Top 10 Global Health and WellnessTrends

Throughout the globe, people are increasingly sophisticated about food.  Their demands are twofold — wanting less of the “bad” stuff (a list that includes everything from gluten to lactose) and more of the good, such as protein, vegetables and functional properties. Here’s a look at 10 global health and wellness trends identified by Euromonitor:

1. Protein rules.

ips chips

Protein is dominating most trend lists today, and that’s true for this global perspective from Euromonitor International.  The boom may have started with Greek Yogurt in the U.S. , but now the high-protein badge graces the front of a box, bag, bottle or tub in virtually every packaged food and beverage category (even ketchup and salad dressings are being fortified with protein).  Pictured above are protein chips made with egg whites that are boasting about 7 grams of protein per serving.

2. Enhanced natural merging from free from.

Besides wanting “natural” foods, consumers are demanding some type of functionality —  what Euromonitor is calling “enhanced natural.”  People expect “clean food,” free from substances such as gluten or anything considered “artificial.”


3. Meat reduction is the word.

Euromonitor says flexiterianism will gain even greater popularity — driven by four key concerns: health and wellness, animal welfare, environmental issues and tight finances.  With today’s high interest in protein combined with the desire to eat less meat, there will be a demand for alternative, vegetable-based proteins.

4.More veggies please!

veggie-bread

With most people falling short of the vegetables they need, manufacturers are turning to stealth strategies, liked this Veggie Bread from Country Harvest in Canada (which boasts one full serving of vegetables per slice).  Blue Hill recently introduced savory yogurt with vegetables.  Expect to see more products offering new ways to eat your veggies.

5. Sugar reduction – by stealth in food but openly in beverages.

The global war on sugar continues, with the campaign Action on Sugar attempting to reduce sugar intake by calling on food manufacturers to reduce the sugar content of food and beverages by 30%, primarily through stealth techniques.  While hidden reductions may work with foods, beverages have been visibly showcasing their reduced and sugar-free options.  The increased availability of Stevia and other natural sweeteners have sparked increased innovation.

6. Emerging markets drive global health and wellness growth.

The extremes of malnutrition and obesity exist side by side in developing countries, which are issues that will drive health and wellness solutions in those markets.

7. Cold-pressed juice is the new premium.

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The rising interest in cold-pressed juices is another branch of sophistication sprouting form the broad and all-pervasive natural trend, according to Euromonitor.  It seems that “100% juice” is just the entry point, consumers expect more.  While “not from concentrate,” has become one of the most basic requirements for buying a “healthy juice,” now the ideal has become “raw.”  Big premium brands like Odwalla and Naked use pasteurization to ensure the safety of their products, but manufacturers at the super-premium end have started to eschew heat treatment.  Instead, they’re opting for high pressure processing (HPP) that kills microbes through the application of pressure to the liquid.  These juices are marketed as “cold pressed.”

8. Probiotics are conquering the southern hemisphere.

Growing awareness of digestive wellbeing and the rising popularity and distribution of dairy products in emerging markets are set to fuel the probiotics trend in 2014.

9. Wholegrain controversy.

There’s been increased publicity around the misuse of the term “wholegrain” on products that are made with very little.   In February 2014, the HealthGrain EU project published  a new definition in an effort to harmonize labeling and nutritional guidance across Europe. Expect to see more efforts to experiment with the highest wholegrain content while still being appealing to consumers — especially in markets where wholegrain products are not part of local baking traditions.

10. Health and wellness products under suspicion of fraud.

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A report by the European Union found that health-positioned products were at the top of the list of items in terms of mislabeling and adulteration.  Olive oil, fish and organic foods occupy the top three slots, and fruit juice is at number 10.  Honey (together with maple syrup) is 6th place on the EU’s list of foods  most likely to be fake or adulterated.

For the full article:  Top 10 Global Consumer Health and Wellness Trends for 2014, visit the blog for Euromonitor.

Images:   honey by Pigeonhouse, other images provided by manufacturers

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