Natural Products Insider

SEP-OCT 2017

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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112 INSIDER September/October 2017 SupplySide West At Nutrition Business Journal (NBJ), we consigned weight loss to the "third rail" of supplements: dangerous space that regulators, reporters and legislators eye with vigilance and vehemence. In retrospect, we were wrong. The third rail implies instant death, and yet, the weight loss category lives on. Call it the category that can't be killed, though its heart is bristling with stakes. Ineffi cacy and everything from jitters to outright danger have not killed weight loss, but it has been wounded. NBJ estimated weight loss supplement pills grew by 1.6 percent in 2016, after going negative the year before. To put that in perspective, weight loss supplement pills sales soared at 20 percent growth in 2001. Now the ephedra days are long gone, and Dr. Oz drowned the pill concept in a murky sea of raspberry ketones and Garcinia cambogia. A sucker is born every minute, but those suckers have Google now. Make no mistake, it's still a US$2.1 billion business, but the trendline is obvious and could get steeper. Short of serious science-backed innovation, the pill category, and really the whole notion of "weight loss" in supplements, could be on life support at some point. Maybe it's time to let it die. At NBJ, we are standing in line with our stake. We no longer track a "weight loss" category. We now track "weight management." That's semantics to a point, but that point is worth making. Others are making it, and people are fi nally listening, as the sales fi gures suggest. The industry needs to listen too, of course. It might hear some encouraging news. Looking at the weight loss category as weight management allows brands to wire in a lifestyle theme that promises a longer life cycle for their products. Weight loss is something a consumer gives up when it doesn't work. Weight management is, realistically, a lifelong pursuit. That's part of why we've renamed and re-envisioned the category. Envisioning weight management as part of a lifestyle that includes active nutrition puts it in a different light on a different shelf. We haven't started calling sports nutrition "active nutrition," but check back with us in a few years. Perhaps the biggest ingredient of change in weight management is protein. Protein has become "the last macronutrient standing." Carbohydrates never recovered from the Atkins era. Consumers can still buy low-carb versions of almost everything. Some even blame "fat free" for rising obesity rates, when they're not blaming something else. Fat itself may be making a comeback of sorts. Dave Asprey made fat cool again with Bulletproof Coffee. It's grass-fed butter, but it's still butter, in coffee, a product trend nobody could have predicted. Despite the hype, it's probably a product nobody should be taking a bet on going past a fad, either. The ketogenic diet, with its focus on fat, is tiptoeing in from the fringes, but NBJ is doubtful of its longevity. Hardcore diets are hard to follow. But protein still has a glow. We're not getting enough of it, experts say. We can't get enough of it, the CrossFit crowd claims. As sports nutrition crawled out of the gym and into the shopping bag in the backseat of the soccer mom's minivan, protein has effectively become a weight loss supplement. It builds muscle, and everybody knows muscle burns fat, right? The thermogenic effect of some weight loss pills promises to boost metabolism, but protein really does. And it keeps doing it when it's incorporated into the "active" part of active nutrition. All of this makes sports nutrition and weight management diffi cult to separate into two categories. While protein sales grew at 6.3 percent in 2016, weight management meal replacement drinks grew at 7.2 percent, not far behind the 7.5 percent for all sports nutrition products. We'd be surprised if everybody incorporating protein into their lose-it or keep-it-off strategy was looking for the words "weight loss" on their tubs of protein powder or smoothie mix. They may not want to see the words at all. Protein has moved into everything from pancakes to ice cream. It's not even a trend anymore. It's a way of life. How people live that life in the day-to- day/minute-to-minute scope is a trickier part of weight management. NEAT or "non-exercise activity thermogenesis" is emerging as the unseen and somewhat effortless piece in weight management. NEAT is the mundane physicality of living in the world; everything from walking to the Weighty Words by Rick Polito Learn more about weight management from Rick Polito during the "Tackling Weight Management With Nutrition" Workshop, underwritten by NNB, on Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 9 a.m. at SupplySide West in Las Vegas. supplysideshow.com Scan Here Weight Management at SupplySide West Protein has moved into everything from pancakes to ice cream. It's not even a trend anymore. It's a way of life.

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