Interview with David Sprinkle, research director, Packaged Facts

November 3, 2010

As the variety of food, beverage and nutraceutical options continues to grow, consumers are increasingly expecting more from all of their product choices. David Sprinkle, Packaged Facts, noted consumer preferences continue to evolve in selecting nutraceuticals and functional products, opening up opportunities for marketers and posing challenges for product developers. Sprinkle spoke briefly with Heather Granato, Virgo Publishing, in October 2010 during SupplySide West in Las Vegas, offering a historical perspective on the evolution and tips on what to expect in the coming years.

He detailed what could be considered the food and nutraceutical continuum, spanning from dietary supplements to functional foods to whole foods and even super foods. As the idea of supplementation has become increasingly central to people's food choices, shoppers are willing to choose many types of products for their positive health effects. "Even though there is and could be an ideological battle between natural foods and whole foods and supplements, there's really not in the minds of consumers," Sprinkle said. "Good things are good for you and more is more." Instead, he sees greater expectations among consumers that even packaged foods should offer some enhanced benefits, which could leave standard products on the shelves. As for what is on the horizon, he said functional foods may be able to gain additional market share from the supplement market as consumers are increasingly willing to buy in to a new dosage method for a health benefit.

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