Foreword to Winter 2014 Issue

I’m sure no one would argue with the assertion that scientific research is the backbone of the nutraceutical industry – not only does it drive ingredient and product innovation, but it also plays a crucial role in securing validated health claims that appeal to consumers’ biggest concerns.

In the seven years that I’ve been Portfolio Director for Vitafoods, I have seen just how much science shapes the nutraceutical industry and enables manufacturers to stay ahead of the curve in what has become a highly competitive market.

There has never been such an exciting time to be working in our industry, with Transparency Market Research predicting that the global nutraceutical product market will reach $204.8 billion by 2017, growing at a CAGR of 6.3% – but to ensure this growth is sustainable, it is my belief that we must continue to be at the forefront of scientific research and innovation.

Translating scientific breakthroughs into products that respond to current and future demand is essential. As pressures on health services around the world continue to mount due to ageing populations and the obesity epidemic, I see ample opportunity for the nutraceutical market to bridge the widening gap between what health providers offer and what consumers can do at home to protect against disease. At the same time, it’s clear that trends such as sports nutrition and beauty from within will continue to recruit consumers as they continue to pursue their quest for health and wellbeing.

At Vitafoods Europe our goal is deliver the latest scientific thinking in an easy-to-digest way, so that manufacturers and suppliers can leverage new research to create ingredient and product offerings that respond to consumers’ personal concerns, as well as nations’ biggest health problems.

This year the Vitafoods Europe Conference, which runs alongside the exhibition on 6-8 May in Geneva, will have a brand new modular format which we believe makes it even easier for delegates to access sessions that are relevant to their businesses.

For added flexibility, two streams have been devised,with attendees able to select modules on industry-relevant topics from the breadth of the two-day programme. And to ensure presentations are of the highest level, this year’s submissions were peer-reviewed blind by the Executive Advisory Board with only the most scientifically robust making the cut.

I’m sure most would agree that having a crystal ball to predict what the future holds would make life a lot less stressful. While we can’t provide this, the conference will open with a keynote panel discussion on the future of nutraceuticals. With panel members including Victor Ferrari, CEO, Horphag Research, Simon Pettman of EAS Strategic Advice and Hubert Weber, Executive Vice President of Mondelèz Europe, I’m sure we’re in for an animated discussion that will offer plenty of food for thought.

Following on from this, the sessions split into the two streams with each module including multiple papers presented by representatives from leading universities, ingredient suppliers and manufacturers, as well as research scientists.

For those interested in specific health issues, stream A investigates and evaluates the latest scientific updates on seven of the hottest topics including cognitive, reproductive, heart and eye health. Stream B meanwhile outlines key markets with high growth potential, ingredients that are set to become big news and practical advice on regulatory challenges.

All delegates are also invited to a closing panel at the end of day two where EAB members will debate and discuss topics from across the conference programme. The session will explore the outcomes of the conference, as well as offer different perspectives on the future of the nutraceutical industry.

We always receive positive feedback on the quality of the science and research presented in the Vitafoods Europe Conference and the new customised format will mean even more delegates are able to take advantage. Staying ahead of the competition means staying on top of scientific and market developments and I’m very much looking forward to seeing and hearing what this year’s edition of Vitafoods Europe has to offer.

For more information on the Vitafoods Europe Conference Programme and to book your attendance, visit http://www.vitafoods.eu.com/Conference. Prices start from €250 per module.

Chris Lee, Portfolio Director, Vitafoods Europe, 6-8 May 2014, Geneva