NutraIngredients-USA 2018 predictions, Part 1: The microbiome, adaptogens, nootropics & more

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / innovatedcaptures
© Getty Images / innovatedcaptures

Related tags Dietary supplement

As the New Year begins, NutraIngredients-USA looks at some of the big trends, hot ingredients, and strong influences affecting the US dietary supplements industry in 2018.

1. Probiotics, Prebiotics and the Microbiome

To read Part 2 of our predictions, please click HERE​.

Interest and understanding of the microbiome, and how we can positively modulate it with probiotics and prebiotics, will continue to drive this sector. Probiotic supplements are already outpacing growth in other types of supplements, according to Euromonitor International. We’ve moved well beyond just digestive health, with considerable evidence supporting a role for probiotics in heart health, brain health, weight management, immune support, sports nutrition, skin health, oral health, vaginal health, and so on.

On the quality, safety and scientific rigor issue, the International Probiotics Association is driving a lot of initiatives, having already published a paper with CRN on labeling best practice guidelines​, and filed a citizen’s petition with the FDA to get CFUs on to labels​ (FDA currently just asks for milligrams, which don’t mean much for probiotics). IPA is currently working on guidelines for contract manufacturing​, and they have starting the ball rolling with CODEX to harmonize guidelines​.

And if you’re committed to this space, make sure you save the date for Probiota Americas​: June 5-7 in Miami, FL.

2. Adaptogens

Schisandra © Getty Images alexmak72427
Schisandra - a key adaptogen. Image © Getty Images / alexmak72427

They’ve been gaining momentum in the dietary supplement and tea categories for several years, but we’re now starting to see these in beverages (albeit niche). As consumers learn of the potential of these ingredients for stress management and energy, we expect ingredients like Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, and Schisandra to continue to gain traction. But a word of caution – there appears to be widespread confusion around what qualifies as an adaptogen​ – with a real opportunity for education initiatives.

3. Beauty-from-within

At Expo West 2017 collagen was everywhere. After a couple of false dawns over the years, could we finally be seeing the coming of age of beauty-from-within products? The science supporting the claims is growing, brands are packaging these products like cosmetics, and retailers are positioning them in stores near cosmetics products. We’ve now had Avon enter the supplements space​ with, no surprises here, a range of beauty-from-within products (among other things). We're expecting more new products to launch into this space in Anaheim (and beyond) this year. 

4. Nootropics

Video gamer © iStock FOTOKITA
© iStock / FOTOKITA

From video gamers to athletes to regular people at the office, nootropics are hot, hot, hot. The term was coined in the early 1970s, but it is only in recent years that it has started to appear in dietary supplement marketing, with brands like Nootrobox by HVMN​ (pronounced “human”) and Mind Lab Pro​ using the term on their labels. The list of ingredients includes citicoline (Cognizin), Baccopa monnieri​, phosphatidylserine, Rhodiola rosea​, Ginkgo biloba​, spearmint extract (Neumentix), omega-3s, B-vitamins, magnesium L-threonate (Magtein), Inositol-stabilized arginine silicate (Nitrosigine), theacrine (Teacrine), and on and on.

5. Active Nutrition

We all know that sports nutrition is growing as the category mainstreams, but even bigger than sports is “active nutrition”. According to Euromonitor International, Active Nutrition is defined as, “a lifestyle choice with the primary objective of optimizing both physical and mental performance”. It’s broader than sports nutrition and cognitive function, but encompasses both. In a blog post, Euromonitor analyst Simone Baroke stated:“We believe that Active Nutrition presents an enormous opportunity for health and wellness players as a platform for developing and marketing a wide range of nutraceutical products.” ​We’ll dive deeply into this topic in May during the NutraIngredients-USA Active Nutrition Online Conference​, so keep an eye out for more details as we get closer to the event.

6. Multivitamins

Supplements © Getty Images Lecic
© Getty Images / Lecic

The world of the multivitamin is a fascinating place, and there is a lot happening with the humble multi. Innovations in ingredients and delivery combined with new science that continues to support the potential benefits of a daily multivitamin and mineral are boosting the category. There are also big potential opportunities on the horizon with multivitamins being considered for WIC and SNAP.

We’re planning a special series of articles and a webinar discussion on this topic in April, so watch this space.

For Part 2: From CBD, Amazon, personalization & more, please click HERE​.

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