10 hottest ingredients of 2013 and beyond

The foundation of innovation is functional ingredients. "When it shows up in ingredients, it'll show up eventually in finished products," said Tom Aarts, co-chair of the NBJ Summit and founder of Nutrition Capital Network. 

This remains true whether your finished product is a food, beverage, supplement or cosmetic. But within this bit of conventional wisdom, there are trends, counter-trends and shifting sands which savvy companies can capitalize on to improve their next product launch—or the direction of the business. 

Example: "Experiential" supplements, wherein consumers want to feel the effects. And it's not just a caffeinated buzz but any nutrient whose effect can be measured and ascribed a number, whether it's vitamin D levels or triglyceride levels changed with high-concentrate fish oil. 

Counter-example: All-natural, nutrient-dense whole foods that provide a better-than-solid foundation for health. These are ingredients such as kale, blueberries, nuts, chia and pomegranate. Procter & Gamble legitimized this conceit in one fell swoop earlier this year. 

Foundational truth: Science sells. Just ask the aforementioned vitamin D or omega-3s. 

Counter-truth: Marketing works. Just ask acai or the singular packaging of 8.3-ounce energy drink cans. 

Want to get at more truths and informed industry insights? This top 10 list is just a fraction of the market intel available in the new Nutrition Business Journal/Engredea report, "Ingredient Market Forecast: 2012-13." Use code Forecast25 for a special deal. 

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