The progressive ageing of the global population is a fact. In numerical terms, one of the latest estimates from the UN predicts the number of people aged 60 years or over to reach nearly 2.1 billion by 2050, doubling the current population. As large percentages of disposable income are held by this segment in developed countries, there is a growing population of decisive, financially-stable consumers looking at preventative nutrition to prolong their healthy life years. No wonder companies have decided to invest in ageing nutrition research.
Healthy agers are not a homogenous group. Regional, traditional and cultural differences play a big role in their perception of healthy ageing. So how can the needs of this ever-growing segment be fulfilled?
1) Naturally proven –There is a growing demand for natural, clean label nutraceutical products with multiple proven benefits. Senior consumers now pay closer attention to food labels and look for recognisable ingredients that can counteract the signs of ageing and help them stay active. Research has shown this consumer group does not believe in miracle products and sees healthy eating as a routine comprising careful choices. This is true on a global scale; these factors play an even stronger role with Asian consumers, where collagen peptides have been at the core of fortified foods and beverages for decades and are now popular in nutraceutical supplements.
Collagen is the body’s most important building block and makes up approximately 30 percent of the proteins in our bodies. Widely recognised as effective and safe, collagen peptides provide a natural, clean label solution to protein fortification. Peptan® collagen peptides are among the most extensively researched collagen peptides on the market, and their efficacy in promoting mobility is supported by an impressive body of scientific evidence. Peptan is unique as it simultaneously supports all the connective tissues by stimulating local cells in the target tissues to produce more collagen and other key matrix components.
2) Proteins for active nutrition – Once living solely in the realm of sports nutrition, protein’s appeal has expanded to reach a wider consumer base, including healthy agers. The recommended protein intake for healthy adults is 0.8g/kg body weight per day, but a protein intake between 1.2 and 2.0 g/kg body weight per day or higher is recommended for elderly adults. Specific bioactive proteins, such as collagen peptides, are attracting attention for their high digestibility and bioavailability, as well as the multiple health benefits that support an active lifestyle.
It is well known collagen plays a vital role in supporting healthy bones,,  joints and ligaments, helping to ensure cohesion, elasticity and regeneration of connective tissues and supporting the musculoskeletal system as a whole. Our levels of collagen drop with age affecting our skin, joints, bones and muscles. However, it is possible to compensate for this natural loss with tailored nutrition. Numerous scientific studies have proven that taking collagen peptides can effectively support joint, bone and muscle health at the same time. Regular exercise, of course, has long been recognised as a leading contributor to our health and wellbeing and today, it is understood that ensuring intake of the right nutrients is equally influential. Collagen peptides are a key—if not the key—nutritional ingredient that helps maintain mobility.
3) Brand innovation and loyalty – Being able to make an informed and independent decision is a key aspect of the buying process for healthy agers. Consumers are increasingly critical. The elderly, especially those in Japan tend to be more product and brand-loyal, meaning manufacturers need to develop well-trusted and reliable product brands to cater to this consumer group and convince them to switch. It’s no secret they look for brands who provide full transparency on their ingredients and value chain story. To secure brand loyalty, consumer brands need to have the full support of well-established ingredient brands providing strong scientific credentials. Not only that, working with a leading ingredient brand helps to generate competitive advantage by opening the doors to creating a winning finished product brand that resonates with consumers’ needs. Co-innovation and world-class expertise are two additional factors that can bring global product development to the next level.
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