Natural Products Insider

NOV-DEC 2016

INSIDER is the leading information source for marketers, manufacturers and formulators of dietary supplements, healthy foods and cosmeceuticals. Since 1997, INSIDER has been serving the needs of the global nutrition industry.

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24 INSIDER November/December 2016 Control and convenience have been the drivers of meal replacement product growth, as bars and shakes pack increasingly more complete nutrition in enough calories to make a small meal. This has long been a great tool for consumers looking to lose or manage weight, but while most athletes and active consumers have ambitious body composition goals, meal replacement products in the sports nutrition category go beyond traditional dieting. The endless wave of weight control programs and fad diets is creating a bit of dieting fatigue, according to Euromonitor International. The global market research fi rm reported the trend toward whole foods is outpacing weight-focused meal replacement products—packaged food is showing a fl attening growth trend between 2015 and 2019, while fresh foods are moving slightly upward during the same period. Sports-focused drinks, bars, powders and other products are cutting into the weight-focused meal replacement market, thanks to an ongoing protein trend that covers recent demands from a widening range of sports nutrition consumers, from hardcore athletes to active consumers. Euromonitor International noted, "Sports nutrition powder is moving away from its hardcore bodybuilding image to a lean fi tness proposition for weight management and well-being that is challenging meal replacement products." Euromonitor placed total global sales of weight-focused meal replacements at US$7 billion for 2015, with estimated revenues of $9 billion by 2020. Compound annual growth (CAGR) is expected to average more than 7 percent from 2016 to 2020, according to the market research fi rms Technavio and Infi niti Research Ltd. The increasing problem and prevalence of overweight, obese and/or diabetic consumers worldwide will help drive this growth, according to Technavio. Infi niti Research highlighted another driver: the rising popularity of protein bars, especially the formulations that are low-carb and low-sodium but high in fi ber and boosted with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Conversely, Inifi niti Research cautioned a continued lack of consumer understanding regarding what meal replacements are and how they can benefi t health may challenge growth in this category. For its part, the fi rm defi ned a meal replacement as a fat- and sugar-free product containing 200 to 250 calories per serving and fortifi ed with more than 20 vitamins and minerals. In the early days of sports nutrition, meal replacements—think Met-Rx and EAS Myoplex—were high protein (dairy) and low fat; the carbs were commonly maltodextrose. These days, the value of additional fats and fi bers has driven changes to sports meal replacement formulas, with medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) and long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), including omega-3s. Further, the rise in low-carb, paleo and other carb-concerned diets has impacted the amount and types of carbs included in meal replacements; athletes need carbs for energy, but a number of specialty carbs, such as polyglucoside (extracted from barley starch) and highly branched chain dextrin (HBCD), offer energy substrate that is more effi cient than maltodextrin, while alternative sweeteners such as stevia and monk fruit provide non- or low-caloric alternatives to sugar. As in the case of carbs, protein types have changed over time. Today's meal replacement drinks and bars, including those targeting sports nutrition consumers, incorporate different plant sources of protein. Pea, soy and hemp are popular plant sources of protein; formulators often combine several of these plant protein sources to achieve a more complete amino acid profi le. Still, using plant proteins brings different challenges and advantages. During the 2016 SupplySide West trade show in Las Vegas, Ralf Jaeger, co-founder and partner at Increnovo LLC, explained dairy-sourced proteins contain simple sugars, mainly lactose (milk sugar), whereas plant proteins contain more complex carbs, including fi ber and glycoprotein. As such, meal replacements featuring plant protein will likely benefi t from incorporating carbohydrase (enzymes catalyzing carbs) into digestive enzyme blends, which will also include proteinase enzymes to break down proteins. A newer plant source of protein is the L emna minor, the world's smallest fl owering plant, according to Parabel, supplier of LENTEIN protein. "The ingredient is perfect for sport and meal replacement powders because it has the highest levels of essential amino acids and BCAAs [branched chain amino acids] of all plant protein, including soy or pea," said Cecilia Wittbjer, vice president of marketing for Parabel. "LENTEIN has an amino acid profi le similar to whey and is high in leucine, which is rare for a plant protein." Although it is a minimally processed whole food, the protein from this plant (known as water lentil, but not a true pulse) is very digestible—achieving a protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) of 0.93. Wittbjer noted this plant protein also contains other important macro- and micronutrients such as fi ber, omega-3s, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals such as calcium. "It's good in a Sports Nutritio n: Meal Replacements The global meal replacement market is enjoying continued moderate single-digit growth, but faces competition from an increasing movement toward whole foods. Protein is the major ingredient draw for both the overall weight-focused and the sports-specific meal replacement markets. Meal replacement formulators are incorporating fibers/prebiotics, probiotics, natural sweeteners and phytonutrients to address popular consumer health concerns and demands for whole food nutrition. Meal Replacements Address Expanding Sports Market by Steve Myers INSIDER's Take Sports Protein Products Meal Replacement Slimming US$ Million 2010 2015 2020 2,000 4,000 6,000 8,000 10,000 12,000 0 Meal Replacements Slimming vs. Other Supplements Source: Euromonitor International Protein Supplements Supplement Nutrition Drinks

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