Top 10 trends emerging from Vitafoods 2019 - Natural Products - Strategic Advice
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Top 10 trends emerging from Vitafoods 2019


Top 10 trends emerging from Vitafoods 2019

Vitafoods Europe is an annual expo where nutraceutical industry leaders gather to discuss, innovate and find solutions around natural health and wellness. Vitafoods 2019 saw over 1 200 exhibitors come together to share their innovations and insights. Here are the top 10 trends that Innova Market Insights outlined for Vitafoods 2019:

1. Consumer more connected to the plate

According to trend forecasters in the food and nutrition industry, digital technology advances are enabling consumers to know more than ever about their food and supplements’ sources through improved transparency and knowledge-sharing. 

Blockchain technology is one of the areas of innovation driving this trend. Charlotte Bastiaanse, editor at Vitafoods Insights, and Heather Granato, Vice President of Content, Health & Nutrition, discuss this trend in a podcast here, and how nutraceutical companies are using newer technology to create establish higher levels of transparency enabling consumers, in turn, to truly know what’s on their plates.

2. The rise of the adventurous consumer

Another emerging trend has to do with consumer adventurousness.

In the past, many nutraceutical and health food companies would tailor their offerings very closely to local markets’ tastes and preferences. The big trend in 2019, however, is toward consumers showing more adventurous palates as they become more open to new food experiences and ethnic flavours in the increasingly globalized world.

3. A focus on the plant kingdom

Plant-based diets (including veganism) have grown more in popularity in recent years, and the preference for all things plant is also trending in nutraceutical brands’ product development. Food companies are experimenting more with botanical flavours, and we’re also seeing more development of hybrid plant-based food products and supplements.

4. More alternatives for all

Consumers’ desires for choice and alternatives that promote health and sustainability are pushing innovation in the realm of ‘replacements’. Consumers want to be able to enjoy the food products they love, yet without harmful additives or the environmental cost of certain ingredients.

Alternative proteins to animal sources and substitute ingredients are trending, with companies finding creative ways to increase sustainable choice and either emulate products consumers already love or else find innovative new ways of delivering familiar ingredients.

5. A growth in green appeal

There has been a big shift towards ‘green appeal’. Brands are increasingly committing to fighting food waste through packaging, advertising and other means, and are also investing in packaging innovations that reduce environmental impact.

6. New innovations in snacking

As consumers’ expectations have evolved, snack product brands have also innovated around snack formats and what Innova Market Insights term ‘snackification’ – the delivery of health and wellness products in snack form (for example, natural gummy sweets used as a carrier for CBD oil).

Healthy snacking is part of this trend, as health brands are increasingly finding ways to be competitive alternatives to non-nutritive snack options.

7. Personalisation on point – eating for me

A seventh emerging trend is the endless customisation that enables consumers to fulfil individual dietary and supplement needs with a high degree of personalised choice.

Technological advances coupled with consumer-centric food service and retail innovation mean that consumers can tailor their dietary choices to their personal preferences and ideological convictions more than ever before.

8. Taking a fresh look at fibre

A renewed emerging trend is a growing interesting in the functions and possibilities of dietary fibre.

New claims about the benefits of dietary fibre go beyond digestive health. Recent discoveries in fibre applications are leading brands to find different methods of delivery, and this important dietary supplement was a hot topic at Vitafoods 2019.

9. Investing in ‘feel good’ foods

A further trend in 2019 is the rise in eating and supplementing for mental wellbeing. Consumers are increasingly interested in how nutrition can support emotional wellbeing. Brands are thus increasingly investigating ingredients that support brain function and feel good claims. This includes growing interest in CBD-infused products with a focus on mood-related properties.

10. The power of the ‘small player’

Trends in 2019 in the nutraceutical industry include bigger roles for start-up companies who shake up the food and beverage industries every year, managing to compete against larger, more established brands that have more sophisticated marketing and PR machines behind them.

The varied trends emerging from Vitafoods 2019 outlined above show that there are still many areas for development and innovation within the nutraceutical industry, as sustainability, transparency and other contemporary values continue to drive consumer and brand behaviour.

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