Sleep, mood and digestive health are the areas attracting most interest this year from manufacturers in the food and beverage industries, according to nutritional premix supplier Fortitech.
The company told NutraIngredients-USA.com that these have been the three areas of health that have invited the most customer inquiries, resulting in the firm placing a focus on them in its marketing material.
“What we do is customer driven – and this is what people have been asking for,” said the firm’s communications manager Patrick Morris.
Morris said there are other major health trends that generate consistent high interest – such as obesity, heart health and cosmeceuticals – but that the firm has this year focused on promoting concepts for the emerging areas of interest it has identified.
Much of the interest, it said, is expressed through inquiries made on its R&D website, which provides fee tools and advice on application formulations.
Ingredients that support gut health essentially include probiotics (or ‘good’ bacteria that improve the balance of intestinal microflora), prebiotics (non-digestible food ingredients that encourage the activity of probiotics), and fiber (carbohydrates that are undigested in the small intestine).
According to Mintel figures provided today, there have been 159 new food and beverage products positioned for digestive health that have been launched on the US market this year to date.
This compares to 81 new launches last year, 39 in 2006 and 17 in 2005.
Mood and sleep are still categories on the rise, and are less well-defined. As such, specific label claims are lacking. However, Mintel conducted a ‘free-word’ search in its Global New Products Database (GNPD), which it said provides “only an indication of what the market is doing”.
The results founds 13 new product launches in 2008 to date with a mention of “mood” on the label. In the whole of 2007, the database recorded 13 product launches, with 11 in 2006 and none in 2005.
In the ‘sleep’ category, there have been 14 product launches this year to date. In 2007 there were 12 products mentioning the term, and four products in 2006. For 2005, the GDMP database recorded 15 products.
At the recent HiE trade show in Paris, France, Fortitech’s featured product prototypes demonstrated the concepts it has been focusing on this year.
It presented a dark chocolate positioned for ‘improved mood’ and ‘stress reduction’. The product contains GABA, magnesium, L-theanine, L-tryptophan and Ashwaganda extract.
The firm’s Good Night’s Sleep powder, designed to be dissolved in water and taken just before bed, is said to help deliver a ‘restful sleep’. It contains magnesium, L-tryptophan, L-theanine and GABA.
In terms of trends it has spotted for next year, Fortitech told NutraIngredients-USA.com that it believes there will be an increased focus on joint health.
“That will be top of mind. We see it happening in the marketplace, and results from our website inquiries also mirror what is happening in the market,” said Morris.