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Trends in 8 functional ingredient categories for 2011

A snapshot of facts, statistics and industry expert quotes in: weight, performance, sodium and sugar alternatives, digestion, immunity, Asia and energy. "Consumers don’t necessarily view products as being in one category or another, rather they look for solutions that meet their needs, and that may be something that straddles multiple categories." –Mintel


34 – Percent of U.S. adults age 20 and over who are obese. Expect to see a wider range of products in 2011: from portion control and more health info on packaging to low-cost healthy fare.

8 – Percent growth over the next five years in the international weight-management market, worth $7.3 billion in 2009.

204 – Amount, in millions of dollars, of the potential value of the green-tea market in 2011 in the U.S. and Europe combined. Green tea sales in the U.S. increased by 6.1 percent between 2000 and 2005.

"What we see is that the weight-management industry is undergoing the equivalent of a stock market correction. By that I mean, in a difficult economy, consumers are focusing on tried-and-true ingredients like Advantra Z." –Bob Green, president, Nutratech


Note to marketers: "diet" and "dieting" have decidedly lost steam as a means of communicating the calorie-cutting element of stevia. In their place – zero. 

"We looked at U.S. product launches and companies are going away from those two words for verbiage in products," said Tom Vierhile, director of product launch analytics at Datamonitor. "Whatever you do, don't use 'diet' or 'dieting' in the branding or product name. 'Zero' is gaining steam as popular verbiage in the beverage industry, as with Coke Zero."

Along those lines, calorie-burning or fat-burning types of claims have risen since 2007 moreso than any other claim, said Vierhile. "Enviga (with green tea catechin EGCG) from Nestlé has had legal problems, and sales are one-seventh what they were at their peak," said Vierhile. "Celsius, which has not been subject to warning letters from FDA, is doing well.

"One caveat with this is this particular claim – fat or cal-burning claim – is that it has the highest percentage of skepticism from consumers, so there's a believability issue," Vierhile said.

Nawgan is another potential category creator, targeting the ol' noggin. Formulated by scientist Rob Paul, Ph.D., Nawgan has a handful of functional ingredients. First and foremost is the Cognizin brand citicoline, from supplier Kyowa Hakko, which has also found a home in 5-Hour Energy.

Nawgan ingredients:

Cognizin citicoline: supports phospholipid building blocks of brain cells (structure); cholingergic precursor (for memory)
Alpha-GPC: cholinergic precursor (for memory)
Lycopene: anti-inflammatory, occurs when brain is damaged
Vitamin E (natural antioxidant)
Caffeine (in some drink varieties), modulates adenosine system; stimulant and neuroprotection

Sodium alternatives

80 – Percent of sodium in our diet that is added to foods before they are sold.

20 – Percent reduction in sodium called for in packaged foods by the National Sodium Reduction Initiative by the end of 2011.

4.0 – Percentage of new foods or beverages launched in the U.S.  from Jan. 1 to Oct.31, 2010 making any of the following claims: "low salt," "low sodium," "no salt," "no sodium"

3.5 – Percent launched, 2009
3.7 – Percent launched, 2008
3.9 – Percent launched, 2007
3.0 – Percent launched, 2006

Remember, salt is functional! Tips for reduction:

For a 25-50 percent reduction, try Cargill's Salt Wise and potassium chloride to maintain function and flavor, said Janice Johnson, Ph.D., applications leader for Cargill salt.

For a reduction greater  than 50 percent, Salt Wise plays a bit better (potassium chloride has a metallic note).

For an even greater sodium reduction, take a look at the food matrix, said Johnson. Note where the sodium is coming from to see how you can formulate your product so no one ingredient takes the brunt.

In addition, whey permeates can also be used, especially in baked goods, to reduce sodium content as well as improve texture and even sweetness profile.


Want probiotics? Think 4:

Science: Growing, but non-strain-specific to specific health conditions.

NPD: What isn't carrying probiotics? It's in supplements, foods, beverages, even shampoos.

Marketing: What can't you say? What can you say? Nestlé got sanctioned for its BOOST Kid Essentials Nutritionally Complete Drink, which contains probiotics and enjoyed a study showing reduced incidence and duration of colds and flu among children who consumed its product. Nestlé simply promoted the study results on its Web site – and FDA said it's an unapproved drug claim and had to remove that language from its marketing.

Dannon studied its DanActive witih Lactobacillus casei in 638 preschoolers. After three months, those drinking the yogurt had 19 percent fewer common infectious diseases. Bzzzt – drug claim! Thanks for playing, said the FTC.

Regulations: These guys ostensibly keep the marketers in check – question is, what's the balancing line between safety and access? Is hyper-regulating into submission a nominally safe product the way to go?

For more, go to and search for the probiotics video.


"It's on the consumer's top-six list of health issues that they're concerned about. I think it will continue to be a popular area. So far, it's been mostly beverage delivered, but I think increasingly we'll see food products. There's Praeventia, that small wafer cookie that is purported to have immunity benefits. I think we'll see more of that sort of thing." –Jeff Hilton, co-founder and chief marketing officer of Integrated Marketing Group


All eyes are on Asia in the year ahead. Your feet can be, too, if you attend 2011 Nutracon Asia and Natural Products Expo Asia.

This high-level conference in Hong Kong (Aug. 25-26) and expo (Aug. 25-27) for the health and nutrition industry focuses on key issues in the development of supplements, healthy food and beverages and personal-care products. Connect with thousands of attendees to investigate the latest products, industry trends and practices, and grow your healthy business.

Who should attend? Those working or interested in:

Research and development
Sales and brand marketing
Production innovation
Category management

Choose from four distinct breakout workshops, which provide in-depth analysis and interactive discussion on the current issues affecting your sector of the industry.

1. Dietary Supplements Workshop
Capitalize from understanding the latest development of regulatory issues across Asia. Plus, a look at 10 ASEAN countries' regulatory scenarios to assist you in overcoming challenges when considering Asia for your business.

2. Cosmetics Regulatory Workshop
This workshop will provide a comprehensive overview and new updates on the regulatory and business environment of the cosmetics industry in China and Hong Kong.

3. Organic Business Workshop
If your company is involved in organics you'll need to get up to speed on organic-product accreditation issues, how to run an organic business in China and the strategy required for operating an organic business.

4. Functional Food & Beverage Workshop
A renowned research company, industry associations and marketing experts come together to provide analysis on key trends and look at forecasts for across the food and beverage sector in Asia.

For more information and to register visit:

Sugar alternatives

239 – SKUs through Oct. 31, 2010, of new packaged beverages in U.S. containing stevia or its variants. (Reb A, Rebiana, Truvia, PureVia, Rebaudiana).

141 – SKUs 2009

66 – SKUs 2008

51 – SKUs 2007


136 – Percent increase in energy drinks and shots sales from 2005-2009.

71 – Percent of energy drink users who consume them for an energy boost.

57 – Percent of energy drink users who consume them to stay awake.

60 – Percent who drink them for mental alertness.

30 – Percent of people who are interested in the energy drink category, according to Mintel research.

48 – Percent of non-drinkers who cite high prices as reason to avoid energy drinks.

43 – Percent who cite too much caffeine.

43 – Percent who cite general feeling that energy drinks/shots just aren't good for you.

Mitochondrial support nutrients are ready for prime time. What we like best about malic acid over others like coQ10 and carnitine is that, while also being safe and effective, malic acid is inexpensive.

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