In August, Vitafoods Insights explored topics such as sustainable practices, cognitive health and mental wellbeing as well as trends around regulatory practices in both the EU and ASEAN regions. Catch up on what you might have missed on this past month:
- What does the newly released report by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) mean to the nutraceutical industry when it comes the industry greenhouse emissions and packaging considerations?
- Functional beers as a healthy alternative to traditional beers
- The market trends for cognitive health and mental wellbeing
- Global regulatory guidance for nutraceutical brands
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Welcome to the Vitafoods Insights August Industry Highlights podcast. I’m Natalia Franca Rocha, content producer at Vitafoods. Today we’re showcasing some of the key highlights across Vitafoods Insights and the nutraceutical industry, offering a little context on how it might accelerate your product ideation and go to market strategy. Let’s start with the topic of sustainability. This August 2021, the Intergovernmental Panel on climate change, IPCC, released a report that provides new estimates of the chances of crossing the global warming level of 1.5°C in the next decades. It finds that unless there are immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, limiting warming to close to 1.5°C or even 2°C will be beyond reach. What does this mean to the nutraceutical industry? In our newest podcast episode, 'Investing in sustainable nutrition, Rich Troyer, CEO at Comet Bio, shared with Vitafoods:
People have thought of sustainability as reducing your carbon footprint. And that's certainly one of the things we look at. We also look at things like land use, using food waste that would have other gone to waste and putting it back in the supply chain. And even making farming practices like no till farming, organic farming profitable by buying food waste from the farmers, and food system waste has been identified as one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gases. In fact, I read a statistic that if food system waste was a country, it would actually be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world. So doing our part to reduce food system waste has a big impact.
Tom Doxsie, a partner at Open Prairie, further added from an investment perspective:
I think the investments shape for the future are not just about financial returns, they're about doing something good for the planet is really high on almost everybody's list these days. And that's true to get a piece of business that might break a tie.
Further, for businesses rethinking their packaging choices to become more sustainable, Susan Gafsen, co-founder at Pep & Lekker, shares the need for governmental support when it comes to incentivizing more sustainable choices:
One is the responsibility of the local authorities to provide better recycling options. I mean, in continental Europe, you can recycle all sorts of plastics, and they've invested huge sums. So I think there's a huge responsibility on the government and on local authorities to invest in recycling.
The time is certainly now to invest into sustainable practices. Next... In early August, we saw International beer day. We celebrated looking at functional beers options as a healthy alternative to traditional beers. Specifically, we looked at Fungtn; the first adaptogenic, alcohol-free beer brewed with functional mushrooms that helps consumers adapt to stress and help keep their minds and bodies in good form. Zoey Henderson, founder at Fungtn believes:
Great craft beer can be made with reduced fermentation. We can have different functional elements going in there health benefits and people who maybe haven't been beer drinkers before now coming into this category. I would love to see ABV is just another ingredient, you know, you can dial it up and dial it down how you see fit. Of course alcohol adds depth and body viscosity really interesting flavour profiles to beer. Now people are really understanding flavour profiles. And the beer itself is what's important to ABV as a byproduct, essentially of the brewing process. And it doesn't always mean that higher ABV means a better beer. So this is really exciting. At the same time, this kind of pairs very well with people caring about their health, looking for more healthier beverages, looking for drinks that they don't have to compromise on. So you love beer, you love the flavours, you love the profiles, but you don't always want the hangover that comes with, you know, at 4%, 5%, 6% craft ale. So the future is ABV as an ingredient. The future is people looking at more mindful drinks, healthier drinks, but not wanting to lose or sacrifice on the flavour profiles of the well known drinks that they've always been used to. So I see this is a really exciting development in craft beer. I see it as an evolution of the category and the way that the category can keep staying strong and growing over the next few years as well.
Next... A storm of stress, anxiety and depression have been created and accelerated throughout the COVID global pandemic, urging consumers to become more aware of their state of mind, health and wellbeing. Following the pandemic, anxiety and mental health have become top priorities for consumers across the generations, focusing on preventive measures. A new report focused on Cognitive health just published at Vitafoods insights reports strong growth in the cognitive health industry. What's importantly noted is that consumers are turning to functional foods that offer benefits towards mental wellbeing. It has been noted that: 85% of US vitamin, minerals and supplement consumers are interested in products that enhance their mental health; 52% of Chinese parents with children between the ages of 4-12 would buy food or drinks if they were good for intellectual development; and 43% of Brazilian consumers would be interested in products that helped them become less stressed. But what about market opportunities and trends? What should companies trying to break into the cognitive health space consider? David Foreman, the Herbal Pharmacist, believes the market for cognitive health products is yet to peak as he observes:
The need for cognitive health products may have slowed during the pandemic due to the sharp increase in desire for immune health products. But I don't expect that to continue as I expect a booming interest in all mental wellness products, including cognitive health.
Another trend shared with us by Fred Nicolle, managing associate, intellectual property at the law firm Simmons & Simmons, is around organizations increasingly obtaining patents for natural products such as dietary supplements:
There are a variety of ways you could patent a natural ingredient, depending on the particulars of the invention involved. So for example, you could have a newly isolated natural ingredient. So that could be a compound that already exists in nature, but has never been isolated before, by means of a technical process. Alternatively, you could have new uses of known natural ingredients, such as new therapies or new cosmetic uses. You could have new combinations of multiple natural ingredients that work together synergistically to bring about an improved effect. You could have new formulations, such as new amounts and ratios of natural ingredients or excipients that bring about a benefit. Or you could have a new delivery devices, such as therapeutic dosage forms that deliver natural ingredients in a new way. Any of these could potentially be patentable, depending on meeting particular requirements of the jurisdiction that you're looking at, chiefly that the invention is new and inventive.
Get the full insights by downloading the report at the hyperlink available on the shownotes. Next... Keeping up with the global regulatory guidance for nutraceutical brands, Wai Mun Poon, Regulatory affairs consultant at Wong SJ Asia shared with Vitafoods all about the framework of the ASEAN Agreement on Health Supplements, which is finalized and due to be signed by the end of 2021. And from an European perspective, Anja Derijck, Regulatory affairs associate at Food Compliance International, has highlighted the significant changes post-Brexit for UK and EU food supplement businesses. If you're interested in finding out more, catch both presentations in the link available in the shownotes. We will also be covering EU regulations as part of our Vitafoods Europe later this year in October. Hans Verhagen will highlight some of the most important changes and considerations surrounding food supplement brands looking to retail in Europe and label their products correctly, including a look into how Brexit has impacted EU/UK trade and supply chain. To learn more about our Vitafoods Europe hybrid event, scheduled for 4 to 8 October, check our website at www.vitafoods.eu.com. That’s all for now. Thanks again for joining me, and don’t forget to check 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 to a friend. Thanks for joining me. Until next time.