Healthcare providers have evolved in recent years and broadened their business focus to new areas. An increased spotlight on health and wellness, heightened by COVID, continues to play a large part in the growth of pioneering segments involving nutraceuticals, functional foods and nutricosmetics
According to a recent study by Allied Market Research, the global nutraceuticals market size is projected to reach $650.5 billion by 2030, registering a CAGR of 3.9% from 2021 to 2030.1
Consumer demand and an increasing preference for more natural, organic and herbal healthcare solutions — not to mention the rising costs and waiting times associated with healthcare — are helping to fuel this global growth and providing an opportunity for innovation in nutraceuticals.
This article explores four major trends that are driving innovation in the nutraceutical industry in response to changing consumer views and behaviours.
An increased focus on immune health
People are more aware of their own — and their children’s — overall health and immune systems than ever before. As such, there has been a massive rise in nutraceuticals owing to the numerous benefits, both individually and collectively, they have on the immune system.
This is evidenced by the increased purchase of dietary supplements that promote better health and wellness, prevent the onset of chronic diseases, help to maintain bodily structure or function and lengthen life expectancy.
The growing trend of genetic profiling also reflects people’s desire to invest in wellness and preventive measures to help stave off disease.
The nutritional industry is responding to this growing awareness by embracing naturally active ingredients that draw attention to various health issues, such as gut health (pre/probiotics), eye health, sleep issues and menopausal symptoms, and help to provide affordable and practical solutions for a wider segment of the population.
Variety is the spice of life
Consumers are looking for more tailored — and palatable — healthcare products that feel (and taste) less like “medicine” and more like fuel to help meet their nutritional needs and individual health objectives.
The industry is responding by offering a raft of different formats, such as liquid-filled capsules, gummies and chewables, dissolving strips, protein bars, shots, effervescents, sachets, softgels and powdered drink mixes to help people integrate nutrition into their daily routines.
These variations not only make it easier to consume immune-boosting nutrients, but can also help with compliance when it comes paediatric supplements.
Products with sympathetic shapes and flavours are more appealing to children (or even adults).
And, by making them more palatable, these variations help to promote the regular consumption of nutritional supplements.
Addressing dietary concerns
In addition to nutraceuticals that target a range of specific categories, such as bone, brain, heart and eye health, dietary restrictions are a top priority when it comes to purchase decisions.
People are looking for supplements that fit into their specific nutritional requirements. Product categories such as clean label, vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, natural, organic, GMO-free and additive/preservative-free are designed to fulfil these customer needs and preferences.
Many of these diverse varieties are ethically approved and offered with well-backed health claims that communicate the link between dietary choices and overall health.
Holistic health and well-being
The mental burden and stress that followed the COVID pandemic has highlighted the importance of mental health and mood, indicating the transition from focusing solely on physical health to adopting a more holistic view.
People are now relying more on nutraceuticals than ever to support this view and their changing lifestyles, such as working from home. They are looking for natural alternatives that can enhance their fitness, support and preserve their emotional and psychological well-being, as well as protect them against the growing burden of chronic disease.
They are adopting nutraceutical supplements such as ashwagandha to support mental health. In addition, new innovations such as probiotic-infused products can also be used to promote various health benefits.
Since the pandemic, nutraceuticals have shown enormous potential. Consumers are choosing products that can positively boost their nutrition and complement their fitness regimes to strengthen their systems and gain maximum results.
This change in focus towards more natural, proactive and holistic nutraceutical products, rather than chemical ones — together with the increasing challenges faced by global welfare systems — supports the industry’s growth and expansion, and paves the way for further opportunities for innovation.
For more information
Surya Singh, PhD, Senior Manager, Product Development, Vantage Nutrition
Jnanadeva Bhat, PhD, Head of Formulation R&D (Pharma & Nutra), Vantage Nutrition and ACG Capsules
Manali Dalvi, Whitepaper and Publication Lead (Pharma & Nutra), Vantage Nutrition and ACG Capsules