ADM Survey: Behaviour Shifts Create CHC Opportunities

Some 60% of consumers plan to improve their overall health & wellness in the next 12 months, according to Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM), which transforms natural products into ingredients and flavours for foods & beverages, supplements, pet nutrition and more. There is also a more proactive approach to managing wellbeing with functional nutrition, close-to-nature ingredients and foods that signal self-care. ADM has identified five behaviour shifts that are creating opportunities for manufacturers to support evolving needs:

  • Renewed motivation to improve individual health & wellness Pandemic experiences have varied across the globe, but an almost universal takeaway is the renewed focus on preventive health & wellness behaviours. Products designed for all life stages will help consumers protect themselves, their families and their communities
  • Holistic approach to managing mind-body connection 51% of consumers plan to improve their cognitive and mental health over the next 12 months. As we return to more active lifestyles, convenient products with functional ingredients that boost energy, enhance cognitive performance & regulate mood are gaining prominence
  • Tailored nutrition supports personal health & wellness goals Nearly two-thirds of consumers are interested in customised foods & beverages. A greater understanding of how diet can impact health is spurring more people to choose wholesome, nutrient-dense ingredients, with particular focus on fibre & protein. As the chart below from our CHC New Products Tracker database indicates, the number of new personalised VMS products launched has grown sharply in recent years
  • Proactive perspective on immunity With 65% of consumers more concerned about immunity, there is a shift from a defensive to a more proactive & holistic approach. People are looking for ways to incorporate immune function-supporting solutions like probiotics and vitamins C & D into their daily lives. Products with functional ingredients that support a healthy immune system will increasingly attract consumer attention
  • Purposeful indulgence new “permissible indulgence” During the pandemic, many people have given themselves permission to consume indulgent food & beverages as a form of self-care. Consumers are recognising that, as long as these are purposeful — not impulsive — choices, indulgence has a role in a positive relationship with food

Nicholas Hall’s Touchpoints: The ADM research tells us nothing we didn’t know already, but as always it’s good to put numbers to the various consumer trends, and to be reassured that these trends continue as we head towards the second anniversary of this shocking pandemic. The same is true of the birth rate data in our second lead story. At the outset of Covid-19, with the expectation that a large part of the world’s population would spend much more time at home, we all assumed that the birth rate would go up, which is the reverse of what actually happened. As The Consumer remains at the centre of our industry, we are well advised to take seriously behavioural trends such as these as we shape future strategies and return to the New Normal. A longer-term trend underpins our third lead story this week, with Catalent’s acquisition of one of the leading manufacturers of gummies, a delivery system popular with adults as well as children that has taken the US market by storm and which is poised to do the same in the rest of the world.

You can save with the early bird booking discount when you register to attend our APAC e-Conference 2021 before 21 September! Taking place on 23 November, join Nicholas and the team to Face the Future together. Stay tuned for new additions to the agenda! Plus, this event will also host the Nicholas Hall CHC Marketing Awards for the region. To find out more about the conference, entry submission criteria, or to book your place, please contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com.

AI to power personalised nutrition

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An article that appeared over the weekend in The New York Times by US cardiologist and digital medicine researcher Eric Topol pointed to the power of artificial intelligence to provide personalised diet and nutrition advice. Algorithms that could advise us on what’s lacking in our diet and recommend supplements or foods that would fill those gaps hold great promise for both consumers and VMS marketers, and rapid advances in AI technology are bringing such a reality closer.

However, Topol says that the science of nutrition still remains in its infancy, and that most studies rely on observational data such as food diaries, unreliable sources of information which prevent any high-quality trials establishing cause and effect. More importantly, Topol says the central flaw in this field of research is the idea that there is one optimal diet for all people.

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One pioneer in the field of personalised nutrition is US supplement marketer Thorne, which repackaged its products and launched a new range of at-home diagnostic tests in 2018, providing personalised health and diet plans, including VMS supplement recommendations. Other US VMS marketers operating in this emerging field of personalised nutrition, and which have launched products recently picked up by Nicholas Hall’s OTC New Products Tracker, include Ladder and Persona.

There is also the emerging field of nutrigenomics, with companies marketing DNA tests that offer personalised diet plans, though Topol advises caution here, saying that a truly personalised diet would involve taking many more factors into account than just genetics. He cites the importance of microbiome analysis, lifestyle, medication, family history, immune system and many other factors, and says that no AI is yet on the market that can analyse all this data and offer personalised solutions.

But there is cause for hope. Studies monitoring spikes in blood glucose levels after eating have made some breakthroughs, pointing to the importance of our gut microbiome, and there is now a commercial version of the DayTwo personalised nutrition test available, based on the research of Dr Segal and Dr Elinav. Topol also mentions other advances, such as AI deep learning tools that can analyse smartphone photos of a user’s meals to record nutritional intake, replacing the need for food diaries. Topol also stresses the importance of wearables, such as smartwatches and skin patches, as aids in unlocking a future of virtual health coaches offering personalised nutrition advice to us all.

Review 17,000+ new launches and innovations with OTC New Products Tracker, the ultimate competitive intelligence tool! Products are given a star rating, with “me too” items ranked 1*; launches / line extensions in a new category / adjacency 2*; major launches / line extensions with strong new benefits / positioning 3*, and 1st Rx-to-OTC switches in a category, creation of a new OTC class or other major leaps in innovation 4*. With a recently-released major update including eye-catching new graphics and powerful search filters that help you visualise and explore the vast archive according to your exact requirements, now is the ideal time to set up your free trial. For a demo or more information, contact waisan.lee-gabell@NicholasHall.com.