While each local market for health and nutrition products has its nuances, the world continues to get smaller. We’re all connected and similar trends are seen throughout the global market. I predict these six trends will be shaping the way the health and nutrition industry does business in 2016:
Trend 1: B2B 24/7 Connectivity
Business is no longer 9 to 5; professional decisions are made 24/7 to cater to global partners and a telecommuting workforce. That means businesses, even B2B businesses, need to be “open" to their customers at all times. For manufacturers of health and nutrition products, these means they need their suppliers to be available, and they need to make their products accessible to consumers at all times.
In 2015, ingredient supplier GWI launched a its new e-commerce platform where brands can order GWI products, view prices, check inventory, request freight quotes, download documents and place orders, even during non-business hours. GWI’s customers can manage accounts, purchase and retrieve information any time of the day. This is just one example of a supplier making its offerings available at all times.
In addition, Informa Exhibitions (which publishes INSIDER) has helped buyers connect with suppliers at any time with SupplySide Storefronts. These storefronts are similar to the booths at SupplySide West, Ingredient Marketplace and Vitafoods, but they are open all year. Brands can get information, quotes and contact information from suppliers, or can simply browse top ingredients in different categories.
Learn how to get your ops on a 24/7 schedule in the INSIDER article, “eCommerce Platform to Warehouse, Sell and Distribute Supplements, Functional Foods," and get more information on operating on the cloud in the video: “Using Technology to Transform Your Business."
Trend 2: Supplier Qualification
A combination of increased transparency demands from consumers, new regulations and the threat of cease-and-desist letters has caused a major uptick in the need for strong supplier verification in the United States and abroad. Partnerships between ingredient suppliers, contract manufacturers and brands have always been important, but recent investigations have highlighted the need to triple check the supply chain.
Is your devil’s claw Harpagophytum procumbens or it is harpagophytum zeyheri? It’s important for brands to know the details. Will your contract manufacturer be accused of lying about ingredient sources? If it is, you could be caught up in legal woes.
Now it the time to ensure your suppliers are verified no matter where in the world they’re located. INSIDER can help with these articles:
- “7 Ways to Build Better Partnerships with Suppliers" by Francisco "Cico" Rodriguez
- “Moving Beyond Specs and Testing: Supplier Verification Key to New Anti-Adulteration Rules" by Blake Ebersole
- “A Quality Agreement, A Supply Agreement: Why Should I Care About These?" by Michael Finamore
- “Raw Material Qualification: How Regulations Affect Timing" by Jennifer Cusick
- “Assessing Raw Material Qualification" by Joseph Mitchell
- “Key Hallmarks of a Good Supplier Qualification Program" by Laura Willis
- “Qualities to Consider When Ordering Raw Materials" by Mary Galloway
- “Raw Material Qualification: A Top Priority" by Shaheen Majeed
- “Vendor Qualification" by Tammy Blakemore
Trend 3: Certifications
Third-party certifications are a good step toward ensuring products and ingredients have been properly tested and vetted, so certifications will continue to be important in 2016 and beyond. Brands will continue to look for certifications from their suppliers, and consumers in every market and demographic will continue to look for certifications from finished product brands.
The widely-known certifications, such as Organic, Non-GMO Project, NSF and USP, will gain more products, and well-known industry players will create new certifications to help consumers ID verified products. This trend has already been underway with NSF International launching Non-GMO True North and Clear Conscious Pet launching the CleanLabel™ trademark.
Get more on certifications from these INSIDER articles:
- “NSF, CCOF Introduce Label Seals to Meet Demands for Non-GMO, Organic Certifications"
- “Fair Trade Impacts Consumers’ Buying Decisions"
- “What is a Third-Party Certification?" by Amanda Hartt
- “Self-Regulation and Certification: The Rest of the Story" by Corey Hilmas
- “The Next Level of Certification" by Carlos Irizarry
- “Certifications are Fine, But..." by Blake Ebersole
Trend 4: Clean Label
The CleanLabel Certification for pet nutrition products is part of a growing trend. The clean (or clear, as some call it) label trend is strong in food, but in 2016, we’ll start seeing it everywhere—in pet food (as noted above), in supplements, in cosmetics and in personal care products. If your brand goes in, on or even close to a consumer, and contains ingredients that are unpronounceable and obscure, I expect that 2016 will be the year you look at how to clean up your label.
Explore more in INSIDER:
- “Understanding Clean-Label Dietary Supplements" by Michael Finamore
- Digital Issue: Clean-Label Soups & Sauces
- Digital Issue: Clean-Label Salad Dressings
- Digital Issue: Clean-Label Bars
- Digital Issue: The Clean-Label Beverage Issue
Trend 5: GMOs
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) will be a big conversation point in 2016 all around the globe. In the United States, FDA recently finalized a guidance on voluntary labeling of GMOs (it recommends against the use of the popular term “non GMO"), Vermont’s labeling law that requires companies to disclose if they use GMOs is set to take effect in July, and we’ll see if the federal bill will become law.
Currently, 64 countries around the world require labeling of genetically modified foods, according to the Just Label It Campaign, but so far, the United States isn’t one of them. It will be interesting to see if U.S. brands actually stop saying “non GMO" or “GMO free" as FDA recommended, even though those terms are so well known among consumers. This topic is far from settled.
Learn more about GMOs in these INSIDER articles
- “Removing GMOs" by Kate Lloyd
- “U.S. Accounts for 43% of Global Launches Using GMO-Free Claims" Judie Bizzozero
- “Chipotle’s Non-GMO Campaign is Misleading, Claims Lawsuit" by Josh Long
- “Global Non-GMO Food, Beverage Sales Soar to $550 Billion" by Judie Bizzozero
- “FDA Concludes Genetically Modified Apples, Potatoes Are Safe" by Josh Long
Trend 6: Probiotics
I really wanted to keep this list to five trends, because five is such a good, catchy number, but I could not leave probiotics off. I love probiotics because they are both an established and a dynamic, innovative category. With all the research on digestive and immune health, beneficial bacteria have a stronghold in the market. But, as we start to understand more about the connection between the gut microbiome and the rest of the body, we’re seeing exciting science on probiotic’s ability to help athletes compete, to help reduce stress and anxiety and help with blood sugar support. This is an exciting area of research, and I expect to see cool new products around the world that feature probiotics.
Check out these probiotic insights from INSIDER:
- Digital Summit: Probiotics: From Microbiome to Market Success
- Video: Probiotics' Next Frontiers
- “Study: Functional Pasta with Probiotics" by Judie Bizzozero
- “Probiotics and Prebiotics for Skin Health" by Jeanette Jacknin
- Slide Show: Trends in Probiotics
- “What’s Happening With Probiotics?" by Lynn Dornblaser
- News Desk: Probiotics in Cosmeceuticals
- “Probiotics Expand Into Cosmeceutical Sector" by Kate Lloyd
- “Probiotics and Diabetes?" by Judie Bizzozero
- “Chronic Disease: Probiotics’ Next Major Marketing Platform" by Ewa Hudson
- Digital Issue: Probiotic Food Formulation
- Slide Show: Probiotic Food Formulation
- “Progressive Probiotics" by Celeste Sepessy
What do you think will be global trends in 2016? Am I totally wrong on any of these? Shoot me a line. I’d love to hear your thoughts.