Probiotics, superfruits, sleep products lead 2008 top trends

New York-based market analyst Datamonitor's Productscan Online has predicted its 10 top trends for 2008 with probiotics, superfruits and sleep products set to feature prominently. Other highlighted areas include organic foods and beverages for children, ingredients from Africa, caffeine, green issues and more robust flavours.

Datamonitor are not alone in nominating probiotics as a key trend and one that is showing no signs of abating. The growing sales figures, especially in the US and Europe but increasingly in China and other developing economies, speak for themselves.

"Probiotics are finally hitting the mainstream, courtesy of launches like Dannon's Activia yoghurt that achieved more than $150 million in first year sales in the USA," Datamonitor said. "But probiotics aren't limited to yoghurt. In 2007, they moved into cheese with Kraft LiveActive Cheese (new in the USA and Canada) as well as other dairy products and there are indications that chocolate might be next. Chocolate supplier Barry Callebaut is out with new technology that enables the creation of a probiotic chocolate bar. Procter & Gamble is also jumping on the probiotic bandwagon with its new Align Daily Probiotic Supplement."

The rise of superfruits did not escape Productscan's attention. "Look for 'superfruits' to go mainstream in 2008 as larger companies begin to get into the game," it stated. "2008 could also be a great year for emerging superfruits like yumberry. This subtropical fruit has been harvested for over 2,000 years in China, but is new to most of the rest of the world."

While widespread western world energy deficits has contributed to energy drinks becoming one of the most exciting beverage categories, Datamonitor cites sleep as a key trend to look for. With more Americans rising before 6 a.m, than ever before, and research highlighting links between lack of sleep and obesity, the market for sleep products is set to surge. Citing an 'adult milk' in Japan, Datamonitor notes, "This new milk comes from cows milked at the break of dawn and is naturally high in melatonin, a sleep aid."

It added: "Also, look for new products based on the amino acid gamma-aminobutyric acid, which is lauded for its stress relieving properties. Jones Soda recently secured the rights to this ingredient in the USA and expects to use it in new beverage products.

Other trends highlighted by Datamonitor include freshness and maintaining product texture in healthy offerings.

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