Foreword to Winter 2015 Issue

Science You Can Trust

Asked to name three certainties in life… most people would put death, taxes and fish on Fridays at the top of the list. asked to name three requirements for life, oxygen, water and a healthy diet would be the first things mentioned. Sounds pretty simple? Based on developments in the world of nutrition over the last few years, things aren’t as simple as they used to be.

Over the last year, some of nutrition’s central tenets have been shaken to the core. Saturated fat, long the enemy, is apparently no longer as harmful to health as previously thought. Carbohydrates were once a central component of the healthy diet, but now a protein-rich diet is being encouraged and reductions in carbohydrate intake are advised. Sugar has become enemy number 1, with strident headlines on the reduction of consumer intake of added sugars due to its link to obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Hysterical headlines and confused consumers are making life for the food industry very difficult; pressure on the food industry for transparency and clarity regarding what’s in our food has never been greater. Consumers have become a very savvy bunch – they expect honesty from food manufacturers, where all health claims and product information are backed up by robust science, and not what the marketing department thinks will sound good.

Essentially, as an industry we need to be certain that when we say something to consumers, it’s true. Health claims regulations have gone a long way towards controlling information given to consumers in advertising and on the packaging.

Despite this confusion and uncertainty, the growth in the market for functional foods, beverages and ingredients shows no sign of abating. Market researchers RTS Resource forecast the European market for functional food and drink to be worth $14bn by 2018. Source: Foodtrending.com, with the European market for health ingredients forecast to grow by 5% per year to reach $2.2bn by 2018. Although growth in the demand for functional food and drink has slowed in Europe over the past five years, the consumer market is still expected to reach around $14bn (depending on definition) by 2018, equivalent to 0.8% of all consumer expenditure (at consumer prices paid). At the same time, the market for “healthier” and “better of you” food and drink has been growing faster as consumers favour foods with that “little bit extra” rather than for the more “serious” functional foods. The result is that the overall demand in Europe for health ingredients in food and drink in Europe is forecast to grow by 5% per year to 2018 to reach a value of $2.2bn.

In their new Market Report Future Directions for the Global Functional Foods Market, Leatherhead Food Research report an increase in consumer understanding of ingredients such as probiotics omega-3s and various vitamins and minerals, creating NPD opportunities in many food and drink sectors, and a growing trend towards functional food in the US, which may overtake Japan as the World’s largest functional foods market by the end of the current decade.

For companies seeking clarity and advice in an ever- changing environment, NutraFormulate can provide the support you need. Now in its fifth year, NutraFormulate 2015 will focus on the crystal clear science behind the efficacy of specific ingredients on human health. The conference provides authoritative content from respected international experts, discussing the latest findings and applications, and how we as an industry should use this information in our new product development and marketing strategies. Workshops and seminars will cover food formulation, consumer perception and NPD roadmapping. In addition, exhibitors include ingredients suppliers and specialist consultancies for the functional foods sector. Everything you need to win consumer confidence, and maintain your edge in this highly competitive market will be at NutraFormulate 2015, the event for anyone working in the UK’s functional foods, beverages and supplements industry.

NutraFormulate will take place on 17-18 March 2015 at the NMM Birmingham; www.nutraformulate.co.uk

By Victoria Emerton
Conference and Event Manager, NutraFormulate