Health and Wellness Remain Top Priority for Canadians in 2024

Ingredients with immunity-building and digestive benefits have potential to shine in the retail market.

TORONTO, ONT (January 23, 2024) – A recent Mintel survey among 2,000 Canadians has identified health considerations as a pivotal factor in better-for-you eating trends. More than one-third of respondents expressed a desire for immunity-boosting ingredients. Joel Gregoire, Mintel’s associate director of food and drink, asserts that while conventional considerations of health often revolve around aspects such as energy or cardiovascular well-being, there exists a significant resonance among consumers for products that address and enhance immune health. Consumers interested in seeking functional health foods should consider incorporating California Prunes into their daily consumption habits. They are a natural, affordable ingredient that deliver vitamin K and potassium, combined with other important nutrients that are known to boost overall immunity, bone and gut health, thus promoting overall well-being.

Prunes are also a versatile ingredient that can be incorporated into a variety of healthy recipes. Whether enjoyed straight from the bag, paired with chocolate, tossed into salads, or incorporated into savoury dishes, their versatility knows no bounds.

In addition to a growing interest for immune strengthening ingredients, foods that promote gut health are also taking centre stage. A recent RestoBiz 2024 menu trend report revealed that the hashtag #guthealth amassed an impressive 4.7 billion views on social media. Consumers are prioritizing gut health due to the significant impact of the gut-brain connection on mood, immune systems, hormones and overall well-being. The microbiome in the gut, comprising both good and bad bacteria, plays a crucial role in maintaining immune system strength and resilience. As per the study, an imbalance in the gut microbiome can lead to various health complications, prompting individuals to prioritize gut health to avoid chronic issues such as inflammation, immune system dysfunction and other related symptoms.

A single serving of 4 to 5 California Prunes provides 3 grams of soluble and insoluble fibre and are helpful for easing laxation. In addition to laxation, studies are also focusing on the potential effects on the microbiome. Research funded by the California Prune Board and presented at the 2015 Experimental Biology conference suggests that prunes promote retention of beneficial bacteria throughout the colon, which may reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Sweet, Spiced Cornish Hen with Macerated Prunes, Olives, and Lemon, served with Jeweled Couscous by Chef Rodney Bowers

In the era of health-conscious choices, consumers are steering away from refined sugars towards the allure of natural sweeteners, as per RestoBiz 2024 menu trend report. With a surge in demand expected, particularly in beverages and desserts, California Prunes emerge as an ideal choice. Renowned for their natural sweetness and nutritional benefits, California Prunes perfectly align with this evolving trend, offering a deliciously wholesome option for those seeking to indulge in sweet cravings with a focus on well-being.

California Prunes are a nutritional powerhouse, with a rich blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that contribute to the well-being of gut, heart and bone health. Together, these nutrients form a web of vital functions that support overall health and the immune system. As the demand for healthy ingredients continues to surge, grocers stand to benefit significantly by stocking California Prunes.

For additional insights about how California Prunes can enhance the health profile of recipes and product formulations and cater to customers’ evolving demands for functional foods, visit


The California Prune Board was established in 1952 to represent growers and handlers under the authority of the California Secretary of Food and Agriculture. California is the world’s largest producer of prunes with orchards across 14 counties in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys. Promoting a lifetime of wellness through the enjoyment of California Prunes, the organization leads the premium prune category with generations of craftsmanship supported by California’s leading food safety and sustainability standards.

Channy Mool, Harbinger Communications