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Customized nutrition driving growth in healthcare practitioner channel

By Stephen Daniells , 15-Nov-2012
Last updated the 15-Nov-2012 at 17:20 GMT

Consumer demand for personalized nutrition, and the response of healthcare practitioners to the potential for more holistic approaches to patient care and  potential additional revenue streams are driving growth in this market channel, says a leading marketing expert.

Jeff Hilton, chief marketing officer and co-founder, Integrated Marketing Group (IMG), told NutraIngredients-USA at the recent SupplySide West show in Las Vegas that: “People want to supplement, but they want to customize their nutrition and that’s what I think is driving functional foods and beverages, and practitioners are now getting in on that.”

“Certain types of testing that will identify certain types of imbalances that supplements can address.”

“This is opening up a whole new area of what we call ‘assess and address’ for practitioners, and that is exciting.”

Indeed, data from the Holistic Primary Care 2010 Physician Survey indicates that 80% of primary care doctors are recommending supplements, and 13% currently dispense them.

According to the Nutrition Business Journal 2010 practitioner survey, practitioner sales of supplements and natural products topped $2.8 billion.

“Consumers are asking about these kinds of therapies and products, and practitioners are feeling like they are ignorant if they cannot respond,” said Hilton. “There are also practitioners looking for additional revenue streams who look at these opportunities to dispense these products.”

“This ‘assess and address’ model takes many mainstream physicians back to the early days of medicine when it was more holistic, and I think you have a lot of traditional doctors who long for those days.”

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