Natural Products Insider

MAR-APR 2018

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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10 INSIDER March/April 2018 In the News drug—prevents major cardiovascular events in high-risk patients. VITAL is a primary prevention trial focused on whether omega-3/vitamin D reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer or stroke. "Whatever happens with these two studies has the potential to affect the market very enthusiastically," Bernasconi said during the conference. Effectively communicating the science of omega-3s to consumers remains a hurdle to the omega-3 industry. As noted by Stephanie Mattucci, certifi ed food scientist, associate director, food science, Mintel, during the GOED Exchange, consumers are interested in omega-3s, but need more education. Mintel data show 27 percent of U.S. consumers currently use omega-3s or fi sh oil supplements daily, and 16 percent use such products occasionally. Interestingly, between 2013 and 2017, about 1 percent of food and drink products globally included omega-3 EPA or DHA in the product description, Mattucci said. Looking to consumer trends, Mintel data show more consumers are eating fi sh for omega-3 content (41 percent in 2017 versus 34 percent in 2014). In food and beverage products, inclusion of chia and fl ax related to omega-3 content is more common compared to EPA or DHA, which is due, in part, to consumer interest in the other health benefi ts such as protein and fi ber in ingredients like chia and fl ax. Increased interest in plant-based diets is another factor driving interest in such ingredients; 30 percent of U.S. adults are trying to eat a more plant-based diet, Mattucci reported. Potential opportunities for EPA and DHA omega-3s in the food and beverage categories include personalized nutrition solutions and products designed for prenatal nutrition. Per Mintel, 45 percent of U.S. adults reported interest in a nutrition prescription from doctors to help manage weight, while 55 percent of U.K. respondents reported interest in a home testing kit to identify nutrient defi ciencies. Adding to consumers' confusion around omega-3s is increased use of claims promoting "bioavailability" of omega-3 supplements. Adam Ismail, executive director, GOED, discussed the landscape of bioavailability claims at the GOED Exchange, noting 13 percent of companies promoting bioavailability of products claim "best" bioavailability, while 29 percent claim "superior," 30 percent claim "improved," and 27 percent claim "suffi cient," creating a confusing climate for consumers. Ismail expressed the need for additional consumer research in order to more effectively convey the benefi ts of omega-3s. "We need to do more consumer research; we need to relay these benefi ts … ultimately it will lead to greater sales and greater consumption," he said. Ismail joined GOED as its fi rst executive director more than 10 years ago, and voluntarily stepped down in February 2018. GOED, launched in 2006, now boasts nearly 200 members. Ismail has joined The KD Pharma Group as chief strategy offi cer. Ellen Schutt, vice president of communications and education at GOED, is serving as interim executive director.

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