Katrina Lytton, KPMG’s nutrition lead within the firm’s Life Sciences function, gives her advice on what the wellness industry needs to consider in 2016/17.
“The ‘free from’ market (particularly gluten-free) has taken the market by storm and shows no signs of slowing down. The global gluten-free market is growing at a rate of just over 7%, while the UK is the second biggest market in Europe with gluten-free product sales almost doubling between 2009-2014 to $266.9 million. The ‘free from’ market has contributed to the recognition of gut health as a key factor in weight management and wellbeing. As such, demand for ‘gut friendly’ products such as fermented foods, ‘alternative’ flours, dairy-free milks, unrefined carbohydrates as well as prebiotic and probiotic products and supplements are on the increase.
“Healthy snacking will continue to dominate the nutrition industry in the next year. Sugar replaced fat and salt to become one of the most vilified ingredients in 2015 – and this move away from refined sugar consumption will contribute to further growth of the ‘free-from’ market and the demand for unrefined, natural ingredients. Companies will want to continue to play up superfoods and antioxidants, such as raw cacao and matcha, that boost claims of the medicinal properties of natural ingredients.“
Consumers increasingly want to know the provenance of their food. The requirement for information about both the contents and origins of products will necessitate greater transparency within the wellness industry on product development and formulation. The demand for products containing only a few, recognisable ingredients without additives or preservatives, is likely to contribute to an increase in products that are natural and unprocessed.
The role of digital health
“The increasing demand for a personalised approach to wellness is driving innovation. The recognition that each individual has their own nutritional profile and responds to ingredients in a different way is transforming the role technology can play in this sector: A number of companies are looking into DNA analysis and soon, technology will be able to leverage on genetic profiling to feed into our shopping lists, acting as a virtual assistant.
“Consumers crave facts and statistics: there are more than 97,000 mobile health apps worldwide which, in addition to giving users a perceived sense of control, provide companies with an enormous amount of data. Companies must harness this data and be able to analyse it in order to better understand consumer behaviour. By combining big data with digital and mobile technology, they will have the potential to be able to deliver personalised nutrition on a large scale.
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KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 12,000 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a revenue of £1.96 billion in the year ended September 2015. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 155 countries and has 174,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.
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