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April Industry Highlights — podcast

Diving into Sports Nutrition, exploring the market trends and innovations. Previewing what you can expect from our upcoming Vitafoods Europe event in May, discussing CBD, and reflecting on Earth Day.

In April, we will take a dive into Sports Nutrition, our thematic topic for April, to explore what the market forecast is and where there have been innovations and opportunities for growth. We will then give a preview of what you can expect to see from our upcoming Vitafoods Europe event from May the 2nd digitally, and in Geneva from May 10th through to the 13th. We will once again look at CBD, and what has been happening in the space in the last month. Finally, we will feature an important day in April, Earth Day which will conclude our highlights and provide insight into why these topics are critical to understand for the nutraceutical industry.

Tune in to hear more about:

  • The Sports Nutrition landscape
  • Top innovations and room for growth in the ‘active’ nutrition space
  • New findings in the timing of consuming protein in fasted conditions
  • All things Vitafoods Europe, from dates to who is speaking
  • The use of CBD in elite sports and the anti-doping perspective
  • Market opportunities and challenges for CBD
  • European Commission’s stance on THC in foodstuffs
  • Earth Day in the nutraceutical industry

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Vitafoods Insights Podcast

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Podcast transcript:

Michael 00:03
Welcome to the April Industry Highlights podcast from Vitafoods Insights. I’m Michael Ryall, Graduate Fellow at Vitafoods. In this month’s podcast, we’re showcasing some of the key April highlights across Vitafoods and the nutraceutical industry. We will take a look into sports nutrition and summarise some of the content we housed during April, as it was the thematic topic for this month. With Vitafoods Europe just a few weeks away we will take a dive into what you can expect from our 2022 instalment of our flagship event. Following from this we will highlight recent CBD intel with it being such an industry hot topic, looking at the recent report, podcast, and article which we have published in recent weeks. Finally, as Earth Day fell within April, we will see how the nutraceutical industry has been reacting to the climate crisis which will conclude our highlights and provide insight into why such a topic is critical to understand for the nutraceutical industry. This month’s thematic theme over here at Vitafoods Insights was Sports Nutrition and our platform was host to a great selection of content. The current state of the sports nutrition market was neatly summarized by Natalia –

Natalia 01:11
According to Grand View Research, the global sports nutrition market size was valued at 40.0 billion USD in 2021, and from 2022 to 2030, the sports nutrition market is expected to increase at a compound annual rate - or CAGR - of 8.5%. The sports nutrition segment is also linked to the population’s overall health and thus of interest for governments globally.

Dr Binu 01:36
Such healthy growth from the sports nutrition market. This really does highlight the continued demand for products which of course will lead to more and more innovative ideas from the industry to stay ahead of the curve which, we, at Vitafoods are excited to see.  A potential reason for this growth, and forecasted increase, in the sports nutrition market, was put forward by Dr Binu –   The Sports and Nutrition market has evolved a lot from being seen as a protein market to cater to professional athletes to encompass a wide range of nutrition to cater to those encased in an active lifestyle. This has expanded not just the scope of the market, but also the depth as more and more consumers are conscious of the need of being active and to take care of their health.

Michael 02:21
The general public’s uptake of a healthier and more active lifestyle, especially since COVID, has definitely broadened the demographic of those using sports nutrition products.  Even within the sports industry, we have seen new pockets of opportunity for tailored product development. Tony Gay from Prinova had this to say about the rise of E-gaming and how the nutraceutical industry has adapted – 

Tony 02:43
The growing segment of recreational gamers and eSports athletes is an exciting area for many sports nutrition brands to be tapping into. Here typical pre workout formulations are being tweaked to in primarily include ingredients that support energy, focus, and eye health instead of heavy stimulants, and pumped support nutrients such as beta alanine, citrulline, and arginine.

Michael 03:06
The ability of the nutraceutical industry generally, but the sports nutrition branch more specifically, to adapt products to suit a community’s needs has clearly had a role to play in the rapid growth of the sector and will be pivotal to the continued growth of the market.  The idea of a subtle shift from sports nutrition purely serving the athletic community to also incorporating those up-and-coming sports categories and those leading generally active day-to-day lifestyles, as put forward by Dr Binu a moment ago, can be explained by Andreas Petrik from ADM who summarises this ‘active nutrition’ landscape – 

Andreas 03:41
53% of the global population is classified as active nutrition consumers. On top of that, 56% of global consumers say they use sports drinks as an everyday product to help them get through the day. As the category continues to evolve, consumers are seeking products to help them look and feel better, including supporting mood and focus, sustained energy, and hydration, as well as immune function and digestive support.

Michael 04:07
On the theme of hydration, Carbery recently conducted a study on high-intensity training to investigate whether the consumption of protein in fasted conditions prior to high-intensity training would result in favourable adaptations. After three weeks of training, subjects consuming Carbery’s Optipep 4Power were able to better sustain a higher intensity of exercise for longer.  In comparison to whey protein concentrate, their formula resulted in favourable gene expression which is indicative of long-term fat adaptation in addition to better high-intensity performance. On the implications of this study, Aine Halihan the Director of Innovation over at Carbery had this to say – 

Aine 04:48
The results of this study are not just relevant to endurance athletes, but a much broader group of consumers who are following a low carbohydrate, or keto-friendly diet. Couple this with the interest in the time-efficient metabolic adaptations of high-intensity exercise, such as Crossfit, Optipep 4Power offers a real opportunity for consumers to maximise the effects of their training programmes.

Michael 05:11
With Vitafoods Europe just around the corner, we thought it best to get you excited with a preview of what you can expect from the event starting virtually on the 2nd of May, and in Geneva from the 10th of May through to the 12th. There will be over 650 exhibitors present at the event, serving the needs of an expected 25,000 engaged audience members across our platforms. We can hear from Vitafood’s own Vice President of Content now, Heather Granato -

Heather 05:37
Vitafoods Europe is bringing an integrated smart event experience to the global nutraceutical community. We're offering a robust digital platform to enable participants to make connections, explore new suppliers and services and dive into unique content like video innovation tours of new ingredients, a look at sustainability trends and whitespace opportunities, and sessions on blockchain and mental wellbeing. We'll take this further with our extensive content programme on site open to all participants from the Vitafoods mainstage sessions on active nutrition, personalised nutrition, regulatory compliance, and immune health; to the life stages theatre exploring the science behind ingredients to support a healthy long life; and into the Probiotics Resource Centre, which showcases the hottest ingredient category. There's great information to fuel your go to market strategy. And, as the largest trade event for the European nutraceutical community, we offer plenty of networking opportunities and new suppliers to strengthen your supply chain.

Michael 06:36
So, who can you expect to see take to our stages?  Dr Joseph Firth is holding the keynote speech on day one on the main stage, talking about all things nutrition and mental health. Dr Firth will be presenting the scientific evidence base on the effects of nutrition on mental health and outlining the overall learnings from the biggest studies in the field to date. Also, on day 1 at the New Ingredients Theatre, Dr Kaitlin Roke will be speaking about Omega-3s. She will aid in the navigation of the well-studied nutrients, EPA and DHA, as broad-scale benefits are often difficult to understand from the current literature. Dr Roke will also uncover what’s going on beyond heart and brain health with results from a one-of-a-kind clinical study database that catalogues all human clinical trials on EPA and DHA. David Pineda, the managing director at DPE International consulting, will be in the probiotic theatre on day one where he will be taking on the current international regulatory state of play for probiotics. Moving on now, this month we published a report revolving around the market opportunities and challenges for CBD, an article on how the recent European Commission’s movements signify major leaps for THC levels in food, and a fascinating podcast on CBD and elite sports where we were joined by Terence O’Rorke the Vice-Chair for the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance. In the report, we got a sense of the industry’s impatience with the time it is taking for regulations to be formed for the CBD supplements sector, but this impatience is particularly intense when you take into account the difficulties of regulation are due to the complexity of the hemp plant and compounds, the thing that gives CBD so many health and wellness benefits. We also got an insight from CBD-Intel’s March survey of 1000 UK consumers. It was found that 76% knew what CBD was, with 8% of this group being regular users. 39% of the 1000 surveyed had never used CBD before but were interested in using it. Back in 2019, 50% marked their main motivation for usage such as pain, but now in 2022, this has been superseded by anxiety. With the options around CBD growing rapidly, we are likely to see more people regularly using CBD, for a multitude of reasons. Onto our podcast on CBD use in elite sports, Terence from ESSNA explained why CBD is becoming increasingly popular among athletes – 

Terence 09:07
There is a lot of evidence to show that athletes are using CBD products and for a number of reasons. These may range from helping to address issues with sleeplessness, it may help them with issues related to anxiety. You know, perhaps if you are an elite athlete who is travelling to competing in an event and you are perhaps travelling overnight on an aeroplane, or you are maybe sleeping in hotels where the sleep you get is not as good as if you were sleeping at home. You know, CBD products are shown to help with some of these issues. So it might help you with your anxiety. It may help you with sleeplessness. There's also a lot of evidence to show that CBD can support athletes in their training and in their recovery from competing. If you are an athlete, for example, who is taking part in in contact sports, you may come off the pitch and you know you have significant bruises or bumps, and, you know, muscle soreness, CBD products are shown to assist in recovering from these bumps and bruises. So there's a lot of evidence to show that CBD products can support an athlete in regards to these challenges that they face. And consequently, more and more athletes now are using CBD products. As we know, it's not just athletes who use CBD products, it's many consumers from all walks of life.

Michael 10:33
This popularity of CBD among athletes is quite complex from the perspective of the anti-doping agency, as Terence goes on to say –

Terence 10:41
The world anti-doping agency or its acronym WADA does not have a position specific to CBD; what it has is a list of prohibited substances, which is essentially a long list of a wide range of different types of substances which athletes cannot use. And if they are found to use them, then they will have committed what's called a doping violation.

Michael 11:05
In a recent article, we described how European officials have been meeting to discuss permissible THC levels in hemp seed foodstuffs, which could significantly increase the market.  The European Commission announced that it will work to further clarify a so-called ‘tolerance index’ for THC levels in hemp seed foodstuff – this is the range by which THC contaminants can exceed the limit established by the regulation without penalty.  However, while an incremental THC limit for foodstuffs is good news for the sector, the THC limit does not apply currently apply to CBD as a food ingredient, which is an issue. Finally, April 22nd marked the 52nd Earth Day. Earth Day not only presents the opportunity to celebrate environmental protection efforts each year, but it also implores us to take the time to look forward to how we can continue to make even bigger strides for the sake of the environment. This year’s theme for Earth Day is “Investing in our Planet”. As we endeavour to wade off the impacts of climate change through meaningful collaboration, it’s clear the nutraceutical industry has a key role to play. In our Earth Day featured article, I took us through what has been happening in the nutraceutical industry to tackle all things sustainability. This included how at Kappa Bioscience, every one of their staff members is climate-positive as Kappa offset the entire carbon footprint of its staff including emissions from travel, food, and hobbies. This helps eliminate the trade-off between being environmentally conscious and one’s own well-being, paying dividends in the form of higher morale and performance at work.  As you can see, there were a lot of key events concerning the nutraceutical industry during April. Thanks again for joining me, and don’t forget to check out the show notes that will allow you to link to the information discussed in today’s podcast. The Vitafoods Insights Industry Highlights podcast happens monthly, so be sure to stay tuned, subscribe, and even suggest it to a friend. 

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