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Vitafoods Europe 2023

Healthy ageing is driving personalised nutrition opportunities [Interview]

Article-Healthy ageing is driving personalised nutrition opportunities [Interview]

Vitafoods Europe Speaker Interview with Magda Starula, Euromonitor
While growing interest in both healthy ageing and personalised nutrition is driving new product opportunities, some brands are struggling to connect with consumers. At Vitafoods 2023, Magda Starula, senior analyst at Euromonitor International, will discuss the importance of meeting individual needs, while delivering solutions that meet consumer health goals.

What are some of the key drivers behind the current healthy ageing trend?

“Consumers are reconsidering their eating habits, with many looking to increase their intake of healthy nutrients that can help them spend more years of life in good health. The importance of physical wellness as a means of ageing healthily continues to grow. Consumers view health holistically – both feeling healthy and looking healthy.”

What market sectors are well placed to capitalise on this trend?

“Rising participation in physical activities, boosted by both government initiatives and self-care awareness, is expected to benefit categories like sports nutrition, health and wellness food and drink, and sportswear to aid better exercise performances. Healthy skin is a priority as consumers move away from targeted anti-ageing.

“Natural and organic ingredients, as well as simplified beauty steps, create opportunities to meet demand for clear and healthy-looking skin. Recognition of the importance of internal balance, measured by factors including mental health, memory, sleep and stress, is growing globally. Consumers across all age groups are looking to address issues such as stress and sleep.”

How is this impacting the field of personalised nutrition?

“Nibbles and ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages containing plant-based ingredients with targeted functionality, and digitalisation of services are significant opportunities in this space. Snacks, confectionery, RTDs and milk are expected to gain wider traction in response to the blurring of lines between wellness products and traditional food and beverages.

“Compared to dietary supplements, they are more familiar to consumers of all age groups and tend to carry lower price tags. For example, functional chocolate is growing in Japan, with targeted functionality such as sleep health and memory. However, despite it being an untapped white space, efficacy remains a major challenge to justify the price.”

What product opportunities are emerging from this intersection of these meta-trends?

“Product formulas towards shorter ingredient lists, as well as ingredients with more natural ones and those that incorporate well-known and traditional ingredients. “Added benefits in the form of functional ingredients are also becoming increasingly accepted as a means of promoting wellbeing and minimising nutritional gaps in the diet. Growing interest in preventing disease among older cohorts is driving demand for tailored products that target specific nutritional needs. The field of personalised nutrition has huge potential as a new food frontier.”

What to date have been some of the challenges to successfully tapping these opportunities?

“Perhaps it is the lack of labelling or [labelling that is] not right. Maybe messages coming from industry players or brands have not been clear for consumers or not intuitive or convincing.”

What key messages do you hope to communicate at Vitafoods?

“Consumers are increasingly expecting products and services to meet their individual needs; personalisation has never been more relevant. At the same time, we’re seeing interest in optimising health span—not just life span—and an awareness that this means staying fit and supporting the body throughout a lifetime. Healthy ageing and personalised nutrition intersect here, allowing companies to connect directly with consumers, providing unique solutions to not only address health challenges but meet their health goals.”

How do you see the interplay between the personalised nutrition / healthy ageing trends evolving in the near future?

“The adoption of healthy lifestyle habits that include spiritual and mental wellbeing, alongside physical wellness and good nutrition, has been identified by Euromonitor International as one of the megatrends having the furthest-reaching impact on industries and consumers in the future. Furthermore, through innovation in functionality, packaging or formats, companies can respond effectively to the needs of different age groups.”

Magda will be speaking at the Vitafoods Conference under the Life Stages and Healthy Ageing Theme. She is a senior analyst at Euromonitor International based in Düsseldorf, Germany, and specialises in the health and beauty industries in the DACH region.