January Industry Highlights — podcast

Insights on predictions for the new year, digestive health, out to Veganuary vegan trends in 2022, into the future of global supplement sales and more.

In January, we look at a few predictions from industry experts on what to expect in the nutraceutical space during 2022, dive into digestive health, and reflect on key points presented in our thematic report and panel discussion. We also look at some top vegan trends in January, also coined Veganuary, and discuss two important days in January: ‘Get to know your customers day’ and ‘UNESCO international day of education’.

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Vitafoods Insights Podcast

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Podcast transcript:

Vitafoods Insights 00:03
Welcome to the Vitafoods Insights Monthly Industry Highlights. Join us as we explore and showcase some of the key highlights across Vitafoods Insights and the nutraceutical industry, offering context on how it might accelerate your product ideation and go to market strategy.

Ajay 00:22
Welcome to the Vitafoods Insights January industry highlights. We will begin with a few predictions from industry experts on what to expect in the nutraceutical space during 2022. Then, we dive into digestive health, our Vitafoods Insights thematic topic for January, and reflect on key points presented in our thematic report and panel discussion. We will look at some top vegan trends in January, also coined Veganuary, which encourages individuals to give up meat and animal products for a month. We will then discuss two important days in January: get to know your customers day and UNESCO international day of education.  During December last year, Vitafoods Insights produced a novel ‘Reflections and Predictions’ series which brought in 27 industry experts to discuss their top trends witnessed in 2021 and predictions for 2022 across the nutraceutical space. Emma Schofield, Associate Director for food science at Mintel is one of these experts who identified the importance of maintaining eye health this year:

Emma 01:20
Eye Health is predicted to grow due to an increase in the amount of time we spend at screens due to activities such as gaming, and this can create opportunities for ingredients that protect consumers’ eyes, from screen pollutants such as blue light.

Ajay 01:33
Chris Lee, the managing director at Vitafoods, emphasizes the importance of cognitive health:

Chris 01:38
I believe that consumers will seek out categories like mental well being and cognitive health in order to reduce stress and anxiety and achieve better sleep and concentration levels.

Aline 01:48
Aline de Santa Izabel, foodtech expert, founder at YOGUT ME highlights the importance and evolution of gut health and marks it as a key trend to watch out for: Gut health has never been so important and food & ingredient developments targeting our microbiome were in the spotlight and I believe that they will remain through 2022. I also believe that even more developments will happen within fermentation, with new techniques, including algae and solid-state fermentation, for instance, creating novel ingredients and foods.

Ajay 02:17
Clearly there are many exciting areas to watch out for across the nutraceutical industry in 2022.  To catch up on all of our Reflections and Predictions series, please follow the hyperlink located in this episodes shownotes. Next, we’ll dive into our Digestive Health thematic month... Each month in 2022, Vitafoods Insights is tackling a key industry topic in different formats from written reports and articles to videos and podcasts. In January, the focus was digestive health. For our thematic report , Paul Gander looks at market and consumer data, challenges and opportunities, trending ingredients, marketing rules, and predictions for the future of the digestive health space. One such prediction comes from Florian Isermeyer, the venture lead gut comfort at Novozymes OneHealth:

Florian 03:02
In the future, we’d expect to see more classes of bioactives, and the choice being whatever deliver the best health benefits. This could be probiotics, postbiotics or enzymes. After all, we need to keep in mind that one in two consumers suffers from some sort of regular digestive health issue. It may not be growing as strongly as cognitive health, for example, but we still see this area as having significant potential for innovaiton and growth.

Ajay 03:25
The report also features the changing landscape of the digestive health space. Michael Bush, the CEO of Prenexus Health, highlights some of these changes:

Michael 03:33
We see consumers who are concerned with gut health using a variety of probiotic, prebiotic supplements and fortified foods, in addition to naturally-fermented and high-in-prebiotic foods. There is a shift, though, from supplements to fortified foods, as consumers do prefer to consume their functional ingredients through food products, rather than through daily consumption of pills.

Ajay 03:54
Our thematic panel discussion provided a continuation of the digestive health dialogue, bringing in four industry experts to discuss the market whitespace as well as consumer needs. One of the panelists, Graham Robinson, a research executive from GIRACT, drew attention to the market positioning and trends observed in probiotics and probiotic cultures.

Graham 04:14
Historically, these are very much rooted in gut health and what we've seen, even before the pandemic, this was a trend that was accelerated a lot by the pandemic, is that the applications and, in fact, the market positionings of these probiotic cultures is diversifying massively. Again, just as Sergio conveniently touched on there, looking much more at capitalising on the gut brain barrier applications in mental health.  Evidently there is lots happening within the digestive health space with exciting opportunities for growth, fortified-food development, and a diversified market positioning. Next, we’ll discuss another popular topic for this month Veganuary... January is not only our digestive health month but also celebrated as Veganuary which encourages individuals to go vegan throughout the month.  Mintel recently highlighted the top 3 vegan trends predicted by food and drink experts to look out for this year: Trend one is that the next plant-based milk will have sustainability at its core as stated by global food and drink analyst, Ophelie Buchet. This is because consumers, especially young individuals, are motivated to switch from dairy milk to plant-based alternatives due to their better environmental credentials above taste and price. Although oat milk has seen media coverage indicate that they are the most sustainable milk alternative, potato milk has the potential to surpass them. DUG states that potatoes are twice as land-efficient as oats while having comparable carbon and water footprints as well as being both affordable and nutrient-dense. Trend two is that plant-based seafood innovation has recently picked up pace says global food and drink analyst, Dasha Shor. Interest could be due to health benefits of plant-based nutrition, environmental and ethical concerns, environmental pollution, and diseases affecting farmed fish communities. She states that “in the future, plant-based seafood products can also find a niche in imitating species that are rare, endangered, or more difficult and expensive to collect, clean, and transport – like sea urchin, bluefin tuna, sturgeon or fish roe. Trend three is that Snackification “the act of replacing traditional meals with snacks spread throughout the day” could be a catalyst meat alternative, predicts senior food and drink analyst at Mintel Germany, Valentin Thies. Beyond organoleptic properties such as flavour, texture and colour, features such as high satiety and nutrient density should be focus areas. Meat alternative snacks can elevate on-trend ingredients such as pea protein that keep you satiated and improve nutrient density. Next, we’ll highlight two popular social days for the nutraceutical industry happening this month; get to know your customers day and UNESCO international day of education. The 20th of January is also known as ‘Get to know your customers day’. In the nutraceutical industry, it is important to understand the requirements of your customers to provide the right product that will fulfil their health requirements. In a recent Vitafoods Insights podcast, Rick Polito, editor in chief and lead author of Nutrition Business Journal’s new Global Supplement Business report, discussed global supplement sales during 2021 and some challenges targeting customers:

Rick 07:17
My thoughts are the future is, of course, is a subscription model where one of the biggest challenges for this industry has always been getting people to keep taking their supplements or maybe if their supplements keep showing up on their doorstep, they will and everybody won't have a half dozen bottles of stuff they just started and then never finished off with. So, I think ecommerce is going to be a big thing. I think subscription is going to be an increasingly large part of it. Some companies have figured that out. I don't think anybody has laced that in with tech as well as they could. You have some of the personalization companies like care of or persona that have apps but you don't see very many other people showing reminders showing a way to integrate this into, you know, a lifestyle as we always say.

Ajay 07:56
January the 24th is the UNESCO International day of education which emphasizes education as a human right which helps to build a more sustainable, inclusive, and peaceful future. When individuals make informed decisions and vote with their dollars, they have the potential to transform an industry. During the Sustainable Development Impact Summit hosted by the World Economic Forum, Dr. Lamis Jomaa an Associate Professor in the department of nutrition and food science at American University of Beirut articulated this:

Dr. Jomaa 08:25
Consumers own decisions that really push the supply demand whole conversation and the demand has been in more healthy and sustainable diets which is why a lot of the private industry and a lot of the core big corporations have been tackling issues from the production to the processing and distribution to tackle many of the issues that we face. We're pushing for trade-offs across the food system so that we can ensure that we are really doing things sustainably and not just promoting healthy diets but not necessarily taking into consideration whether we can continue to do that for the future generations.

Ajay 08:57
As you can see, there are a lot of key events concerning the nutraceutical industry during January.

Vitafoods Insights 09:05
Thank you for tuning in. And don't forget to check the show notes that will allow you to link to the information discussed in today's podcast, as well as any sponsorship opportunities. The Vitafoods Insights Industry Highlights podcast happens monthly, so be sure to stay tuned and subscribe and even suggest to a friend.

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