Consumer awareness about how nutrition can be used to manage health and well-being is at an all-time high and only likely to increase. Major manufacturers are spending considerable budgets on educational marketing campaigns, while governments continue to push initiatives to change attitudes and behaviour.
Consumer interest combined with innovation lie at the heart of the nutraceutical industry’s success. Trends such as sports nutrition, cardiovascular health and digestive function have all exploded on to the market, addressing some of our biggest health concerns.
More recently, cognitive function at every stage of development, and personalised nutrition, have started to gain momentum, and as the baby boomers move into the over-60s demographic, the opportunities to market products that support healthy ageing and limit the effects of age-related diseases are there for the taking.
The last couple of years have also seen more mergers and acquisitions from ingredient suppliers than ever before. The omega-3 market’s dynamics have changed radically, with billion-dollar deals made by players such as DSM and BASF. Meanwhile, manufacturers are looking towards open innovation, offering briefs to ingredient suppliers with the aim of streamlining new product development diversity and driving growth.
By far the biggest change in the last six months, and arguably one of the most contentious, is the enforcement of the Article 13 health claims following the European Commission’s approval.
The claims are designed to avoid confusion for consumers and ensure products are not misleading. There is a school of thought, however, that the claims will result in a burst of cheap innovation with minor formulation changes, and act as a barrier to innovation with companies put off by the investment needed to get through the EFSA process.
These are just some of the industry hot topics that will top the agenda at Vitafoods Europe to provoke debate and discussion when the doors open in Geneva on 14 May.
EFSA headlines the conference, with Professor Ambroise Martin, chair, NDA Panel, EFSA Health Claims, opening the programme in a keynote session on day one.
“It is an interesting time for the nutraceutical industry,” said Vitafoods portfolio director Chris Lee. “The introduction of the EFSA Article 13 health claims signals a huge change for the industry and the ongoing economic climate throws up its own challenges, forcing manufacturers and suppliers to consider how to spend their money more carefully.
“With so much evolution in the market, it has never been so important for industry professionals to meet face-to-face and gain as much insight as possible into the major factors driving change and spurring innovation.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019
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