc —most of the food we consume at times, is unfortunately mostly deprived of its nutrients usually lost during processes to preserve shelf life, etc. So we turn to other stimulants to help us mitigate that void —caffeine to help us energize, alcohol to help us unload ourselves from the stress we purposely intake, supplements of all kinds to balance out a “lack” —all stemming from a culture of productivity that has falsely made us believe our worth is tied to our output, stress became our biggest antagonist as a generation.
This is our decision to live fast and die young
We've got the vision, now let's have some fun
Yeah, it's overwhelming, but what else can we do?
— “Time to Pretend” MGMT
We are constantly seeking to alter our states in some way or another, ironically at a time where “presence” and “awareness” have become so popular, though escapism isn’t new and it’s as old as civilization itself. It does seem that as a generation we are so disconnected from food and its inherent properties, that we are now being resold this knowledge at a premium, see the commodification of wellness and Goopification of traditions that are indigenous and native to so many cultures for millennia. We are now inundated with promises of Instagrammable health and it’s a reason why Snaxshot exists, as a way to help you and others navigate through this Brave New World and offer some guidance living in a hyper capitalistic society that leaves one feeling at times you’re always been preyed upon through gimmicky marketing or a fancy website. (Did you know you can always submit your experiences through our anonymous hotline?)
They say the devil's water, it ain't so sweet
You don't have to drink right now
But you can dip your feet
Every once in a little while.
—”When You Were Young” The Killers
We went from feeling like we had to be constantly wired, America Runs on Dunkin they preached and so we caffeinated to run alongside. Red Bull gives you wings and so we chugged down energy drinks to fly just as high. It’s Miller Time preached we had to intoxicate ourselves to have a good time and so we turned to this escapism in search of “relaxation” —but soon enough, as the consuming generation that we are, we realized how detrimental these were in excess. So our burnout selves began to search for “better for us” ways to take a load off, whilst seeking the same stimulation, state alteration of sorts, or at least a placebo effect.
The only thing that seems to make them feel alive
Is the struggle to survive
But the only thing that they request
Is something to numb the pain with
Until there's nothing human left
“Pure Comedy” —Father John Misty
Enter the rise of the sober curious movement, of the CBD x CPG trend, shroom boom, and adaptogenic everything. We are now trying to find a way to achieve balance, how can we exist in states simultaneously, without one overpowering the other?
Where the tree of good and evil still resides
Here’s what’s driving this shift in consumer demand:
—As of 2019, U.S. beer volumes were down 2.3% — fourth straight year of declines and for the first time in 25 years, wine sales declined as American drinkers are more focused on health and wellness
—Booming demand for functional beverages is propelling the non-alcoholic beverage market, registering a CAGR of 4.7% (2019 - 2024)
—Alcohol/low abv category volume to grow by over 35% by 2023
—Alcohol-free beer is forecasted to grow 47% globally
—CBD infused beverages will be a $2.8 billion market by 2025 as consumers seek to foods with therapeutical properties
—Year-on-year sales of products containing medicinal mushrooms have risen 200-800% depending on the type of mushroom
—Sales of mood support products were up by about 9.6% year-on-year for the first seven months of 2020
—According to SPINS adaptogen sales were up double digits in 2020
—Overall adaptogens market is expected to be $23.4 billion by 2030
Welcome to the Jungle, We’ve Got Adaptogens
And so does everyone and everything else in 2021— there’s even adaptogenic deodorant, the word adaptogen is becoming devoid of meaning, similar to what “CBD” has gone through, and “organic” before it. There’s a reason why I use notanotherCBDproduct.com —where there’s demand there will be exploitation of these concepts, even as it becomes detrimental to an actual net positive movement, like the idea of reconnecting us with food and the concept of food as medicine. BigFood is not far behind, Mondelez (SnackDaddy) launched an adaptogenic butter this year, both Smart Water and Evian now have “functional beverages” and in a matter of time, we will probably see Starbucks launch an adaptogenic coffee blend.
They build fortunes poisoning their offspring
And hand out prizes when someone patents a cure
—“Pure Comedy” Father John Misty
Marketing around adaptogen products has unfortunately been grossly exaggerated, and worse when it’s just a crossover of buzzwords like “nootropic and adaptogenic” or “CBD and Nootropic” or “CBD and adaptogenic” — not that these ingredients don’t have validity around the functions they can aid in, but the fact that mass-producing these products can raise questions around the sourcing and how much of these actual ingredients are being diluted to make a profit. It’s valid to be skeptical as it seems that this has become the ultimate gold rush, heck there are even influencers pushing out psychedelic water, that in fact has no psychoactive, creating false expectations around a product —you get my point.
There are however those who are putting in the work and are being transparent of their sourcing, providing educational resources to inform consumers around what these doses actually can do, and setting consumer expectations correctly.