The European markets for nutritional ingredients face many forbidding challenges during 2016 but, against the “run of play," some exciting opportunities look set to materialize from unexpected quarters.
Globally, dietary supplements remain popular, and the functional foods market promises a bright future. On the challenges side, when it comes to Europe, a great deal comes down to the lack of approved health claims from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which has hampered the interest in launching new products and ingredients.
What is critical to growth in the European ingredients market is an emphasis on documented and evidence-based science in the dietary supplements and functional foods arena. This applies not only to the ingredients themselves, but to new innovative delivery formats, designed to appeal to different demographic groups and optimize nutrient uptake in the body.
European suppliers and trend watchers have called out many different ingredients with the potential for scale if supported by science and claims, given consumer interest. These include omega-3sincluding novel forms of the fatty acidsbasic nutrients such as vitamin K2, and fiber ingredients like beta-glucans. Further, key categories with growth potential include sports nutrition and beauty-from-within, both of which may be particularly appealing for new botanical ingredients.
Nutritional health claims will continue to have an impact on innovation and marketing across Europe during 2016 and beyond. But if EFSA’s influence has a slowing effect on innovation in foods and supplements, other organizations also have a responsibility when it comes to communicating the benefits of those ingredients that do have health claims.
In general, the ingredients sector appears to have the ability to gain traction in 2016 by remaining mindful of consumer desires and trends, toeing the line with regulations, and partnering with companies in NPD to develop finished products that truly meet market needs.
A new report from Vitafoods Europe includes specifics around trending ingredients, marketing challenges and expected shifts in the regulatory approvals situation. For more information, download the Vitafoods Insights special report “European Trends in Nutrition Ingredients" for free to find out more.