Functional food and beverage manufacturers will be forced to focus on nutrient content claims to create differentiation in 2011, according to European ingredients supplier Beneo.
Anke Sentko, the company's vice president of regulatory affairs and nutrition communication, said products containing the few ingredients subject to approved health claims under the EU’s Nutrition & Health Claims Regulation would have a marketing edge.
However, she added: "For those without EFSA sign-off, the market will see a move towards the clever reformulation of products to promote nutrient content claims. Combined with consumer demand for weight management products, there will be an increased focus on the caloric value and physiological properties of food and drink products in 2011 and this will mean the rise of sugar replacers and dietary fibres."
Meanwhile, Tim Van der Schraelen, Beneo's marketing & communication manager, said he expected fresh developments in the energy category. "I believe that 2011 will see new categories appearing in the energy and performance drinks sector as consumers demand more natural products," he said. "Red Bull and similar shot drinks have their place, but consumers are looking for different ways to get longer-term energy boosts.
"Combine this with the trend of an ageing workforce and more people looking for that boost to 'get them through the day' and I predict that we will see a sharp increase in energy and performance drinks not only with innovative carbohydrates but also combining fruit and dairy-alternative carriers."
Van der Schraelen also said he expected the health claims regulation to impact on companies' marketing strategies. "I can see a move from benefit-led marketing towards ingredients-led communication, as the industry continues to find its feet in this new, challenging environment. To give an example, we will see more 'with bifidus bacteria’ and less ‘increases natural defenses' in the near future."