Already valued at $711 billion this year, the overall health and wellness industry will continue to grow in 2017, according to Maria Mascaraque, health and wellness analyst, Euromonitor International. She noted that fortified/functional products are still going strong but there is an even more popular movement underway, as consumers move toward naturally healthy offerings, from ancient grain-based foods to vegetable beverages.
“Together with it, we expect the ‘free from’ trend to keep booming,” she said.
Jane Henderson, global president, beauty and personal care division at Mintel, agreed. She told Happi that health and wellness is increasingly talked about as an integral part of daily life.
“Now, companies and brands are perfectly positioned to better align themselves with this interest by innovating beauty and personal care products designed to meet the unique needs of active consumers,” she added.
New research from Mintel reveals that more consumers are on the hunt for functional beverages that support their demanding and fast-paced lifestyles, with vitamins and minerals (49%) the attribute consumers say they look for the most in their ideal hybrid drink. As the popularity of functional and hybrid drinks increases, opportunities for product innovation could offer a boost for some beverage categories.
Functional beverages—nonalcoholic drinks promoted as having a purpose, such as improving health, boosting energy or managing weight—was one of the hottest categories of the past year. According to the research findings recently released by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and IRI, on the rise among small CPG companies was BodyArmor, a premium sports drink brand in which basketball legend Kobe Bryant is a major shareholder. Plant-based food and beverage brands also are well represented on the list of growth leaders. Califia Farms, for example, markets beverages with ingredients such as almond and macadamia milk, ginger, turmeric, and Central American coffee sourced by direct trade.
Shoppers of nutritional products are progressively becoming concerned about what’s really in the nutritional products that they use. According to Sophia Ruan Gushée, founder and CEO of the Practical Nontoxic Living program and author of “A to Z of D-Toxing: The Ultimate Guide to Reducing Our Toxic Exposures,” transparency of ingredients, quality/purity of ingredients, and trust that product labels represent what a customer wants and needs to know about the product is becoming a requirement for savvy consumers.
“More people are interested in improving their skin, hair and energy through what they ingest, and they are trying nutritional products to help,” she told Happi. “Examples of these products include pills, powders or liquid supplements that can infuse you with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds and probiotics. They aim to improve your digestion, detoxification, skin, hair, nails, DNA damage, sleep and energy.”
For a while, it’s been popular in the nutritional supplement business to use compounds derived from sources known to be high in antioxidants, observed Gushée. Green tea extract also still remains popular in nutritional beauty.
“More recently, I’ve noticed mushroom extract and seaweed or algae compounds in more product offerings in various products,” she added. “Lately, I’ve also been encountering collagen supplements. Advocates report that health benefits include improved skin and hair and more.”
In this vein, consider Vital Proteins Collagen Beauty Waters. Sold at Whole Foods stores nationwide, the nourishing natural elixir acts as a beauty booster that helps prevent signs of aging and improves the skin’s moisture and tone, according to the company.
“Shoppers today are looking for two essentials: clean products that have functional properties,” said Traci Danielson Mitchell, marketing director, Vital Proteins, Chicago. “In other words, consumers want an ingredient list filled with fewer words they can actually pronounce...today’s consumer is fickle—and ought to be! When a product says it’s going to aid in digestion, for example, it should deliver.”
A few trends that have grown in 2017 and will be here for the foreseeable future, according to Danielson Mitchell, are sustainably-sourced ingredients, grass-fed products and natural beauty elixirs. And, coming off the heels of Expo West, collagen protein is absolutely the “it” ingredient of 2017, she added.
“Collagen protein helps the body in myriad ways, from improving the tone and texture of skin to improving digestion and joint mobility. Having worked in health and wellness for over 14 years, I’ve never seen any single ingredient work so well for all types of people,” said Danielson Mitchell.
Another collagen-heavy product has entered the US marketplace. Beauty Beneath, a division of Boots in the UK, is now sold in Walgreens. This nutrient-rich, anti-aging beauty supplement targets fine lines and wrinkles, according to the company. Additionally, celebrity esthetician Shani Darden will act as a brand ambassador for Beauty Beneath through public relations and social media platforms.
According to Parminder Sandhu, Beauty Beneath’s supplement expert/nutritionist behind the product who helped with user trials, Beauty Beneath features a “unique blend” of phytonutrients, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals that are essential for youthful, healthy skin.
“While topical creams help protect the skin, you can’t get all the nutrients you need from the surface of the skin. Beauty Beneath helps restore nutrients, like collagen, that are lost with age,” said Sandhu, who is also president of the Council of Responsible Nutrition, UK.
According to Ben Johnson, MD, CEO of Osmosis Skincare, Evergreen, CO, detox is another growing category as more Americans recognize that their environment is less than pristine. And to that end, there’s been a rise in nutritional products based on a very simple source: water.
“We believe the next big trend in ingredients is harmonized water. This is frequency-enhanced water that uses particular wavelengths to communicate with our cells,” he told Happi.
“Quantum physics has proven we are 99.9999% energy field. Our cells are not as solid as they appear. Each component of the body is made of unique frequencies that respond well to frequency enhanced water. There are many applications to this technology. Osmosis has over 30 formulas for everything from diabetes to digestion to sun protection. Three clinical trials have proven just how remarkable the results are.”
Disruptor Harmonized Water is Osmosis Skincare’s newest addition to the wellness team.
“This is not your typical Harmonized Water, its personalized dosage based on weight allows you to get the strongest frequency available, right then and there,” said Johnson. “Disruptor also has the ability to heal and treat multiple health concerns in a non-invasive, holistic way…at the end of the day, I believe in results. We only manufacture supplements that provide noticeable results in most cases which also means they are very targeted. We try to have solutions to many problems so that once they see benefit using a product from our program, they will look to our program for more solutions.”
Nutritional products are loaded with probiotics—from your favorite drink to your topical skin care, noted Walter Faulstroh, CEO of Hum Nutrition Inc., Los Angeles.
“We have also seen activated charcoal making a splash, though the amounts one needs to take in order to get proven clinical results are extremely high and I have not seen a food or drink product on the market that incorporated those amounts. Long-term, we do believe that anything (related to) digestion (enzymes, pre- and probiotics) will see major innovation. It is our view that most skin, beauty and lifestyle concerns can be addressed through nutrition.”
Mass market brand Curls is branching out into nutraceuticals with Blissful Lengths Liquid Hair Growth Vitamin. Curls considers itself a pioneer and leader in the natural hair care industry, and company executives contend that they are once again setting the trend by pairing quality organic hair care products with all-natural hair growth-enhancing vitamins in an effort to meet the demands of women who desire healthy hair growth. What makes this vitamin so innovative is that it is liquid, which has an absorption rate into the bloodstream of 98% versus up to 20% absorption when consuming a pill. Additionally, Curls Blissful Lengths Liquid Hair Growth Vitamin supports preventative skin health and optimizes metabolism, according to a company spokesperson.
“In order to derive benefit from the micronutrients in vitamins, your body has to absorb them—rapidly. However, we have known for a long time that the rate of absorption of micronutrients from vitamins taken in pill form may be compromised by several factors, such as fillers, binders and flow agents,” says Dr. Lorna Thomas, board certified dermatologist and a spokesperson for the brand. “What if we had a liquid vitamin that started to absorb in the mouth and continued to absorb all the way through the digestive tract, optimizing the amount of micronutrients in every dose? Curls Blissful Lengths Liquid Hair Growth Vitamin answers this question and the age-old problem of ‘Doc, I just can’t swallow pills.’”
Formulated with high quality ingredients comprised of a proprietary blend of bioactive coenzymes, herbal, and organic blueberry extracts, Curls Blissful Lengths Liquid Hair Growth Vitamin promotes healthy hair growth, enhances the strength of each hair shaft, and increases the integrity of the hair.
“We know that the B-complex vitamins: thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and folic acid are key players in maintaining a healthy head of hair,” said Thomas.
For more than 20 years, Zirh has delivered topical skin care products specifically designed for men. Now, the brand will launch Zirh Vitals with two SKUs that fuel health from the inside: Prevent healthy skin dietary supplements and Superfuel superfood powder.
“Zirh is known for our straightforward problem/solution approach to skin care,” said Brian Robinson, president of Zirh. “Now, we are taking a more unique approach toward men’s skin nutrition. While applying products directly to the skin is essential when tending to problem areas, ingestible supplements can also be an effective part of a man’s skin care and health regimen.”
Prevent healthy skin and dietary supplement capsules were first launched with the brand’s initial offerings more than 20 years ago—and the brand is bringing them back based on popular demand. The daily dietary supplement capsules offer a combination of antioxidants that help strengthen capillaries and increase blood flow to the skin. Meanwhile, Superfuel is a daily powder dietary supplement packed with essential vitamins and whole food nutrition to boost energy, digestion, immune system and cardiovascular health. The line launches in May.
Overall, the industry is going back to basics to find the “next big thing” in nutritional beauty. According to Vincent Gallick, CEO and director of beauty brand WestLab, which specializes in mineral rich salts, some of the hottest trends right now revolve around plant-based products and “old world” lifestyle products.
“All this use of technology has made us realize there’s nothing better for us than what nature can provide; basically, the simpler the better,” he told Happi.
An aging population, with the desire to live longer and look better, will increasingly rely on the converging category of “nutricosmetics,” where pills meet potions, said Sandhu of Beauty Beneath.
“Over the next decade, ingestible supplements will be seen as the lynchpin of every woman’s beauty regime because they will be capable of driving immediate and dramatic transformations in how they look and feel,” said Sandu.
Don’t be surprised to see readily available superfoods, adaptogenic herbs and fermented foods blaze trails in 2018, noted Danielson Mitchell of Vital Proteins.
“They’re all hot right now, but will be even hotter within a year. Why? We’re stressed out and our guts are bearing the brunt of the burden,” she said. Adaptogenic herbs, like ginseng, holy basil, ashwaganda (aka Indian ginseng) help our body adapt to stressors around us, have been shown to improve our immune system and generally improve vitality. They can be very potent.”
Gallick of Westlab believes less is more when it comes to nutritional products.
“We have been led to believe that increased technology, unpronounceable ingredients and synthetic materials are the way of the future. The discerning, health conscious consumer is quite the opposite; focusing instead on simple products the way nature intended them, with minimal processing and no additives. We see this ‘back to basics ideology’ as here to stay, and that’s fine with us!”
Faulstroh of Hum Nutrition agreed that nutritional products are only going to continue to grow in 2018 and beyond—especially in powder, juice and cleanse forms.
“As has been consistent during the past few years, gut health will likely still be at the focus since it’s the cornerstone of so many issues,” he said. “I also see the plant-based market continuing to evolve as we learn more about the health and environmental impacts of eating this way most of the time. Lastly, consumers are becoming more savvy and want a product that matches their ethics and needs. They crave transparency and want to know more about the nutritional science.”