Healthy indulgence is not a new term, and it’s not, in of itself, contradictory either. Since the advent of sugar-free, natural and better-for-you claims in the Western market, food and beverage manufacturers have been attempting to balance consumer demand for healthier products with the continued desire for a full, impactful flavour. This has created a sub-market for ‘guilt-free’ foods.

Enter UK-based Skinny Food’s #NotGuilty Jam range, which recently launched two new flavours. Said to contain 85% fewer calories and 93% less sugar than standard jams, the product will likely appeal to the health-conscious looking to cut down their calorie intake while confined to their home.

With the UK now being a few weeks into lockdown, panic buying has settled and a ‘new normal’ is expected to set in. Part of this is comfort eating, whether out of boredom or stress, many consumers are turning to ‘less than healthy’ foods that provide immediate gratification when the future remains uncertain. In this respect, the company’s new flavours could not be better timed.

The #NotGuilty Jam doesn’t only play into fitness concerns and the range is also touted as vegan, gluten-free and diabetic friendly. This will especially appeal to consumers with such dietary restrictions that may currently be limited in their options as supermarkets’ shelves are left bare.

What’s more, prolonged lockdowns may result in increased obesity rates and take a toll on national health services in the long run. The World Health Organization has recognised this as an impending issue, and as such, launched #HealthyAtHome campaign, encouraging consumers to look after their mental and physical health via exercise, balanced diets and quitting smoking. Therefore, by positioning itself as diabetic-friendly and vegan, for instance, the brand is able to justify its premium price tag and align with the aforementioned growing concerns.

It is also worth noting the company’s use of hashtags to spread a message and appeal to a younger, more tech-savvy generation. By incorporating #NotGuilty into the product ranges brand name, the company is not just making a playful retort on today’s Insta-led culture. Whether consciously searching for the product or not, consumers using this hashtag will come across the product, organically expanding its reach during a time when stores are stocking less and people’s movements in-store are restricted. Lockdown has also led to higher digitalisation across all generations; online skills and habits adopted now are likely to persist long after quarantining is lifted, therefore, having an online presence will only become more important in the years to come.

Food and beverage brands should look to the #NotGuilty range as an example of how to adapt to re-emerging consumer trends and turn a crisis into a competitive edge. After all, who said healthy has to taste bad?