Event Buzz: Diet, Vitamin & Sports Nutrition  8/11/2015


As I wrote in my coverage of our Personal Fitness event, the combination of an aging population and rising healthcare costs are driving consumers to take better care of themselves. And just as this has resulted in greater demand for personal fitness equipment, it is also driving demand for diet, vitamin, and sports nutrition products.

In fact, according to buyers and sellers at ECRM’s Diet, Vitamin, and Sports Nutrition event held recently in Tampa, Fla., the increased interest in personal fitness goes hand-in-hand with increasing demand for diet, vitamin, and sports nutrition products to supplement a healthy diet and exercise.
Based on ECRM’s event debriefings – one-on-one interviews with event attendees – there are three key trends that were identified at the event.

Natural, Organic and ‘Free-From’ Products
Having attended many of ECRM’s Grocery and HBC events, this is absolutely no surprise to me. Healthy-minded consumers are more than ever vigilant about the ingredients of any products that will go in or on their body. They’re looking for organic, gluten-free, non-GMO, and vegan products. In fact, one supplier commented that they are “having a difficult time getting rid of old stuff” that was not made from natural ingredients.

“They want clean nutrition,” said one attendee. “Today’s consumers are a different breed. They won’t necessarily spend more, but they are doing their research.” He added that in addition to products that are safer for the body, they are interested in those that are safer for the environment, as well, and eco-friendly packaging is becoming increasingly important. In addition, packaging and labels are quickly being changed to reflect these healthier ingredients, highlighting these points of difference.

Complementing Healthy-Lifestyles
With consumers eating healthier and working out more, they are not as interested in miracle weight loss pills, but rather products that will complement their diets and workout regimens, particularly supplements and sports nutrition to provide that energy boost for a great workout, or the nutrients needs to recover from it. Protein supplements, especially, are very much in demand among the fitness set. In fact, Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s NoGii was named the ECRM/DSN Best New Product at the event for its Whey & Quinoa Protein Powder.

Probiotics, too, are gaining in popularity for their benefits to immunity and overall health. In fact, scientists and the medical industry are realizing the importance of maintaining a healthy microbiome -- the vast number of microorganisms that live in one’s body. In
Brain Maker, by David Perlmutter, MD, a board certified neurologist, the author discusses the close relationship between the microbiome and cognitive health, as well as its role in preventing disorders such as diabetes, obesity, asthma, allergies, ADHD, high blood pressure, and dozens more. Probiotics help aid in gut health, and because of such research, are increasingly in demand – not just for consumers, but for their children, as well.

Product Innovation
There is a lot of innovation in the Diet, Vitamin and Sports Nutrition categories, particularly in labeling and method of product delivery, according to attendees interviewed.

Along with the trend toward better ingredients is a corresponding innovation in labeling technology to better highlight these ingredients. “More are using open face labels so you can see all ingredients,” said one attendee. “This is especially important after the recent incident of retailers having to pull vitamins and supplements off shelves because they made false claims, so clear labeling is huge.”

There are also opportunities to leverage digital and mobile technologies, such as iBeacons and other near-field communications, to deliver enhanced product information to a consumer’s mobile device as they are in the aisle.

New delivery mechanisms, outside of the traditional pill, are also hitting the market, including strips that dissolve on the tongue, gummies – which started with multivitamins and are now expanding into other areas, and new smash packs, pouches like those that hold baby food, in which consumers can “squeeze” a supplement into his or her mouth while working out.

An additional use of supplements is to enhance beauty from the inside out, as is the goal of Spartan Brands’ Beautiful Nutrition Healthy Hair Diet collection, which was a finalist for the ECRM/DSN Best New Product Award. The brand’s Healthy Hair Diet supplement contains a blend of active ingredients including biotin, zinc, vitamins C and D, Fo Ti Root, and PABA, which have been shown to be necessary for the production of collagen protein found in healthy hair, support hair thickness, promote less graying and help prevent hair loss due to insufficient vitamin D, according to the company.

What trends are you seeing in the industry? Let us know in the comment section below!

General Session Presentation Slides Now Available

Joseph Tarnowski

VP Content
ECRM

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