Foreword to Winter 2014/15 Issue

Nutraceuticals: opportunities and challenges for 2015

The market for nutraceuticals is becoming increasingly global, though with varying regulations from country to country (US, Japan, EU countries and Brazil differ for example). The Deloitte 2012 survey of global food and drink businesses indicated that 79% of senior executives consider health and nutrition the most important driver for the food and drink industry. Looking for higher margin products in nutraceuticals fulfils that niche. In this trend Indena S.p.A., with their grape seed extracts and plant APIs, has been working for many years to offer products that can be used by all consumers in all markets. ‘In this framework kosher certification remains a key factor for the acceptance of our products globally’ advises Christian Artaria, Marketing Director.

Labelling of products is an issue to watch but also an opportunity and there are lessons to be learnt from consumers’ confusion over claims on regular food products. A Chartered Institute of Marketing report earlier this year observed that 83% of industry respondents claim to see competitors use language or images giving the impression the product is more efficacious than it is.

More than half of UK consumers consider nutritional information on food and drink packaging difficult for the average shopper to comprehend, and a similar proportion claim they would have a better understanding of the ingredients if they were better displayed. Some solutions to these issues, including strategies for health and wellbeing brands, will be covered at the Food Matters Live conference (http://www.foodmatterslive.com/) in London during November.

With increasing demand for GMO labelling, companies like Carotech who actively acquired non-GMO product verification for ingredients and products, will be a step ahead of others in gaining favourable recognition in the nutraceuticals industry and differentiating themselves from their competitors. What ingredients to watch for in 2015? Karin E Nielsen of Nutrition Business Strategies advises that the market will embrace the trends of natural (not chemically modified) and free-from (non gluten, egg, GM). Particular ingredients that will continue to feature include polyphenols, vegetable proteins, African originated ingredients (for example baobab, kanna, and buchu) and Indian Ayurvedic (for example ashawagandha, amla, and tulsi)

HI Europe (http://www.figlobal.com/hieurope/) taking place this December in the Netherlands has just launched a report – Indulging in Health: The Growth of Nutraceuticals. With the increasing number of nutraceutical products in the market consumers are becoming more discerning about the advantages of different ingredients. Certainly some purchasers taking an active interest in their health are reading more and becoming better informed. As baby boomers age there is increased demand for nutraceuticals to address the ageing process from this demographic. Two very important trends that are gaining traction in the market at the moment are brain health (neuro protection and cognitive support) and heart health.

Another market trend cited in the report is the increasing interest of parents in child nutrition. Of course if you win a child as a consumer hopefully you can take them through to adulthood. The UK nutraceuticals firm Vitabiotics has been very successful in launching a range of products for all generations with a range which includes wellKiD, wellTeen, wellman and wellwoman. Within Europe London has the highest birth rate: maybe this region is the place to trial new products to target the infant nutrition sector.

The US remains the largest market for nutraceuticals. When combined with Europe and Japan it is responsible for 85% of world consumption. Kosher certification of ingredients and products is crucial especially to sell in the US markets. Mr WH Leong, Vice President of Carotech Inc contends that from a global perspective, kosher ingredients and products are viewed as safer and hence nutraceutical companies with kosher certified products will be more sustainable in terms of market penetration.

As with all new product development it is better to design in kosher compliance from the outset rather than retro engineer the product delaying market acceptance. It is particularly important for the proving ground of the North American market. Kosher accreditation is seen as a standalone international quality standard. In the long term, nutraceuticals with a strong research backing and safety profile will command the market.

A conference is running concurrently with HI Europe. My selected highlights would be a session on optimising scale- up of encapsulation process for human nutrition by Dr Sinéad B. Bleie, founder of Anabio Technologies and another entitled Reformulating Products for Ageing Consumers – Innovations in Sensory and Technological Applications to be given by Innova.

It was 10 years ago when I was last in Amsterdam at HI Europe. How the market has developed in the intervening years is remarkable. I am looking forward to checking out the New Product Zone seeing Vivinal® from Friesland Campina, and products promoted by SIPPO, amongst others.

KLBD Kosher Accreditation will be exhibiting at HI Europe on 2nd – 4th December – stand number E25 (http://www.klbdkosher.org/)

Russell J Brown
Commercial Consultant
KLBD Kosher Certification