Technical

2024’s Emerging Trend: Transforming Female Wellness through Nutritional Breakthroughs

Although the focus on the planet’s well-being has recently surpassed personal well-being as a priority, more than a third of consumers still express a desire to proactively manage their health, with much of the surrounding messaging to emphasize the importance of great personal responsibility in maintaining good health1.

Addressing women’s healthcare issues, which are crucial for an underserved group and relevant to half of the population, is a significant need state. However, food and beverage producers have yet to unlock the innovative potential in catering to the nutritional needs of women2. Nonetheless, 75% of women express that they are proactively concerned about their health, embracing a long-term approach to maintain their well-being3.


As per Dietary Guidelines, there are notable nutrient deficiencies in the average adult diet, with particular emphasis on dietary fibre, calcium, vitamin D, folic acid, and iron. These nutrients hold particular significance for women4. The table below summarizes the estimated daily macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals needed at different stages of a woman’s life.

Women’s Estimated Daily Macronutrients, Minerals & Vitamins Needs by Age4

Nutrient/ Age

19 – 30

31 – 50

51+

Protein (g)

46

46

46

Carbs (g)

130

130

130

Dietary Fibre (g)

28

25

22

Added Sugars (% cal)

<10

<10

<10

Total Fat (% cal)

20-35

20-35

20-35

Sat. Fat (% cal)

<10

<10

<10

Calcium (mg)

1,000

1,000

1,200

Folate (mcg DFE)

400

400

400

Iron (mg)

18

18

8

Magnesium (mg)

310

320

320

Potassium (mg)

4,700

4,700

4,700

Sodium (mg)

2,300

2,300

2,300

Vitamin A (mg RAE)

700

700

700

Vitamin B6 (mg)

1.3

1.3

1.5

Vitamin B12 (mcg)

2.4

2.4

2.4

Vitamin C (mg)

75

75

75

Vitamin D (IU)

600

600

600

Vitamin E (mg AT)

15

15

15

The specific role of nutrition in female health is gaining overdue recognition, covering from existing solutions like digestive health, weight and fitness, and energy needs, while also extending to currently underserved areas, such as hormonal balance, cognitive function, and cardiovascular health.

This expands an opportunity to food and beverage manufacturers, whereby the current active segments in female nutrition have transitioned from the conventional categories of vitamins and supplements, nutritional drinks, and powdered milk products to encompass bakery items, nutritional drinks, sports or energy products, and hot beverages as well2.

Market Insights: Global Women Nutrition Market

According to the Data Bridge Market Research analysis, the women’s nutrition market is experiencing a CAGR of 8.2% during the forecast period of 2021 to 2028 and it is anticipated to achieve a value of USD 63.2 billion by 20285. The well-being of women is influenced by hormonal shifts throughout various stages, encompassing menstrual cycles, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause. Each of these phases comes with its unique nutritional needs, demanding tailored adjustments to the daily diet.

Increased awareness of the connection between diet and menstruation has led to the emergence of a new market, in 2021-2022, 40% of new launches were related to hot drinks, and 28% were focused on vitamins and food supplements, developed for the menstrual cycle6.

Particularly in Asia, 73% of pregnant Chinese women tailor their nutrition based on their pregnancy stage, and among these, 64% incorporate supplements. The market for antenatal and postnatal nutrition experienced a 16% growth from 2018 to 20227.

Besides that, numerous women seek solutions to alleviate the secondary effects of menopause, typically occurring around the ages of 45 to 55. A 2021 survey in the United Kingdom revealed that 48% of women aged 55 and above had trouble sleeping, and those seeking a remedy specifically turned to their nutrition for a solution. In Thailand, there is a 42% interest among women aged over 45 in dairy products recognized for their sleep-enhancing properties6.

Challenges Faced by Female Consumers & Solutions Supported by Science.

The need for hormonal health is a significant aspect that women have always had but, until recently, has largely gone unrecognized. Even though hormones play a crucial role in shaping their daily lives, often leading to fatigue, digestive discomfort, brain fog, and other debilitating symptoms, women are used to persevering and disregarding their discomfort.

Here are several typical obstacles faced by women, along with science-backed solutions designed to provide support for each.

  • Stable blood sugar is being linked with hormonal health: The hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar, insulin, is intricately linked to all other hormones in our body, including estrogen and testosterone. Consuming an excessive amount of sugar prompts the body to convert it into fat cells, which subsequently generate estrogen. The higher the sugar intake, the greater the production of fat cells and, consequently, estrogen. An excess of estrogen disrupts the balance of other hormones, which only worsen symptoms8.
  • Solutions: Beneo PalatinoseTM (isomaltulose) is a naturally sourced smart carbohydrate, an alternative to traditional sugars. Thanks to its enzymatic-arranged structure, it would take more time (4-5 times) to be broken down than sucrose does, leading to a low glycaemic response and to lower insulin levels. 

  • Digestive wellness: Hormonal health links to many other trends, including digestive issues, such as bloating and constipation9. As per a study in the BMC Women’s Health journal, 75% of surveyed women reported experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, such as abdominal pain and diarrhoea, during their menstrual cycle. This phenomenon is attributed to the menstrual hormone prostaglandin10.
  • Solutions: Try to add more fibre into the diet before your period and intake more probiotic foods such as yoghurt which may help to boost healthy gut bacteria in your body. Orafti® Inulin and Oligofructose are functional fibres that enhance a balanced intestinal flora by promoting the growth of beneficial bifidobacteria, a crucial component of good digestive health. In addition, Orafti® functional fibres contribute to a low-glycaemic diet, demonstrating efficacy in supporting weight management and helping the body in absorbing more calcium, promoting stronger bones.

  • Skin and hair (beauty) wellness: The most prioritized need states for beauty support are skin (51% of consumers worldwide) and hair (44%), resonates most with women. In Southeast Asian, beauty support in term of skin health is the top one priority. More than 33% of global consumers believed that functional and fortified products with science-backed ingredients were important to them11.

Source: Kerry Global, 202211

  • Solutions: Over the last four years, there has been a 19% increase in new product launches containing collagen (all types), and products containing biotin have seen a 14% rise during the same period. Gelita Bioactive Collagen Peptides® (BCP) are promoting on their hydrolysed collagen which is ready to be easily absorbed into the bloodstream for specific physiological benefits. Gelita Verisol® is one of the hydrolysed collagens that helps to stimulate skin metabolism and improve skin surface structure, reducing cellulite and a faster nail growth.

DPO International, a full suite market enabler, by working in tandem with the world’s premier specialized food ingredient producers, Beneo and Gelita, we are equipped to assist you in translating this trend into innovative concepts for your brand, from ideation to manufacturing stage, we are here to provide you with all kinds of solutions and support you through every phase.

References:

  1. Axia Women’s Health. (2021). How Hormones Affect Digestion From Pregnancy to Menopause. https://axiawh.com/resources/how-hormones-affect-digestion-from-pregnancy-to-menopause/#:~:text=When%20estrogen%20drops%20and%20cortisol,gas%2C%20bloating%2C%20and%20constipation.
  2. Data Bridge Market Research (2021). Global Women Nutrition Market – Industry Trends and Forecast to 2028. https://www.databridgemarketresearch.com/reports/global-women-nutrition-market.
  3. Glanbia Nutritionals (2021). Top Trends in Women’s Health and Nutrition for 2021. https://www.glanbianutritionals.com/en/nutri-knowledge-center/insights/top-trends-womens-health-and-nutrition-2021.
  4. Innova Market Insights (2023). From cutting back to looking forward: Innova Market Insights reveals positive food and drink trends for 2024. https://www.innovamarketinsights.com/press-releases/food-and-drink-trends-for-2024/#:~:text=At%20least%20three%20of%20the,The%20rise%20of%20applied%20offerings’.
  5. Innovating for Women’s Health Webinar – June 2023. Kerry Healthy and Nutrition Institute. https://khni.kerry.com/news/webinar-womens-health-webinar-june-2023/
  6. Kerry Global. (2022). Functional Forecasting: The Role and Relevance of Health-Enhancing Ingredients in Beverages and Supplements.
  7. Macariou, E. (2023). Women’s health: an expanding market. Lactalis Ingredients.
  8. Mellentin, J. (2023). 10 Key Trends in Food, Nutrition & Health 2024. November/ December 2023. Volume 29 Number 2/3. ISSN 978-1-906297-65-7. New Nutrition Business.
  9. Olivares, M.M. (2023). Women’s Health Needs and the Ingredients that Support Them. KerryDigest. https://www.kerry.com/insights/kerrydigest/2023/womens-health.html.
  10. Southey, F. (2023). The “untapped” innovation potential of female nutrition: “A new wave of food and beverage products is expected”. FoodNavigator Europe. https://foodnavigator.com/Article/2023/03/10/The-untapped-innovation-potential-of-female-nutrition-A-new-wave-of-food-and-beverage-products-is-expected.
  11. Women’s Health Network (2023). Is sugar sabotaging your hormones? https://www.womenshealthnetwork.com/hormonal-imbalance/hormonal-imbalance-caused-by-sugar/