Thanks to a faltering economy, consumers have simplified their lives. As a result, they are eating more meals at home, spending more quality time with their families, and taking more responsibility for their own healthcare. In many instances, the latter has driven them toward the dietary supplement and functional food arenas where they continue to explore products to help keep them and their families out of the doctor's office, and thus out of reach of insurance companies.
As annoying as the healthcare discussion has become, it is an issue that needs swift resolution, especially when you consider the health of future generations. This is why our cover story on children's health (page 42) could not be more timely. A lot of children these days are, let's face it, fat, lazy and unhealthy. In fact, current reports indicate that the present generation of children could be the first that doesn't live longer than the one before it. And all the statistics are there to bear this out-incidences of obesity, diabetes and high cholesterol continue to soar.
The good news is parents are starting to get the message. Currently, moms are looking for natural, wholesome, uncomplicated foods to feed their children. And in today's economy, inherently healthy foods that can pack an extra punch in the form of functional ingredients like omega 3s will be the winners here. On the supplement front, any company that can focus its efforts on a specific condition or age group will be light years ahead of the game.
Editor's Note: This issue ushers in a new column authored by industry expert Liz Sloan. Using her proprietary TrendSense model, she will predict the market potential for various ingredients, products and markets. This month she focused on "Kids & Heart Health" (pages 16-17) in keeping with our cover story on children's health. Next month she'll be discussing emerging marine ingredients and their market potential, so stay tuned!