Clean cultures, vitamins/minerals, botanicals/bioactives, poly/oligosaccharides/emulsifiers, and specialty fats/oils are the fastest growing clean label ingredient categories around the globe, per Euromonitor. While clean label demands will remain in vogue for some time, expect priorities longer-term to focus on a new series of nutritional and condition-specific needs. This future trend will be heavily influenced by the current baby boom/new attitudes of millennial moms, a desire for more natural living, and the unique lifestyle needs of the world’s 640 million consumers over age 65.
Global sales of consumer health products reached $219 billion in 2016, up 3%, according to Euromonitor International. Sales are projected to top $250 billion with ongoing growth of 3% per year through 2021.
Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines accounted for 45%, or $98.5 billion, of global healthcare sales in 2016. The U.S. remained the largest healthcare market with sales of $67 billion; China, Japan, Germany, and Italy round out the top five.
The switch from Rx to OTC/non-prescription remedies and the shift to “natural OTCs” are among the top pharma drivers, especially for allergy, respiratory, digestive, cough/cold, and dermatological categories. Hypertension, mental health, pain, anti-bacterial, lipid regulators, diabetes, nervous disorders, respiratory, ulcer, and thyroid were the most prescribed global prescription categories in 2016, per IMS Health.
Dietary supplements, cough/cold, allergy, and analgesics remain the largest global OTC categories, according to Euromonitor. Weight management, herbal/combination/traditional supplements and sports nutrition are expected to post the fastest growth through 2021.
Despite blurred regulatory status, the so-called “natural OTCs” leverage brand name OTC products by blending nutritional ingredients, such as botanicals and vitamins, for natural benefits. One example, Unisom’s Natural Nights SleepTabs, blends calcium, vitamin B6 and melatonin, but retains the product name, “SleepTabs,” to invoke OTC effects. These “natural OTC” products with condition-specific effects will be the sweet spot in the industry, according to Kline & Co.
Despite recent regulatory concerns in the U.S., over 200 million consumers worldwide use homeopathic remedies regularly. Homeopathy is included in the healthcare systems of Brazil, Chile, India, Mexico, U.K., and other countries, per the World Health Organization (WHO). Transparency Market Research projects an 18.2% CAGR for global homeopathic products through 2024, reaching sales of $17.4 billion.
Global dietary supplement sales are projected to reach $127.9 billion in 2017, up 6.1%; global herbs/botanicals $32.3 billion, up 5.8% (Nutrition Business Journal, 2016).
Asia-Pacific is the largest supplement market (Persistence Market Research, 2016). China, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, and Thailand are expected to post the fastest growth rates among countries within Asia.
Digestion, cognition, heart health, vision, and muscle/mobility/sarcopenia are among the strongest condition-specific opportunities. One in three consumers in Russia, Brazil, and the five largest EU countries self-report digestive issues, per Kantar Health (2016).
Probiotic sales are expected to outpace all supplements globally through 2020. Nicholas Hall & Co. projects that the U.K., U.S., Brazil, Canada, Russia, Australia, and Germany will be the fastest growing probiotic markets. Align is the best-selling global probiotic supplement.
Maintaining mental sharpness with age is the number one health concern globally in 2016, according to HealthFocus; 47% of Western Europeans were very/extremely concerned. Other health concerns were: able to continue normal activity with age (45%), oral health (43%), tiredness/lack of energy (43%), back/neck pain (41%), stress (40%), eye health (39%), lack of mental focus (36%), and skin appearance (27%).
Italy, Canada, and Spain are strong markets for cognition products; 45% of global consumers with kids in 2016 were extremely concerned with the lack of their child’s concentration/attention in school (HealthFocus).
Lowering blood cholesterol, maintaining normal blood pressure, and normal cardiac function are among the new global heart health platforms in 2016, according to Innova Market Insights. WHO reports 42% of adult consumers worldwide suffer from hypertension, 39% high cholesterol; 415 million live with diabetes.
Other important global growth areas include targeted and time-release technology, especially for probiotics; products aimed at pregnant women; and supplements for hair, skin, and nails.
With large millennial populations entering their child-bearing years, babies are back in business. Functional/fortified milk formula, with $46.6 billion in sales in 2015, is the largest and fastest growing global packaged health/wellness food category, up $14 billion in sales from 2010 to 2015. Despite recent restrictive regulations, tariffs, and controls on Internet sales, China remains the largest and fastest growing infant formula market, with sales of $18 billion (Euromonitor, 2016).
Digestive/gut health, brain health, DHA, immune health, and vitamin/mineral fortified are the most prominent infant formula claims globally (Innova, 2016). Toddler and follow-on milks are other fast-emerging global opportunities, especially in Asia, per Mintel. Euromonitor projects baby/child personal care sales will jump 23% by 2020, pediatric healthcare products up 20%, and baby food up 32%.
A new fast-emerging group of active “fit” consumers who incorporate exercise into their everyday lifestyles will continue to drive the global sports nutrition market. Just over half of adults in China exercise regularly, per China’s General Administration of Sport, 2015; 53% in the U.S., per Gallup. Nielsen reports 40% of all global exercisers do so to improve health, with 32% to lose weight or tone muscles.
Euromonitor projects that sports nutrition will enjoy absolute growth of $4.7 billion, with an 8% CAGR from 2015 to 2020; meal replacement/slimming, $1.9 billion, up 4.9%. In 2016, wearable technology was the number one global fitness trend, followed by body weight, high intensity interval and strength training, per the American College of Sports Medicine.
Food & Drink
Healthy foods/beverages continue to outperform their regular counterparts, with sales expected to rise 5% per year from 2017 to 2020; all-natural is the most sought after claim (Euromonitor). Globally, artificial preservatives/flavors/colors, and antibiotics/hormones used in animal products are the most avoided ingredients/food attributes, by 62% of global consumers.
Diets that limit the amount of fat (31%) or sugar (26%) are the most commonly cited restrictions among global consumers; 42% look for products low in saturated/trans fat, 41% sodium, and 34% sugar, per Nielsen.
About one-third of global consumers (36%) report a household member has a food allergy/intolerance, per Nielsen; 26% avoid gluten, 25% carbs, 15% lactose/dairy, and 12% grains or eggs. One-third (36%) rate high fiber as very important, 32% high in protein, and 30% each for high calcium and vitamin/mineral fortified. Slimming foods/beverages, led by weight loss meal replacements, high protein drinks, and tonics continue to outpace diet pills/supplements.
Among global consumers trying to lose/manage weight, 22% were following a low-carb/high protein diet in 2016, 19% an unspecified diet plan; and 11% used a formal slimming program, e.g., Weight Watchers (Nielsen, 2016).
Healthy/functional attributes and demand for nutritional ingredients are quickly crossing over to other categories. With 57% of global consumers owning a pet—33% a dog, 23% a cat, 12% fish and 6% a bird—the $104 billion global health-driven pet market will enjoy 4.7% annual growth through 2020 (GfK, 2016; Sandler Research, 2016).
Latin America is one of the best performers for pet food sales. Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, and Russia have more pets than the U.S. More Japanese have pets than children, India has the fastest growing dog population, and Norwegians spend the most money feeding their pets (Pet Secure, 2016).
Right after “not tested on animals” and “contains SPF,” “all-natural” is the most important global beauty/cosmetic product claim, per Nielsen. The presence of natural and organic ingredients, nutrients, and bioactives are also the fastest growing personal care product claims, e.g., for shampoos.
One-quarter (26%) of global consumers are looking for home cleaning products made with all-natural or organic ingredients, 37% no harsh chemicals, 40% more eco-friendly, and 42% a natural scent, per Nielsen (2015). One-third (35%) want fewer chemicals in laundry detergent. Do-it-yourself home professional treatments (e.g., premium skin care kits), home healthcare monitors/apps, electronic pedicure devices, facial cleansers, and do-it-yourself dental tools are other fast emerging opportunities.
The global market for wearable medical devices is projected by Global Industry Analysts, Inc. to reach $4.5 billion by 2020. TENS electrotherapy electronic devices for pain and muscle relief, body support devices (e.g., copper-fit kinesiology compression sleeves), and topical analgesics are other strong opportunities. WHO has set guidelines for functional and mobility support devices for the elderly population. Lower back pain is the number one global driver for disability—neck pain 4th, diabetes 7th, musculoskeletal 10th, and osteoarthritis 13th.
Dr. A. Elizabeth Sloan & Dr. Catherine Adams Hutt
Sloan Trends, Inc.
Dr. A. Elizabeth Sloan and Dr. Catherine Adams Hutt are president and chief scientific and regulatory officer, respectively, of Sloan Trends, Inc., Escondido, CA, a 20-year-old consulting firm that offers trend interpretation/predictions; identifies emerging high potential opportunities; and provides strategic counsel on issues and regulatory claims guidance for food/beverage, supplement and pharmaceutical marketers. For more information: E-mail: email@example.com; Website: www.sloantrend.com.