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Sugar reduction in sports nutrition applications

NutraCap Admin

The sports nutrition market continues to see steady growth. Athletes and mainstream users, including exercisers and those leading active lifestyles, are looking for products that support their recreational and lifestyle-driven performance. Both men and women seek sports nutrition products to help improve their nutritional intake, general health, well-being, performance, and muscle growth and recovery from exercise. The success of sports nutrition products requires meeting consumer demand with formulations they can trust and rely on, while also delivering on taste. Whether protein powders or bars, gummies, chews, ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages, pre-workout enhancers or post-workout enhancers, flavor and sweetness must meet consumer expectations.

Clean label and free-from claims

Many active consumers are looking for clean label products, including those with no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners, and other “free-from” claims. There is a clear shift toward plant-based, natural, sugar-free and less-added-sugar products. Sugar reduction innovation is at an all-time high, and there is tremendous demand for sweeteners that allow for 100 percent sugar replacement—and are also natural and taste good. However, consumer preference for sweetness is still strong, too. Sports nutrition product manufacturers are actively seeking ways to successfully achieve low sugar content while delivering on good taste, texture and overall appeal.

Natural, plant-based sweeteners

The demand for sugar reduction and product purity has brought much attention to natural and plant-based sweeteners such as stevia and monk fruit. Stevia has led the natural high-intensity sweetener market, and demand has grown exponentially since its approval and introduction. Monk fruit, also known as luo han guo, is quickly rising in popularity. Many sports nutrition brands are recognizing the benefits of incorporating monk fruit into products and formulations, and it is garnering attention as a sugar alternative. The sweetness of monk fruit comes from components called mogrosides found in the flesh of the fruit. Monk fruit is a no-calorie, natural sweetener with a glycemic index of zero that provides a well-rounded, fruity taste profile, and allows for an added “fruit-based” claim.

Finding the sweet spot

Formulating sports nutrition products that meet these needs may require manufacturers to address significant technical challenges. Reducing sugar content can impact not only sweetness, but also texture, color and the overall taste experience. While athletes and other sports nutrition consumers are looking for healthier alternatives and less sugar, they are also not willing to give up taste. Mintel reported taste is the most important product attribute to consumers. For this reason, reducing sugar in sports nutrition products cannot be done at the expense of flavor and familiarity.

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Prebiotics: The new gut health nutrient driving product innovation

NutraCap Admin

Gut health and probiotics have been all the rage over the past few years, with copious amounts of new food and beverage products coming onto the market positioning themselves based on their probiotic benefits.

There is, however, a missing link to the gut health puzzle—prebiotics, the fuel for the live probiotics that are already naturally inside the human body, that only in recent months have begun to gain the attention they so rightly deserve.

With science continuing to build in the field of gut health, and the essential roll prebiotics play in ensuring gut bacteria can thrive, it should come as no surprise that the global prebiotic market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.4 percent, reaching US$7.37 billion by 2023, according to ResearchAndMarkets.com.

With prebiotics coming in many forms, such as various prebiotic fibers or resistant starches, as well as more emerging science showing the prebiotic potential of various polyphenolic compounds, it’s important to explore which products are naturally rich in prebiotics, what products have been specifically formulated to promote a prebiotic benefit and which direction product innovation is moving in the prebiotic space.

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Report highlights herbal supplement market trends: CBD, turmeric, direct sales

NutraCap Admin

Retail sales of herbal dietary supplements in the United States experienced its strongest growth in 15 years, according to a new report from the American Botanical Council’s (ABC)HerbalGram. The category exceeded US$8 billion in 2017, representing an increase of 8.5 percent compared to 2016. Other key findings in the report included curcumin’s strong performance in both mainstream and natural channels, a strong increase in direct sales of herbal supplements, and cannabidiol’s (CBD) position among the 40 top-selling herbal supplements in the U.S. natural channel.

The report relied on data from Nutrition Business Journal (NBJ), as well as data developed via a collaboration between market research firms SPINS and IRI.

Both SPINS/IRI and NBJ data pointed to increased sales in the mainstream channel. NBJ’s mass-market retail channel sales totaled an estimated $1.45 billion in 2017 (an 8.4 percent increase compared to 2016), compared to a total of $925.93 million for mainstream multi-outlet retail sales of herbal dietary supplements (a 0.69 percent increase compared to 2016), as indicated by IRI/SPINS data. Unlike IRI/SPINS, NBJ’s mass-market channel analysis includes convenience stores.

In the natural channel, NBJ indicated herbal supplement sales achieved $2.62 billion in 2017 (a 4.7 percent increase), while IRI/SPINS data indicated sales of $405.15 million (an 8.9 percent increase). NBJ analysis of the natural channel includes estimated sales from Whole Foods Market, which are not included in IRI/SPINS data.

Strongest sales growth, however, was attributed to direct sale of herbal supplements, which totaled $4.012 billion in 2017, an 11.2 percent increase compared to 2016, according to NBJ.

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Marketing products to female athletes

NutraCap Admin

The female athlete/active consumer demographic is growing, giving sports nutrition companies a huge opportunity to craft new formulas dedicated specifically to women. Although women use sport-related product less than men, according to data from the Natural Marketing Institute’s (NMI) 2017 Supplements/OTC/Rx Database, “this indicates a huge opportunity to develop and market products to women,” said Steve French, managing partner, NMI.

To successfully woo women in the sports nutrition market, brands and companies must speak a different language to women than men, and expand their marketing pitch beyond the traditional category of weight management. Women consumers seek companies they can trust, identify with and that reflect their lifestyles. Brand authenticity plays a huge role in gaining the trust of women consumers.

With so many sports nutrition products offered on the market, women want clarity as to which ingredients work for their body and what products deliver. Brands should invest in educating the female consumer, not fixing them.

For package development, focus first on formulation and ingredients, and then design packaging that highlights the various ingredients and exactly what each does for the female body. Women are seeking results with verbiage that appeals to their intellect, not cute product boxes with just feminine appeal.

Creating an uplifting, empower community around a brand based on trends is a solid marketing strategy for companies with brands that produce results for women. According to Euromonitor, a market research provider, identified the following trends female athletes and active consumers are searching for: healthy desserts and keto-diet focused products. Also, social media influencers are stepping up and launching products, which could be targets for M&As.

Overall, female athletes and active female consumers want products created with ingredients that their body uses to achieve their wants and needs from brands and companies they trust.

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Omega-3s market outlook

NutraCap Admin

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for overall health. Mary Ann Siciliano, national sales manager, Aristra Industries Inc., said omega-3s have been found to be particularly good for heart health, joint and inflammation support, eye health, cognitive function, pregnancy and healthy child development and immune function, among other benefits.

The omega-3s include the essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), and the longer-chain eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Plant-based sources of ALA omega-3 include flaxseed, chia seeds, canola, walnut and soybean oils and leafy and green vegetables. The short-chain omega-3 ALA can be converted in the body to the longer-chain omega-3s. However, the body’s ability to convert ALA into EPA and/or DHA is inefficient, making ingestion of pre-formed EPA and DHA beneficial.

The biggest challenge for both consumers and industry affecting consumption of omega-3 food supplements is taste. Marine sources of long-chain fatty acids often yield a “fishy” taste that is unappealing to consumers.

Proprietary research from the Global Organization of EPA and DHA Omega-3s (GOED) showed highest supplement use is occurring in the United States, China and Australia. Statistica 2018 estimated the supplement market for omega-3 supplements in 2025 will reach US$57 billion, compared to $33 billion in 2016. This is indeed a steep growth for an individual supplement segment.

Consumption of omega-3-rich food is reasonably high in the high-population markets of China and India, but that is largely fresh-food based. As these economies evolve and nutrition management in the nouveau riche comes to vogue, the demand for supplements will rise.

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FDA issues guidance on disclosing amount of live microbial ingredients in supplements

NutraCap Admin

FDA on Thursday recognized the benefits of disclosing on labels the number of live microbials in dietary supplements—an issue of interest to marketers of probiotics.

FDA stopped short of amending its labeling regulations, denying a request filed by the International Probiotics Association (IPA).

However, the agency revealed plans to “exercise enforcement discretion” for companies that chose to declare on the Supplement Facts label the amount of live microbial ingredients based on colony-forming units (CFUs), in addition to disclosing the quantitative amount of certain dietary ingredients based on their weight per FDA regulations.

“We believe that CFUs provide a useful description of the quantity of live microbial dietary ingredients,” FDA explained in a constituent update. “Allowing firms to declare the CFUs within the Supplement Facts label will help consumers more readily identify the amount of living microorganisms for each product and more easily compare products.”

Enforcement discretion

In draft guidance published Sept. 6, 2018, FDA said it intends to exercise its enforcement discretion, provided the following conditions are met:

• The quantity is first listed in terms of weight;

• The declaration of quantity in CFUs is expressed in a manner that is clearly separate and readily distinguishable from the weight, e.g., as a parenthetical or in a subset line;

• The declaration of quantity in CFUs is formatted in clear terms that can easily be understood by a common reader, e.g., 10 billion or 300* (where the unit that “*” is intended to represent, such as million or billion, is a typical measurement of CFUs and is clearly indicated elsewhere in the Supplement Facts label)

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Global Dietary Supplements Market is Expected to Reach around $220.3 bn in 2022

NutraCap Admin

The Dietary Supplements Market research report highlights realistic data on the Dietary Supplements Market business. It offers the user with meticulous statistics over the latest developments in the Dietary Supplements Market. The Dietary Supplements Market report also offers information about the flexible structure of the market. The report involves essential data that helps in the estimation of the growth of the Dietary Supplements Market.

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The report discusses factors, such as demand, revenue, ability, growth rate, gross margin, and production, affecting the Dietary Supplements Market.

The Dietary Supplements Market report presents the user with exclusive facts and figures. This data helps them for the analysis of the Dietary Supplements Market. The report reviews various reliable institutions for the analysis of the future scope for the market and players in the Dietary Supplements Market. It also enlists various well-established and dominating players in the global market along with their contact details, sales, pictures, and productions.

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Dietary ingredients ensnared in U.S.-China trade war

NutraCap Admin

President Trump’s trade war with China is set to impact many dietary ingredients, with additional 10 to 25 percent import duties on a range of products from minerals to proteins and sweeteners sourced from China.

IngredientsOnline.com, which connects U.S. and other manufacturers and vendors to ingredient suppliers from around the world, including China, has compiled a list of more than 180 potentially affected ingredients in the company’s supply chain, including choline, creatine, xylitol, animal and plant proteins, ribose, phytosterols, hemp seeds and various forms of minerals and amino acids.

“With boots on the ground in China, our teams in Shanghai have identified this list of ingredients that are on the HTS [U.S. Harmonized Tariff Schedule] Code as ‘potentials’ for the additional duty fees that will start at 10 percent,” said Peggy Jackson, vice president of sales and marketing for ingredientsonline.com. “Keep in mind this is just the beginning; we’re hearing the tariffs can range from 10 percent to 25 percent. It’s obvious this will have a tremendous effect on not only the industry but on consumers as well.”

The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) has been working on this issue since Trump released the first tariffs in May and has received lists from its members, sometimes including 30 to 40 or more ingredients potentially affected by the tariffs.

“The cost of sourcing raw material is going to go up in all these cases,” said Steve Mister, president and CEO of CRN. “Sometimes it’s the finished ingredient; in other cases, it’s the excipients or fillers and similar compounds. Each one incrementally increases the cost of goods, the cost to make the products.”

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California joins FDA in saying no to CBD in foods, supplements

NutraCap Admin

A position adopted by state officials in California has drawn criticism from companies selling cannabidiol (CBD) in conventional foods and dietary supplements.

The fresh feud brewing in The Golden State symbolizes the disparate treatment of myriad cannabis products in one of the world’s largest economies. Consumers in California can legally buy marijuana for medical and recreational use, but state officials recently said CBD products are off-limits in foods and supplements.

Relying on statements by the federal agency responsible for regulating food in interstate commerce, the Food and Drug Branch of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) asserted in a public statement, or FAQ, “[T]he use of industrial hemp as a source of CBD to be added to food products is prohibited.”

“Until the FDA rules that industrial hemp-derived CBD oil and CBD products can be used as a food or California makes a determination that they are safe to use for human and animal consumption, CBD products are not an approved food, food ingredient, food additive or dietary supplement,” the state agency concluded.

According to CDPH’s statement, “California incorporates federal law regarding food additives, dietary use products, food labeling and good manufacturing practices for food.” The CDPH described CBD as “an unapproved food additive” that is not permitted “for use in human and animal foods per the FDA, and thus, it is not approved in California.”

Asked for this article to explain what prompted CDPH to issue the FAQ, the agency noted, “There has been some confusion on the legal use of CBD and CBD oil since the legalization of medicinal and adult-use cannabis in California.”

In 1996, California became the first state to legalize medicinal marijuana through Proposition 215. Earlier this year, the state began permitting recreational sales of cannabis after California, Massachusetts and Nevada in 2016 joined four other states in legalizing recreational marijuana.

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Weighing the pros & cons of supplement delivery forms

NutraCap Admin

Now that you have the perfect formula to add to your product line, what solid dosage delivery form should you choose? Capsules, tablets, softgels or powder? The answer—it depends! This is a decision every brand marketer must make during product design. Each delivery form has its place in the dietary supplement arena. Several factors should be considered when selecting a delivery form to ensure the ingredients are delivered to the body in the most befitting form and the product is convenient and user friendly.

The two-piece hard-shell capsule is the most common delivery form in the supplement space. Most allow a rapid release and require fewer processing aids. Tablets are also widely used, which can be packed with a larger quantity of ingredients, allow time-release delivery and offer a variety of shapes and sizes. A softgel typically consists of a soft gelatin or vegetarian-based shell surrounding a liquid fill. This delivery form is particularly suitable for oil-based ingredients. Powders, as the name implies, consist of a single ingredient or mixture of ingredients in powder form. Powders can be considered the purest of the delivery forms requiring few, if any, processing excipients. Powders are ideal for macronutrients or supplements requiring a large serving size. These solid dosage delivery forms have specific manufacturing processes as well as advantages and disadvantages in form and function.

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