Is There a Market for Snacks That Help You Sleep?

Pepsi, Nestle and Post are among the companies that have competed in the space.

March 21, 2023

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—“While we all deserve a good night's sleep, for over half of American adults, that sleep is elusive. That's why Post Consumer Brands is looking to help make your sleep dreams come true with Sweet Dreams—the first ready-to-eat cereal designed to be part of a healthy sleep routine while still satisfying those nighttime food cravings.” 

That’s how Post describes its newest cereal, launched last month. It’s just one example of a trend towards snackable sleep aids.

The Post cereal is “packed with intentionally designed ingredients,” the company said, such as vitamins and minerals that boost melatonin production.

According to the Daily Mail, Nestle launched Goodnight chocolates in 2019. The signature ingredient was magnesium. This mineral is involved in many bodily functions, and there’s some evidence it plays a role in sleeping well.

In 2020, Pepsi launched Driftwell, an enhanced water beverage with magnesium and L-theanine, an amino acid that may encourage relaxation.

“Driftwell is not just a product but an essential wellness conversation in North America that the brand is proactively driving,” the company said at the time. “Relaxation and dealing with stress is a lifestyle shift.”

Although neither Goodnight nor Driftwell have caught on, the market remains tempting—as Post’s new entry demonstrates. The Washington Post reports that two-thirds of adults say they regularly lose sleep because of stress. According to some research, the global sleep aid market is in excess of $60 billion and growing rapidly. About 1 in 5 Americans takes either a prescription or over-the-counter sleep aid.

The boom of CBD-infused products at c-stores is in part due to CBD’s reputation for having a soothing, sleep-inducing effect.