Trends in NEW GENERATION FOODS

04 September 2017 | Column | By NFS Correspondent

The wellness industry itself is undergoing functional and structural changes and more focused on prevention of chronic diseases concept than simply maintaining health. This movement is currently experiencing renewed impetus as several food/nutritional components are being employed as medicines, either directly or as prodrugs. My intention here is to cover entire range of functional foods, dietary supplements, nutraceuticals, medical foods, natural medicines etc. under “New Generation Foods”. 

 

Major demographic changes and psychographic shifts in the global consumer market are guiding the next stage evolution of “New Generation Foods” products, more targeting, particularly ageing population by offering specific functional health benefits. Because these opportunities are largely consumer-driven, understanding consumer interests and motivations is the key for successful positioning of new generation functional foods, beverages and supplements.

 

It is generally accepted worldwide that modern pharmaceuticals will remain out of reach of many people and “health for all”may only be materialized by the use of adequately assessed nutraceutical/phytomedicinal products.

 

Over the past decade, increasing media attention to the health-food/nutrition link, and demographic, economic, and social trends has signi cantly enhanced consumer, public, and private sector engagement in “New Generation Foods” domain. Combination of physical, emotional, well-being, social, or nancial components would be the best marketing and product positioning strategy in coming future. The “New Generation Foods” industries need to develop a concept of “insurance” for future health, as long as the products are developed as scientifically credible, high quality, readily available, tasty, varied, and convenient.

 

Estimates of complementary therapy use in cancer patients in Australia indicate that anywhere from 17-87 per cent have used at least one form of complementary therapy while receiving conventional cancer treatment. The prevalence of complementary medicines use in the general Australian population is up to 65 per cent. Similarly the fact that one in three Americans are using some form of alternative and complementary/adjunct therapy. The nutraceuticals industry continues to be in a healthy position overall and future forecasts are promising. For example, Euromonitor International expects the U.S. vitamin and dietary supplement market to increase by 53 per cent to $28.7 billion by 2021. In the nutraceuticals domain, peripheral opportunities are also exist for managing chronic lifestyle diseases and ailments, such as obesity, tuberculosis, diabetes, arthritis, malaria, and cholera, which can be managed through preventive efforts.

 

Commercial trends in this industry are driven by country-specific regulations and health claim substantiation, because these are different in different countries. Shifts in consumer beliefs and behaviors drive trends and create opportunities. Based on few leading market intelligent research reports (Julian Mellentin, New Nutrition Business February, 2015; International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation, 2017; IFT.org, 2016), here are the major trends:

 

 

E-COMMERCE

 

There is strong believe that e-Commerce is the next frontier for Nutraceutical and Functional Food Brands. Consumers’ adoption of e-commerce offers a window of opportunity to evidence-based companies who can take new ideas to consumers, to test their response to your product and create a loyal customer base. The success stories of Alibaba, Amazon, Flipkart, HomeShop18, Snapdeal etc are noticeable.

 

PLANTS AND NATURAL

 

Among consumers, plant-based foods are capturing a bigger “share-of-mind,” fueled by the huge support the concept gets from high-pro le bloggers, mainstream journalists. The biggest opportunities lie with snacking products that are explicitly plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free, such as the many brands based on seaweed, beans, chickpeas and others. Minimally processed foods/ natural ingredients were cited for the rst time among the “hot” culinary trends for 2016 identi ed by the American Culinary Federation (NRA 2015). 

 

REDUCED SUGAR AND WEIGHT WELLNESS

 

Consumer backlash on added sugar is forcing manufacturers to reduce sugar content and introduce natural alternatives in their products. Several countries are introducing legislation to control excessive intake of sugary foods. These include health warnings, sugar/ junk taxes, banning of junk foods in schools, restrictions on advertising to children and reduced portion sizes etc. Different forms of sugar tax have already been introduced in Denmark, France, Finland, Hungary, Mexico and India. The global weight management market is expected to reach $ 442.3 billion by 2025. In 2016, North America dominated the global market with the largest revenue share of over 46.0%. Asia Pacific (Australia, India & China) is expected to emerge as the fastest growing region during the forecast period.

 

PROTEIN’S POWER

 

In the U.S., protein has evolved from simply an ingredient concept and continues to dominate health market with numerous products. No one even anticipated five years ago about this spectacular and sustainable growth. According to the 2016 Food and Health Survey, nearly two-thirds of Americans are trying to consume more protein or as much as possible, up significantly from 54 per cent in 2015 and 50% in 2014. There is a still strong tie between the health halo and protein and expected to grow beyond 2017.

 

DIGESTIVE WELLNESS

 

Digestive health offers wide appeal. For women throughout their reproductive life, and men especially after age 40, maintaining good digestive health is an everyday wellness issue. There is a particularly strong interest among seniors as well.

 

BRAIN HEALTH

 

Cognitive health is a thriving, moving from niche market to mass market, particularly since it has applications throughout all life stages. Euromonitor’s latest estimate for the size of dietary supplements positioned around memory or mood/relaxation claims is $2.7 billion in retail sales. Unfortunately majority of current market is dominated by “Short-term performance booster”. Consumer’s expectation is ying exponentially when clinical research links potential of few herbs with Alzheimer’s disease and ADHD.

 

WOMEN’S HEALTH

 

Women’s Health Market is segmented on the basis of application and analysis, drug class, and region. Segmentation covers Premenstrual syndrome, Postmenopausal osteoporosis, Infertility, Endometriosis, Contraceptives, Menopause, Polycystic ovary syndrome. In 2015, the global women’s heath market was led by the Americas accounting for close to 40% of the market share. The region is exhibiting consistent growth because of the increasing population of older women. The rapid decline in fertility rates in many emerging markets has experienced over the last 50 years and which stimulates the specific market growth. Improved education for women and increased female participation in the work force, as well as changing societal lifestyle ideals, all of these are accounted for this signi cant growth of women’s health and wellbeing. 

 

Dr Dilip Ghosh, Industry expert, Sydney, Australia 

 

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