Psycho Trend?

The Lempert Report
September 30, 2022

Phil: So the new way to get smarter is from psychobiotics. What are psychobiotics? 

Sally: Well, Phil, we've seen a huge rise in CBD products. CBD is in everything. It's in foods, it's in pet foods. It's in drinks. It has become more accepted. The laws are changing in many states and that is also extending to mushrooms and components in mushrooms that research is showing are helpful for people in dealing with anxiety, depression, sleep disorders. So I feel like we're going to see a lot more of this in our food products. 

Phil: We are. And there's also a connection. In fact, Ken Dychtwald, a good friendwho wrote the book Age Wave. Before he wrote Age Wave, and he talked about a lot of our programs that we implemented in supermarkets in Age Wave. Before that he wrote a fabulous book called body mind, the mind, the body, The Mind Body Connection, sorry about that. And he really talked about how, what we eat affects our mind. And when we look at psychobiotics, it's basically a term that talks about all the things that Sally talked about as well as the gut microbiomes that can benefit mental health. And the reason that that's important is that the bacteria strains that are in our gut really relate directly to our brain. Our gut is often called the second brain because that helps regulate brain function. And also it controls serotonin dopamine GABA. 

Phil: And also when we look at the kind of foods, let me get to the kind of foods, that we should be eating that help this mind, body connection. Kafir yogurt, Tempe, miso, Natto, kimchi, sauerkraut, pickled vegetables. All of these were found in a study of more than 26,000 people who included these foods in their diet had lower rates of depression than individuals who didn't eat these foods. And just this past week, what we saw is the panel of medical experts last Tuesday recommended for the first time that doctors screen all adult patients under the age of 65 for anxiety guidance that highlights the extraordinary stress levels that are in the US since the pandemic. This is part of the US preventative services task force and what they found, which reinforces what this trend is, is from August 2020 to February 2021. And I think we all know people who have gone through this or are going through it still to this day, the percentage of adults with recent symptoms of an anxiety or depressive disorder increased to 41.5%, 41.5% of us are either anxious or depressed. And yes, a lot of it has to do with the pandemic. So if we eat right, and we really understand what our shoppers need in order to do that, how about putting up, you know, an endcap display of mood foods of these probiotics of these psychobiotics to help help customers, you know, we just can't ignore. We really have a serious problem here. 

Sally: Yes. And it has something that we, it's something we've been missing for a long time in messaging and teaching people about how food can be medicine for you. And just think of the amount of money we'll save in healthcare costs. And people won't be on pharmaceuticals this much, be relying on them as much and using more natural compounds in food to take care of themselves. 

Phil: Now, in the beginning of the pandemic, what we start to see are people going to comfort foods, whether it's macaroni and cheese or Oreos or stuff like that. So that was a mental, a way for us to mentally deal with the stress. But now if we can go a step further and our retail dietitians and everybody in supermarkets start talking about these other foods, these probiotics that can really help our moods and help depression. This could be huge. It really could be, and we need to pay attention to this trend and this opportunity for grocers, really, to your point, Sally, of really reinforcing this food is medicine concept and food is mental medicine. You know, we, we get these lofty terms, food is medicine, and everybody says, yeah, let's do it. Well, here's an actionable item that every supermarket in the country can do to help all their shoppers deal with all this stress.