The following is an excerpt from the NEXT Forecast, an insider’s guide to where the natural products market is now—and where it’s headed. Drawing from proprietary data sets, expert interviews, in-market case studies and the Natural Products Expos, the NEXT Forecast is the industry’s leading source of forward-looking insights. Learn about this and many other in-market trends laddering up to dominant macro forces in this report.
While multivitamins and supplements are still experiencing strong growth, younger demographics, like millennials, are resistant to taking them every day in a pill form—they can be difficult to swallow, expensive and easy to forget they’re sitting, unopened, in the medicine cabinet. As a result, inherently functional ingredients are popping up in foods and beverages that consumers are already consuming every day—cereals, bars, beverages, snacks and even treats like chocolate.
- Sales data show that ingredients promising energy, better nutrition and vitality are resonating with both natural and conventional consumers. In the 52 weeks ending November 29, 2015, several superfoods experienced significant sales gains, according to SPINS. For instance, consumer sales of chia seeds and chia seed oil, riding on their rock-star health reputations, spiked 36.2 percent.
- Similarly, the Peruvian root maca, prized for its hormone-balancing potential, grew a whopping 49.2 percent.
Next Forecast 2017 opportunity
Natural companies are dead-set on infusing their products with ingredients that garner consumer interest for purported health benefits. Exotic-sounding whole-food ingredients such as baobab, lucuma, purple corn and coffee fruit are the latest foods stirring attention. But rather than formulate on the latest flavor of the week, the smartest brands find ingredients that deliver unparalleled flavor and healthfulness and that have a sourcing story that cements an emotional connection with shoppers.