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Bone & Joint Health, Anti-Aging, Sports Nutrition, Pre- & Probiotics: Lessons from 2016’s special edition

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Adi Menayang

By Adi Menayang

Last updated on 22-Dec-2016 at 17:20 GMT2016-12-22T17:20:18Z

Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock

What are the health concerns of consumers today, and how can dietary supplements help? This year, our special editions included in-depth coverage on bone and joint health, anti-aging, sports nutrition, and pre- and probiotics. This is part of a series of our special edition roundups for 2016.

June: Bone & Joint Health

Baby boomers, post-menopausal women, athletes: The consumer segments served by bone and joint health products are as varied as the products offered on the market. The bone and joint health supplements market is predicted to hit a whopping US$9 billion globally by 2017 (Global Industry Analysts), but where is the growth coming from?

Despite the category’s projected growth, sales of established ingredients like glucosamine and chondroitin are declining, so we compiled the alternative ingredients that may be contributing to the category’s growth, which includes MSM, 5-Loxin, and collagen. There’s also some innovation in plant-derived glucosamine to cater to vegetarian consumers.

And while athletes are a prime target for bone and joint health supplements, some marketers and branding strategists say that marketing bone and joint health sports nutrition products is a hard, but not impossible, route to go down . “If it doesn't make you bigger or faster...or give you more energy, it causes most of us to yawn,” said Dr Jose Antonio, CEO of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

July: Anti-Aging

When consumers think ‘beauty-from-within,’ they think more about attitudes like self-confidence or overall health, so we’ve found by interviewing random people on the streets of Chicago .

But the phrase is popularly used by supplement manufacturers and marketers to promote anti-aging and other skincare benefits. When consumers use beauty-from-within products they expect to see the effects in the mirror, and sometimes quickly, but this is actually more of an opportunity than a challenge, say experts .

“Unlike many of our supplement products where we’re working towards wellness goals and assuming a lifelong outcome, a beauty protocol should produce tangible results in a reasonable period of time,” said Barry Ritz, PhD, VP of scientific and regulatory affairs at Atrium Innovations. “That’s one of the great opportunities in this category.”

And while the category is mostly booming in Western European and East Asian markets, Euromonitor analysts and collagen manufacturers like Nitta Gelatin and Nippi Collagen see an uptick in the US .

October: Sports Nutrition

According to Euromonitor International, the sports nutrition market for 2016 is expected to hit $7.4 billion, with protein powder dominating with 72% share of value sales. Driving this growth is the continued mainstreaming of sports nutrition .

“Although ready-to-drink and bar formats are preferred by consumers due to their convenience, powder products dominated sales,” the report said. “The price-per-serving is so much lower that frequent users will stick with this format, while small pack sizes in grocery channels have helped introduce more casual users to the format. Smaller packs, combined with the rise of premium natural ingredients, have compounded value growth with a rising unit price.”

Innovation in the space included a rise of personalized nutrition formats in the category such as InsideTracker , emerging science of polyphenolics such as grape seed extracts for antioxidants , building evidence that probiotics may reduce post-exercise inflammation .

November: Pre- and Probiotics

The gut microbiota continues to fascinate scientists in many realms - not surprising when it is considered humans are 10% human and 90% bacteria. And consumer interest is rising for the probiotic market—data from Euromonitor said that probiotic functional foods will be worth $50 billion by 2021 as it is growing at a CAGR of 8%.

The market for probiotic dietary supplements are experiencing even faster growth at CAGR 11%, forecasted to reach $5 billion by 2021.

As probiotics are relatively new in the nutrition space, regulators are slowly fitting probiotics into regulatory structures . There is no real regulatory definition of probiotics, said attorney Ivan Wasserman, who is the counsel for the International Probiotics Association. Lacking a precise definition, these ingredients fall under the aegis of existing legislation, which is some ways is ill equipped to deal with these singular ingredients, Wasserman added.

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