It’s no secret that consumers are becoming more aware and knowledgeable about their individual body’s needs; a significant part of that is a new understanding that they might not be getting all the vitamins and nutrients they need from their diet alone. Niki Kennedy, Senior Marketing Manager at Glanbia Nutritionals, reports
Consumers are increasingly turning to functional foods, beverages and supplements, which they see as having great nutritional benefits. Functionality can range from vitamins and minerals to electrolytes for hydration, fibre for digestion or botanicals for a variety of health-giving properties.
In many cases, manufacturers rely on custom premixes to ensure that their products have the nutrients consumer desire — without affecting taste or texture — and to simplify their manufacturing process.
The vitamin and dietary supplement market in the EMEA is estimated to be worth £9.3 billion, with a CAGR of 4–5% (2020-2025).1 The rise in demand during recent years is clear to see and the strong performance of vitamins is largely because of increased consumer interest in ingredients that boost immunity and reduce deficiencies in the body — such as vitamin C and D — especially after the global pandemic.
Although most nutrition and health supplements have typically been more popular with older generations, particularly those that support heart, bone, eye and brain health, an increasingly younger demographic is now seeking supplements that provide consumers with energy, focus or have calming benefits. When developing a new product, developers should consider a wider user base and take a holistic, multigenerational approach.
One key difference between consumers in different age groups is the demand for products that suit an ever-busy schedule. Increased demand for products that provide health and wellness benefits whilst fitting into the lifestyle of the modern customer has driven many companies in the supplements market to develop better, more convenient solutions.
Functional products such as sports nutrition products and meal replacements provide a convenient, easy-to-use solution to help improve an individual’s specific health requirements.
As consumers become more and more conscious about their overall health and look to live longer, active lives, other categories are helping to drive the market forward. Sports nutrition, for example, accounts for 19% of European premix revenues.
And although that may appear small, it is in fact one of the fastest growing categories.2 According to Euromonitor, sports-oriented products are forecasted to reach €4.3 billion by 2024, with an estimated CAGR of 7.6% by 2024. What’s more, we’re also seeing that the rise in consumer demand for nutritional and dietary drinks has led to the fortification of everyday drinks with functional ingredients alongside their sports-focused counterparts.
We strongly believe that this trend will continue beyond beverages and into wider, non-sport-specific food applications. Already, we’re noting momentum in nutrition bars, but we also expect to see applications such as gummies, savoury snacks and similar to advance.
Taste and texture drive the consumer experience throughout food applications and our custom premix solutions and functionally optimised nutrient technologies are keeping pace with end user desires. The proper premix allows once-difficult ingredients to become easily incorporated into a wide range of applications.
Meal replacements, which often contain nutrient premixes to ensure that key ingredients are present, as well as to improve the taste and texture, are a quick and easy way for consumers who are constantly on-the-go to refuel. For manufacturers and brands, the more of these ingredients a product contains, the more challenging it can be in terms of procurement, inventory management and production.
However, a custom nutrient premix, which typically includes ten to twenty nutrients in the precise proportions needed for a product, can alleviate many of these challenges. In addition, a customised powder premix allows brands as to add several vitamins and minerals without affecting the product’s taste and texture.
Although many people continue to lead active and vibrant lives beyond the age of 60, there is no denying that ageing brings its own unique health challenges, requiring additional supplements to help address or prevent health problems. According to the World Health Organization, 22% of the global population will be older than 60 by 2050 — double what it was in 2015.3
Looking ahead, we believe that the budding trend for personalisation, from age to lifestyle and even genetics, will become mainstream. Consumers are becoming increasingly educated about the idea that each individual is unique. It’s this knowledge that will drive consumers to demand more personalised products and, therefore, more combinations of nutrients.
When it comes to nutrients, brands and manufacturers will need high quality customised solutions. With a premix partner, managing a variety of nutrient combination simplifies the manufacturing process.