What's new in specialized nutrition in 2020?

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / JackF
© Getty Images / JackF

Related tags: Sports nutrition, Infant nutrition, Celiac disease, Obesity

Specialized nutrition is on the up. Increasingly, consumers are seeking tailored alternatives such as dairy and meat-based options that appeal to consumers with very specific nutritional needs, says Mintel.

Trend to watch

Infants and young children, sportspeople, patients in search of medically-supervised products, celiac disease sufferers and overweight and obese consumers are all on the lookout for specialized nutrition products that answer their specific diet and health needs.

When it comes to specialized nutrition in 2020, demands and innovations are taking it up a notch. “We are seeing a growing interest for hyper-specialized diets and nutrition options,” ​Ana Paula Gilsogamo, Food and Drink Senior Analyst, Mintel told NutraIngredients-LATAM.

According to market research provider Mintel’s report, Vitamins and Supplements -  Opportunities and New Consumer Demands - Brazil - November 2019, ​43% of interviewees would be interested in vitamins or supplements tailored to their specific needs. For example, a vitamin or supplement that is based on their blood test results or DNA.

Practical and punchy

Researchers, manufacturers and marketers alike are striving for solutions that recognize, prioritize and innovate. The push is now for novel new launches that transform the specialized nutrition industry into one that is both functional and exciting — with personalization at its core.

In Brazil, 24% of adults who have or are trying to have healthy eating habits have “tracked their diet or exercise with a tracker or app”,​ Gilsogamo added, indicating consumers’ increasing awareness and consideration of their nutrition habits.

Wider support for specialization

For the future of specialized nutrition to continue to diversify and personalize towards consumer-specific nutrition and dietary requirements, governments must ensure consumer awareness and understanding is present and up to date. As it is crucial that companies know the vital role nutritional products and supplements have on consumers’ diets.

Individual nutrition markets, therefore, need to cooperate to ensure the retention, development and delivery of these important nutrition elements. Further, safety, sustainability and competitiveness are key when operating in the specialized nutrition field to ensure effectiveness, efficacy and the maintenance of consumer trust.

Specialized nutrition manufacturers

Multinational food company, Danone, revealed that its specialized nutrition sales growth was very strong in the third quarter of 2019, up +9.8% on a like-for-like basis, as a result of its value-focused innovations and volumes of sales, which increased by 0.8%.  Danone highlights the importance of life-stage and lifestyle nutrition, such as early years nutrition, nutrition in aging and nutrition during illness.

Dairy nutrition name, FrieslandCampina, also develops science-based products that appeal to consumers seeking reliable and high-quality dairy needs such as infant dairy products, as well as performance-based diary nutrition for athletes. 

Nutritional claims are becoming increasingly important and helpful in aiding decision-making for adult consumers when weighing up the benefits and choices in various functional and specialized nutrition. As nutrition is explored for both holistic and preventative health, food and drink manufacturers have broad opportunities in the specialized space to connect and appeal to consumers.

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