by Matt Weik
I read an article from NutraIngredients that looked at trends in active food consumers that were seen in 2020. The article was very short and I agree with what was mentioned. In the following I will go into what you mentioned, express my opinions and mention what I think is missing.
The below was all put together by two companies that looked at global trends and came up with their own opinions. So, here goes. Let me know if you agree or not.
I think it's safe to say that most people today have holistic health in mind, and for good reason – everyone wants to get well and live longer. For the same reason, people are looking for a more holistic and natural way to improve their health or discomfort and bypass medication. Too much emphasis from doctors is to force pills on consumers and not to look for a better alternative. Frankly, in my opinion, this is the easy way out.
If you look at the drug warnings these days, the side effects are worse than the condition itself. If it was a better, healthier, and natural way to help people, that should be their focus. Therefore, I am using the article and researchers who listed these trends when it comes to active nutrition consumer trends. People get more educated and know more than ever about health and nutrition (whether or not they apply that knowledge is a different matter).
The second thing that you mentioned in the trends of active nutrition consumers for 2020 is the convenience in terms of nutrition. Everyone has a lot to do and is looking for quick and healthy meals and snacks. Fewer people are hitting the machine and looking for healthier alternatives. Healthy snacks are more readily available and consumers are definitely pushing for further progress in this segment.
Food bars, protein shakes, individual snack packs, etc. are bought and consumed by millions, and the demand for such products has never been so high. I firmly believe that this will also be a huge boost for active nutrition consumers in 2020.
As mentioned above, consumers are more knowledgeable about nutrition labels and what to look for on the ingredient plate. The move towards more natural ingredients is booming and consumers are looking to swap their old bad choices with new healthier ones.
Brands are popping up in the top left and right, coming out with healthier alternatives to what was once an unhealthy option. The active nutrition consumer is making a conscious effort to improve the foods they eat and where their foods and supplements are related. While I still believe that many will opt for the unhealthy version because of their taste and cost, I see an upturn among active nutrition consumers who want better and healthier options.
Where they missed the mark
Now the researchers have listed only three trends for active nutrition consumers to watch out for in 2020. I think there are more unlisted that are just as important – if not more important. Below are some of my trends that I think have overlooked the listing.
Functional foods and beverages
In 2020 I see one of the biggest trends in active nutrition consumers who continue to be push for functional foods and beverages. The years 2018 and 2019 were really the beginning of the movement, and I can see their growth continue this year.
Healthier snack options are one of the biggest trends I predict, but drinks with health benefits will continue to be the buzz. We've seen a number of great product launches in 2019, and I think many of these companies will try to expand their portfolios and launch not just one, but many new products in 2020.
Higher protein and protein foods / snacks
Protein was hot. Brands add protein to everything – hell, even chocolate bars come with “added protein” on the shelves. We have protein popcorn, protein donuts and more.
The active nutritional consumer strives to continue to focus on adding protein to foods and snacks in order to recover more quickly from sports activities and achieve the desired results from his active lifestyle.
If you read one of my previous articles, I see transparent labels as a fad in the industry. Everyone wants to know what is in their food / supplements, but I think we'll hit a point where start brands will tear down formulas and offer the key players under price. This will inevitably lead to friction losses in the market and I believe that many of the brands will use proprietary blends on their labels to protect their intellectual property. Right now, it's the "cool thing to do", but I just don't see it lasting long-term (but who knows, maybe I'm wrong?).
That being said, continue the impetus for transparency in 2020 and it will be a hot key for active nutrition consumers this year too.