Todd Runestad, Content Director,, Sr. Supplements Editor

August 29, 2012

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. 

About the Author(s)

Todd Runestad

Content Director,, Sr. Supplements Editor, Natural Products Insider

I've been writing on nutrition science news since 1997. I'm The content director for NaturalProductsInsidercom and digital magazines. Other incarnations: supplements editor for, Delicious Living and Natural Foods Merchandiser. Former editor-in-chief of Functional Ingredients magazine and still cover raw material innovations and ingredient science.

Connect with me here

My daily vitamin regime includes a morning smoothie with a range of powders including protein, collagen and spirulina; a quality multi, B complex, C with bioflavonoids, >2,000IU vitamin D, E, magnesium, high-selenium yeast, PQQ, choline, alpha-lipoic acid with carnitine, coQ10, fish oil concentrate, probiotics and some adaptogenic herbs. 

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