Foreword to Spring 2014 Issue

Knowledge will be the key to success

The nutraceutical industry is arguably in a period of dynamic change, innovation and growth. Never before have consumers been so engaged with the health and well-being agenda on the back of a plethora of government and consumer-lobby initiatives to raise awareness about the relationship between diet and health.

This global sea-change means it is vital that we, as an industry, pay ever closer attention to those key trends that will shape our future innovation.

Consumers in mature markets are demanding ever more sophisticated products designed to target specific concerns such as anti-ageing, cognitive health and sports nutrition, while those in emerging markets where obesity levels have been rapidly rising are increasingly understanding the link between diet and health – opening up new opportunities all the time. Markets such as China, Russia and Brazil are no longer just ones to watch, and are already making their mark on the international stage.

Taking just a couple of examples from an array of new product developments I can point to the growth of sports nutrition and nutricosmetics. Once the preserve of body- builders, new-to-market products aimed at a cross- section of consumers who want an easy way to control and monitor their protein intake, are seeing rapid growth with suppliers offering new protein ingredients including chia, quinoa and even insects over and above traditional soy and whey proteins.

Beauty is no longer confined to the realm of cosmetics companies. The new breed of nutricosmetics that promise beauty from the inside out continue to build their customer bases. Collagen drinks and skin-perfecting supplements are beginning to go mainstream – Brazilian company Beauty’in has just launched its range of nutricosmetics and supplements into the UK market so we’ll be watching closely on how it’s received by consumers.

On a more serious note, the link between many common illnesses, such as heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s, is increasingly under the spotlight. Just a couple of months ago new research questioned whether saturated fats were actually as demonic as we’ve been led to believe for the past 40 years, at the same time doubt is now cast on the efficacy of omega-3 as a supplement…all of which is leading to consumer confusion and a measure of fatigue around health claims and marketing messages.

Even just taking this handful of subjects it’s easy to see how the next few years will be pivotal in shaping the nutraceutical industry and the role it will play in diet and well-being. And the industry’s vital role in not only developing and launching cutting-edge ingredients and products, but also ensuring that the messaging around them clear and consistent.

To ensure every visitor to Vitafoods Europe understands how all these changes could affect the current market for their products and future NPD, we’ve ensured this year’s event is more comprehensive than ever. We’ve added a host of new content and brought in more experts who will be offering their experience and insight.

Innovation Tours led by NutriMarketing and natural ingredient specialist Dr. John Wilkinson, will ensure visitors don’t miss information and/or ingredients vital to business success, while the New Products Zones in both Vitafoods Europe and Finished Products Europe offer a guide to the latest market innovations. In the Nutra Insights Hub attendees can grab expert knowledge from market researchers such as Mintel, Euromonitor, EAS Strategic Advice and Innova Market Insights. They’ll bring everything from the Top 10 Trends for 2014 (courtesy of Innova Market Insights) to more on the rise of Stevia – the natural alternative to sugar, (from Diana Cowland, Senior Health and Wellness Analyst at Euromonitor). The new Vitafoods Live! theatre will investigate hot topics during debates – The Rise of Medical Foods, The Future of Healthy Bakery and The Future of Infant Formula just some of what’s in store. Over in Finished Products Europe a new theatre gives retailers and wholesalers the chance to hear from the experts on novel products and global trends. Here, recently-founded Food Supplements Europe will put forward its vision for the industry’s role in promoting health and well-being within the public health arena. EAS Strategic Advice will also be on hand in both exhibitions for one-to-one sessions on regulatory landscapes around the world.

Knowledge will be key to succeeding in this industry in the future. Consumers will become more, not less, demanding and we must also be prepared for legislation to make it even more difficult for us to make health claims.

At Vitafoods Europe we can help the industry prepare for the challenges ahead. This year our high- level premium content has been expanded and will dive even deeper into hot topics. A new ‘pick and mix’ modular format across the two-day conference means visitors can attend the sessions which are most relevant to them, and we’ve also added a day- long FourFactors® of Success masterclass which provides crucial tips on launching new products to market.

This unrivalled access to information, industry experts and key influencers makes this year’s event more relevant than ever. We look forward to seeing you there.

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