Natural Foods Merchandiser

What's in store

Topped off
Satiety and appetite suppression are tools in the war on weight. Hold-me-over foods have found a stronghold in the afternoon and early evening snack categories, including snacks that address satiation, sustained energy and blood-sugar control.

Those 50+ are the fastest-growing exercisers. While they may scoff at highly caffeinated energy drinks, they are interested in foods and beverages that help with energy and vitality without the extreme buzz.

Fighting the fat
Body fat is the new target for weight management and aging well. Thirty percent of consumers (aged 18 to 24) equate calories from fat with increased body fat. Ingredients that improve body muscle tone and build lean muscle mass will be in high demand in mainstream markets.

America's Gen-Yers are the heaviest users of functional foods and are the most likely to try a new healthy food or beverage, especially if it contains vitamins and minerals and helps provide energy.

Baby kaboomers
As Gen-Yers enter the parenting age, the number of households with children under age 6 will explode. Products like specially formulated, post-breastfeeding milks, calorie-controlled meals and snacks that support brain and vision development are ripe for development.

The age of aging
With one-third of the population over age 55 and another 31 million turning 65 over the next 10 years, conditions will move center stage—look into products that address sarcopenia (muscle wasting), periodontal disease, dynapenia (loss of strength), diverticular disease and irritable bowel.

What women want
Although 44 percent of women in the U.S. are post-menopausal, there are virtually no products directed at this life stage. Heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, depression/anxiety, periodontal disease, insomnia, reduced metabolism/weight gain, dry eye, dry mouth and UTIs are among the long list of concerns.

Kids at risk
One in eight American children has one or more risks for heart disease; the incidence of high blood pressure has tripled in a decade, and 10 percent of teens have high cholesterol. Preventing diseases later in their children's lives is one of the top three concerns for moms. Parents will be looking for products to reduce these risks.

Circulation, stroke and artery health
Products that aid in circulation, improve artery elasticity and health, help prevent platelet aggregation, and reduce LDLs and inflammation will be a must for aging boomers, especially African Americans and Hispanics.

Mainstream phytochemicals
Phytochemicals are reaching mainstream market status. Anthocyanins and carotenoids are perfectly positioned for success among very health-conscious and condition-specific shoppers.

Liz Sloan is president of Sloan Trends, a San Diego-based consulting firm.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXX/number 1/p. 30

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