Natural Foods Merchandiser

Natural Products Industry News Beat

Low-glycemic market to approach $2B
Low-glycemic foods may not spike blood sugar, but they sure spike sales. According to a recent report from Packaged Facts, 2006 sales were expected to total $350 million. The New York-based market research firm projects sales of low-glycemic foods "will continue to soar at a compound annual growth rate of more than 45 percent during the 2007 to 2011 period, with sales touching $1.8 billion in 2011," said Don Montuori, publisher of Packaged Facts.

The company attributes the sales increase to effective cross merchandising. Low-glycemic foods were developed for the nation's 20 million diabetics, but the products—especially bars and beverages—also appeal to consumers interested in weight loss and sustained energy, Montuori said. "Low-glycemic foods and beverages have made it out of their corners in health food stores to become a widely accepted addition to supermarkets, mass merchandisers and drug stores."

These figures seem to disprove critics, who previously suggested that the low-glycemic concept was too complex for consumers to embrace. "This is a tricky market," Montuori said. "There's too much real science behind it to be a fad—and I think it's too complex to be a full-fledged shift in eating. The moderation inherent in [low-glycemic index] eating—you can, possibly, have your cake and eat it too—is what ultimately will be appealing to consumers. And that can be achieved by education on the part of marketers, and positioning products and the reasons behind it in easily understandable terms."


NBJ reports state of the supplement market

Nutrition Business Journal has published its Supplements Business Report 2006, and the picture is good. Overall supplements sales grew 4.5 percent to $21.3 billion in 2005. NBJ, which is owned by New Hope Natural Media, publisher of The Natural Foods Merchandiser, based the 996-page report on 10 years of research, and gives detailed sales quantification and growth forecasts in vitamins, minerals, herbs, specialty supplements, meal replacement, sports nutrition and weight loss supplements. Analysis is given by sales channel for each product category. According to Grant Ferrier, editor of NBJ, the supplements industry is still developing, and the availability and popularity of new products and delivery systems supports NBJ's forecast growth rate of 1.5 times to 2 times the growth rate of the economy. "But, as the supplement industry does indeed become more mature and more aligned with the growth of what could be called parallel sectors, it will be interesting to see if the supplement business will gravitate more to the health care industry or more to food and consumer products," Ferrier said.


Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVIII/number 2/p. 11

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