Personalization, artificial intelligence among top trends for 2019

© Getty Images / Rasica
© Getty Images / Rasica
The year is new and many people are getting out their crystal balls. NutraIngredients-USA is no different, and here are five more of our Top 10 big issues that will impact the dietary supplements industry in 2019.

6. Personalization

2018 saw more and more entrants into the personalized nutrition space. The entrants came in various different shapes and sizes, with some basic offerings to more complex datasets. The rise of wearable technology and greater personal responsibility for our own health will continue to drive this category. And this will go hand in hand with… 

7. AI

Life Extension became the first supplements brand to launch​ (as far as we are aware) a product developed using artificial intelligence technology. And just recently, ingredient heavyweight BASF announced the launch of PeptAIde, described as the world's first bioactive ingredient discovered and delivered through AI. The ingredient is the result of a partnership between BASF and Nuritas dating back to January 2017​.

We understand other companies will soon be announcing partnerships in this area, so stay tuned!

8. Blurring of the lines

The seismic changes we’re seeing in the food and beverage space are increasingly blurring the lines between foods and supplements. Ingredients that have been big stars in the supplement and natural products space are now making big splashes in beverages in particular (think adaptogens), while the lines between cosmetics and supplements are also blurring due to the rise of beauty-from-within products and better positioning of these dietary supplements in beauty retail outlets. 

Looking at delivery formats, the increasing popularity of RTD formats versus bulk, especially in the protein space, and specialty retailers are now competing with mass grocery retailers, c-stores, and club. 

9. Sustainability, climate change & regenerative agriculture

It seems everyone except the Trump Administration accepts the human impact on the global climate. We have already reported on how climate change is eroding predictability in the botanical supply chain​. The public is also waking up to depletion of our soils and the role that regenerative agriculture can play in sequestering carbon in the soil, boosting overall soil health and the microbiome of the soil, as well as improving the nutritional profile of the plants we eat. Companies such as MegaFood have been at the forefront of these efforts, and we hope more companies get behind this in 2019​. 

10. The changing face of retail

Amazon and other e commerce platforms are driving a revolution in retailing, one that is not unique to the supplement industry. Giants of the supplement retailing realm, GNC and Vitamin Shoppe, have been struggling with profitability and are closing stores, whereas as little as three or four years ago their goal was to open or acquire new locations as rapidly as possible. The convenience of online shopping and delivery is hard to compete with, and the supplement industry, with its light, durable, easily shipped and (to some degree) interchangeable products would seem to be especially vulnerable to this trend. 

Even multi-level marketers are having to modify their models to account for the fact that potential customers can get many of the same products on Amazon more easily and cheaply, without having to endure a face to face sales pitch. Some MLMs have taken to being vague about branded ingredients used in their products to make it more difficult for customers to comparison shop online.

Look for Amazon to drive continued change in 2019.  More and more supplement manufacturers are likely to open their own storefronts on the platform in a 'if you can't beat it, join it' movement.

To read Part 1, please click HERE​. 

Have your say! Use the comment function below to tell us what you think of our predictions and what would you add? 


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