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Demand for natural sweeteners continues to rise

Demand for natural sweeteners continues to rise

More consumers are embracing health and wellness and seeking out better-for-you products, resulting in tremendous innovation in the food, beverage and supplement industries that deliver novel products to feed and fuel the mind, body and soul.

This new paradigm in consumerism also includes a desire for products formulated with ingredients consumers can pronounce, as well as products with shortened ingredient lists. Nowhere is this more apparent the food and beverage industry, where increased numbers of consumers are demanding transparency about how ingredients are sourced and how products are manufactured.

According to the 2018 Food & Health Survey from the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation, most Americans think about the healthfulness of the foods and beverages they consume. When asked to choose between two versions of the same product—an older one with artificial ingredients and a newer version without—69 percent chose the product with no artificial ingredients, while 32 percent opted for the one containing artificial ingredients.

When asked to identify the healthier of two products with the same Nutrition Facts Panel, 40 percent perceived one labeled “non-GMO” (genetically modified organism) as healthier versus 15 percent for one with genetically engineered ingredients, and 33 percent believed a product with a shorter ingredient list was healthier than one with more ingredients (15 percent). What’s more, 62 percent of consumers said they would pay up to 10 percent more for a product without artificial ingredients, while 42 percent said they would pay 50 percent more.

IFIC data also revealed consumption of and opinions regarding sugars have shifted over the years, with 33 percent of Americans pointing to sugar as the most likely calorie source responsible for weight gain. The findings aren’t surprising given sugar content in foods and beverages has been a politicized issue because of its association with several chronic illnesses, chief of which include obesity, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Read The Full Article HERE

CBD in packaged food and beverages

CBD in packaged food and beverages

Alcoholic drinks are by far the most embedded industry in the cannabis sector. At least three leading corporate players have a stake in cannabis producers, the most notable being U.S.-based Constellation Brands and its 38 percent share in leading Canadian cannabis producer Canopy Growth. With the spirits and beer categories already headed in a low- or non-alcoholic direction, a future where tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) replaces alcohol is on the horizon. Cannabis beverages, with specific THC dosing and controlled onset-of-effects, will become more common in places that have legalized recreational use, ultimately providing the equivalent effect of a glass of wine or beer. These would be calorie-free, non-alcoholic or alcoholic recreational beverages with an intoxicating buzz.

Health and wellness trends are driving the global soft drinks industry, fueled by sugar reduction. The functional health and wellness trend is thus a natural bedfellow for cannabidiol (CBD)-infused products. In soft drinks, CBD launches have become prevalent over the last two to three years, particularly in bottled water, juices, ready-to-drink (RTD) tea, RTD coffee and energy drinks, as well as THC inclusions where recreational use of cannabis is legal.

Tea is currently the most popular application for CBD products in hot drinks, particularly green tea and herbal tea, related as they are to health and wellness. As low- and non-alcoholic beverages grow in popularity, and sugary soft drinks continue to decline, a consumer trend confluence occurs between alcoholic drinks and soft drinks. These blurring lines are creating a fertile ground for adult recreational soft drinks, where cannabis (more specifically THC in the long term) fits in as a social lubricant with a health and wellness halo.

Within packaged food, Euromonitor International expects sales of CBD products to double over the next two years, as consumer awareness grows. CBD and THC are the superpower holistic food ingredients of the future—think turmeric (anti-inflammatory) crossed with coconut oil (essential fatty acids). CBD/THC falls within the naturally functional and mindful consumption trends, tapping into the vegan, plant-based and free-from movements. Given hemp is grown sustainably, it is also spurred by the ethical living megatrend and back-to-basics move. THC-combined CBD products are chiefly prevalent in sweet categories, such as confectionery (chocolate and sugar), protein bars and ice cream, with potential for savory snacks, pasta and soups, among others.

Read The Full Article HERE

Green Power for Future Generations

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The world’s population is increasing rapidly. All people need to eat and there is no denying that protein supplies an essential part of a healthy daily diet. However, protein sources can exert an enormous impact on the environment and the world. Scientists around the globe are investigating plant-based alternatives to animal proteins. These alternatives can play a vital role not only in supplying essential nutrients but also doing it in a more environmentally friendly, sustainable way compared to animal proteins.

By the Numbers
While the current global population stands at 7.7 billion, some predictions estimate the number will grow to 9.8 billion by the year 2050. Correspondingly, food production needs to increase. This population growth means higher demand for animal protein; in fact, demand for animal protein might double. While animal proteins supply a full complement of essential amino acids required for human health, they also leave behind a huge environmental footprint. Some concerns, specifically related to increased animal protein, include the required amount of land, water, and feed necessary for its production, as well as emissions of greenhouse gases and potential issues with animal welfare.

The issues with animal-based protein extend beyond the land into the oceans. Researchers at the University of Western Australia and the University of British Columbia, who analyze global fishing trends, found that industrial fishing fleets have dramatically expanded their fishing areas, traveling double the distance to fishing grounds compared to 1950, yet catch rates are a third of what they were 65 years ago per kilometer traveled (Science Advances, 2018).

Plant proteins are certain to play a key role in meeting the protein needs of future generations and the growing population. The need for plant protein alternatives is critical and matching plant sources in the right combination can achieve adequate essential amino acid profiles. Currently, major industrial protein ingredients from plant sources include soy, wheat, rice, corn, peas, canola, and potato. Plant protein utilization can reduce demand for animal protein sources, thereby reducing environmental impact.

One study conducted in 2014 that compared the environmental cost of two plant-based proteins—one from beans and the other from almonds—to the cost of three animal-based proteins found that to produce 1 kg of protein from beans required “approximately 18 times less land, 10 times less water, nine times less fuel, 12 times less fertilizer, and 10 times less pesticide in comparison to producing 1 kg of protein from beef.” Beef also generated five to six times more waste compared to the other animal proteins, namely chickens and eggs (Public Health Nutrition, 2014).

Read The Full Article HERE

Takeaways: Power for powder innovation

Takeaways Power for powder innovation

Powdered supplements are projected to experience a 10.8 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2016 to 2024, according to a 2018 report from Grand View Research. Succeeding in a thriving market with anticipated double-digit growth requires fine-tuned product development and formulation to ensure powdered supplements not only meet consumer expectations for quality, but also stand out on the shelf (or on a web page).

To achieve success in the powdered supplements category, consider these market dynamics:

Telling trends: As the category for powders grows, innovative products will steal the sought-after spotlight. Understanding consumer and category trends is critical to creating products that meet the needs of the market. Some trends impacting the powder category include clean labels, flavor innovation and packaging. Contract manufacturers with global presence can help to identify global and ingredient trends.

Quality considerations: Quality is essential in every category of dietary supplements. But powdered supplements have unique considerations such as taste, texture and solubility. If consumer expectations around quality aren’t met, consumers won’t repurchase the product, regardless how innovative the product is.

Partnership power: Whether a brand wants to test the waters of a trending market with a seasonal flavor or to see what a concept product may look, feel or taste like, a contract manufacturer may be the best resource. This is especially true when a brand is in a growing category like powders. Contract manufacturers can help brand owners to identify market trends, navigate quality considerations and improve time to market, among other benefits.

In the coming year, innovation will drive interest in the powders category. Longtime staples such as collagen and protein powders will remain strong players. Within these key product segments, innovation will take place in the form of packaging, flavor concepts and improved quality in areas such as taste. For example, sports nutrition brand BSN launched in March, in collaboration with Cold Stone Creamery, three new flavors—birthday cake remix, germanchokolatekake and mint mint chocolate chocolate chip—while Sparta Nutrition announced in January the launch of five new protein flavors, including loopy fruits (a take on Kellogg’s Froot Loops cereal) and blueberry muffin. Newcomers to the category will offer trending ingredients as a way to approach innovation. One example is the growth and interest in medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil powders to support ketogenic diet trends.

Read The Full Article HERE

Inside the plant-based protein market

The plant-based protein market

Consumer demand for sustainable products and knowledge of the health benefits of protein has driven the need for protein from plants, such as pea, hemp, rice, oats and beyond. A decade ago, soy-based veggie burgers were the primary plant protein-rich food found in a typical grocery store. Fast forward to 2019, and products made with plant proteins have evolved to include a wide variety of flavors, textures and formats for every eating occasion.

Indeed, consumers have a seemingly insatiable appetite for protein. Consumers associate protein with a healthy diet, helping maintain muscle during aging, recovery from exercise and greater feelings of fullness.

The 2014 Food & Health Survey from the International Food Information Council (IFIC) found 58 percent of consumers are influenced to purchase a product based on its protein content. By 2015, interest in protein had grown to the point where IFIC’s online Food & Health Survey found more than half of Americans surveyed were trying to consume acertain amount of protein per day or eat as much protein as they could. Food manufacturers can capitalize on this trend by giving consumers what they want: front-of-pack labeling that calls out “good source of protein” or “high in protein” versus listing the amount of protein in grams per serving on the front of the pack.

Interestingly, consumers are not focusing solely on typical sources of protein such as meat, fish, poultry and dairy. In 2014, research by the NPD Group found almost half of primary grocery shoppers bought protein-enriched foods including cereal, bread, protein bars and pasta. The same survey revealed consumers were clamoring for more options including bagels and frozen foods. The door is wide open for plant proteins as roughly 66 percent of U.S. consumers believe meat alternatives are healthier than meat, according to a 2017while Mintel protein report, while 20 percent of shoppers are willing to pay more for these foods.Need proof? Data by Persistence Market Research reported the plant protein market is rapidly growing and expected to reach roughly US$16.3 billion by 2025.

Read The Full Article HERE

Joint Health Supplements: Steadily, flexibly forward

Joint Health Steadily flexibly forward

As the global joint health market grows a steady 7 percent over the next three years, the category’s staple dietary ingredients and products are giving way to a fresh wave of botanicals and specialty compounds, bringing researched joint and inflammation management to a wider, active audience than those with aging bodies.

Beyond Relief. “Consumers want products that improve their health, not products that mask their symptoms,” explained Tim Hammond, vice president of sales and marketing, Bergstrom Nutrition. In fact, as joint health and function is something consumers want to preserve over a lifetime, they are looking for customized joint health solutions that are safe for long-term use. For many, this means a small, daily supplement dose—but for others, including the younger generations, alternative delivery formats are the way to joint regimen compliance in busy lives.

Herbs on the Rise. Persistent local inflammation is a recognized key driver of wear and tear joint problems, including osteoarthritis (OA). Inflammation is typically a short-term consequence of activities, but chronic or persistent inflammation can have a lasting damaging effect on joints. Turmeric has reached superfood status and is on the rise in joint health, owing largely to its primary anti-inflammatory constituent curcumin. Additional botanical ingredients offering anti-inflammatory and other joint-related researched benefits include ashwagandha, ginger, Boswellia serrataTerminalia chebulaBacopa monnieri and Kaempferia galangal, which has the cool nickname of “resurrection lily.”

Animals to the Rescue. Despite the growing use of botanicals for inflammation and oxidative stress control, joint health still relies heavily on supplying naturally occurring compounds found in cartilage and synovial fluid, which are commonly derived from animal sources. A popular trademark in this category involves collagen, a critical cartilage component. Research has shown undenatured collagen from chicken and collagen peptide ingredients derived from animal skin and bones deliver key amino acids crucial to improving the structure and function of cartilage and connective tissues, including inflammation management. Also, glucosaminoglycans (GAGs) and other compounds found in healthy cartilage are commonly supplemented through popular ingredients like glucosamine and chondroitin from shellfish, but eggshell membrane has emerged as an alternative animal source that also delivers keratin and collagen, as well as anti-inflammatory compounds.

Read The Full Article HERE

Dietary supplements for mental performance and protection in athletes and soldiers – slideshow

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Athletic and active consumers, including soldiers, are paying increased attention to cognitive health and function, including protection/recovery from brain injury.

Much of sports nutrition focuses on muscles, joints and entire cardiovascular system. However, the brain is the control center, and athletic and active consumers are paying increased attention to cognitive health and function, including focus, attention, memory, reaction time, visual processing, emotions and protection/recovery from brain injury.

This slideshow looks at the potential effects of dietary supplements on the central nervous system (CNS) for improved health and performance. It was developed from the SupplySide West 2018 workshop, “Neurosports: Inside the Brain for Improved Performance.”

Watch The Slideshow HERE

Takeaways: Sports nutrition for female athletes

Sports Nutrition for Female Athletes

The world is half female. At least half of the sporting world is female; however, most products are formulated for men or based on research conducted mostly on men.

Women are not small men. They are different anatomically, physiologically, biologically and biochemically. The biggest difference, and one of the primary reasons given for lack of female-specific sports nutrition research, is the menstrual cycle. During certain phases of their cycle, women can experience hormone fluctuations that affect muscles, energy and bone health.

There is tremendous opportunity for companies to capture part of this growing category, but it will require an approach that considers and respects the uniqueness of active females.

Research, Research, Research. It is up to brands and manufacturers to request, fund and support increased research on female athletes. Accept and account for challenges from menstrual cycle influences. “The inane idea that women are more difficult or more expensive to study is pure laziness, in my opinion,” said Susan Kleiner, Ph.D., R.D., owner of High Performance Nutrition LLC and nutritionist for many elite female sports teams.

For instance, researchers like Bill Campbell, Ph.D., associate professor of exercise science at the University of South Florida, purposefully does not plan trials around menstrual cycles. “The reason I do not consider the menstrual cycle in my studies is that I like to be able to extrapolate my results by saying that the outcomes were irrespective of the female’s menstrual cycle,” he explained.

More companies, such as sports nutrition brand Dymatize and ingredient supplier Bergstrom Nurition, are funding studies on females. Abbie Smith-Ryan, Ph.D., associate professor of exercise physiology and director of the Applied Physiology Lab at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, who also conducts studies on females, reported NIH now requires researchers to justify why they are or are not including women in their research proposals.

Read The Full Article HERE

The plant-based protein market — deep dive

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In the past decade, products made with plant proteins have evolved to include a wide variety of flavors, textures and formats for every eating occasion. A broader range of consumers now seeks plant-based protein goods, particularly consumers under age 40 who eat meat but are incorporating other options. Dairy alternative, sports nutrition and snacks are some of the top categories for plant-protein products, drawing from sources such as soy, pea, lentil and ancient grains.

Takeaways for your business

• Taste is the top reason for eating plant proteins, far outranking concerns about environment or diet.
• 46% of consumers surveyed believe plant-based proteins are healthier than animal-based counterparts.
• Convenience foods, prepared breakfast items, frozen prepared foods and entrées show great potential.

Read The Full Article HERE

Are There Too Many Supplement Brands?

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If you spend any amount of time around industry events or targeted social media pages, you have likely heard…

“There are way too many brands today!”

…from brand owners, brand employees, retail shop owners, and every other stakeholder in the industry.

So, is there actually too many nutritional supplement brands?

I mean it certainly feels like it. Regardless if you are a stakeholder that looks at the industry from a science or marketing side, they both have been infiltrated by this proliferation in brand creation in the last 5 years. This has been caused by low barriers of entry in both national distribution (direct to consumer and Amazon) and national marketing (social media). This causes a slew of competition that creates noise and spikes different market economics.

Feel is one thing but what about the facts. Lets look at the economics definition of market saturation.

Market saturation is when sales of a product (or service) has reached the point that customer needs have been met. The term implies a situation in which sales growth is unlikely.

Read The Full Article HERE

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