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Report: 10 Key Trends in Food, Nutrition & Health 2009

Posted: December 22, 2008

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In order for companies to survive, particularly ingredient suppliers/distributors, the report advises stakeholders to focus on the consumer and create concepts that make sense to the mass market. Swedish brand strategist Peter Wennström offers “four factors of success” for companies to consider in today’s market. They are:

  • The product must be in a format that matches the consumer's lifestyle.
  • The product should offer a benefit that is relevant to them.
  • Ingredients should be acceptable to the mass market.
  • Any brand must be one consumers can trust.

Digestive Health
According to the report, digestive health holds the number one trend spot due to the fact that it is the “single largest area of functional foods markets in Europe, Japan and South America”, and may soon dominate the US market as well. The reasons digestive health is such a dominant trend vary, and are heavily interwoven. The “most important” issue is difficult to identify, as they all point back to the theme of balance between science, ingredients and flavor, and marketing and education. However, the primary success of the digestive health factor listed in the report are:

  • It is considered a “wellness issue” instead of a “death and disease” issue.
  • It is important to everyone, not just a particular segment of the market.
  • The products provide results that the consumer is able to feel quickly and easily.

Take for example, Dannon’s Activia yogurt. A market report in 2004 identified the United States as “uninterested” in digestive health products and deemed the category as “difficult to market.” Activia launched in the United States in January 2006, and earned an estimated $130 million in the first year alone with the “Activia two-week challenge” marketing campaign. Dannon was an already trusted brand that utilized marketing tools to promote the science behind the product.

Ingredient formulators will need to watch: probiotics, prebiotics and fiber.

Feel the Benefit
Products able to offer tangible results in a short amount of time are perceived as having more value than other products, a key element of success in the current market. The report cites the dual importance of keeping product “promises” simple and standing behind the product by offering a guarantee or free trial period.