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New Nutrition Business 2020: The Key Consumer Trends in Food, Nutrition & Health

Nutrition plays a key role in maintaining optimal health throughout the lifespan of an individual since infancy to old age. Increasing health consciousness among consumers contributes to the positive growth of functional ingredients for healthier lifestyles.

Key Trend: A Healthy Digestive Wellness

Fibre is important for our digestive health and regular bowel movements. Higher fibre intake is associated with lower incidences of constipation. There are two types of fibres, soluble and insoluble fibres. Soluble fibre absorbs water and binds to fatty acids whereas insoluble fibre helps to move bulks through gastrointestinal (Hajhoseini, 2013).

Inulin and Oligofructose are non-digestible prebiotic dietary fibres that are able to bridge the fibre gap which are beneficial in improving consumers’ nutritional intake quality (FDA, 2018). They work together synergistically with probiotics by providing nutrients to support the growth and improve gut health. The addition of prebiotics into the diet can stimulate the growth and multiplication of good bacteria in our gastrointestinal tract, which contributes to digestive wellness (Rosica & Levinus, 2016).

According to the USDA (2016), the dietary fibre content in chia seed is higher than flax seed and quinoa seed. Chia seed, one of the richest source of soluble fibre is capable of retaining water and expand. Its rich fibre content greatly contributes to weight loss and meal satiation (Toscano et al., 2015).

Key Trend: Good Carbs Stay, Bad Carbs Go Away

There are two major types of carbohydrate which can be deemed as healthy and unhealthy. Healthy carbohydrates are known as complex or slower-acting carbohydrates. This type of carbohydrate raises blood sugar slowly and would last longer, thus promoting satiety which keep us from feeling hungry for a longer period. Unhealthy carbohydrates are known as simple or fast-acting carbohydrates. This type of carbohydrate raises blood sugar levels very quickly however it does not last very long. It works well to increase low-blood sugar but does not satisfy hunger like healthy carbohydrate does (Holesh & Martin, 2019).

Palatinose is a slow releasing carbohydrate that is naturally sourced from sugar beets. When consumed, Palatinose slowly releases energy over a longer period of time, as compared to conventional sugar that spikes sugar levels almost instantly (Beneo, 2016a). Palatinose has been shown to improve blood glycemic responses in both diabetic and nondiabetic individuals. Palatinose minimizes the blood glucose fluctuations and has been advocated to enhance fat oxidation during exercise (Henry et al., 2017).

Key Trend: Plant-based Takes Center Stage                 

As consumers are seeking more fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds, herbs and other plant-based ingredients to include in their shopping list, the health food domarket is welcoming products that are using plants as key ingredients

Inulin and Oligofructose are natural non-digestible carbohydrates from chicory root which associated with healthy digestive health (Shoaib et al., 2016). They can be found naturally in a great number of plants and vegetables including agave, artichokes, asparagus, bananas, garlic, onions, leeks, and wheat though the chicory root is one of the wealthiest source.

Chia seed contains good doses of vegetal omega-3 fatty acid, dietary fibers, proteins and essential minerals. The extracted phenolic compounds from chia seed promote antioxidant activities (Coelho & Salas-Mellado, 2014; Munoz et al., 2012). Chia seed is also a good thickening and emulsifying agent which adds rich texture and silkiness when included in smoothies, desserts and dressings. Along with good emulsion and foaming stability, chia seed also boasts water holding capacity (Franklin & Hongu, 2016; Suri et al., 2016).

Key Trend: Awesome Healthier Choice for Sugar!

Consumers are actively looking for alternatives to reduce sugar intake in their diets as excessive sugar intake over the recommended amount causes health complications. Manufacturers are always keen to tweak their formulations for not only a tasty product but also healthy. More consumers are beginning to accept products that are formulated with nutritional enhancements such as added dietary fibre and reduced sugar, as long as they are still tasty.

Palatinose provide mild and natural sweetness, only 50% of sucrose’s. Thus, it can be used as a sugar replacer in our diets especially for those who wants to enjoy the sweet taste without using too much sugar. Palatinose is able to replace sucrose or other high glycemic carbohydrates on a gram-to-gram basis as the glycaemic index (GI) of Palatinose is only at 32 (Beneo, 2013). This unique characteristic enables us to enjoy a better balanced energy supply as well as enjoying better health (Beneo, 2016a).

With 30% of the sweetness of sucrose, Oligofructose can be used together with other sweeteners to create a more balanced and sugar-like palate without any aftertaste (Beneo, 2013). Oligofructose contributes to a better blood glucose management as it supports a lower rise in blood glucose response (Beneo, 2016a).

Key Trend: Protein Does More Than Muscle Building

In this day and age, protein consumption is no longer only for workout but to power up our days. Protein has become another star ingredient with a health halo and its growth is forecasted to grow at a CAGR close to 9% within year 2019 to 2023. The expanding global vegan population becomes the primary contributor for the growth of global plant-based protein market (Technavio, 2018).

Chia is an amazing source of plant protein that gives good calories and energy boost. It is one of the richest source of vegetal omega-3 fatty acids with good quality of plant origin protein containing all essential amino acids (Kulczyński et al., 2019). Consumers are more inclined towards plant protein with their high nutritional profiles including ease of digestibility, sustainable source, high nutritional value and non-allergic nature

Rice protein is increasingly considered as an alternative and an economic source of high quality plant-based protein as it is natural, gluten-free, non-GMO, hypo-allergenic, and has an excellent amino acid profile and protein digestibility (Beneo, 2016b).

Key Trend: Fat Reborn

When choosing fats, we should pick unsaturated fat over saturated fat. Good fats include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Bad ones include industrial-made trans-fats. We need healthy fats as they cannot be produced by our own body where it must be consumed through food sources or supplements. Studies suggest that intake of healthy fat in our daily diet is significantly improves our heart, body and brain health. 

Chia seed is one the richest source of vegetal omega-3 fatty acids that contains high level of Omega-6 among plant foods. Unsaturated Omega-3 fatty acids are nutritionally important for good health and are beneficial for individuals suffering from heart disease (Coelho & Salas-Mellado, 2014).

life’sDHA is natural vegetarian source of DHA and EPA from the same microalgae where fish get their good fats from. DHA is a type of Omega-3 essential fatty acids that cannot be synthesized by our body, we have to ingest it through our diets. Studies shown that omega significantly contributes to the brain development and mental health (Rathod et al., 2016).

Key Trend: Meat Reconceptualize

Meat has played a crucial role in human evolution and has become an important component of a healthy and balanced diet with its nutritional richness. Despite the sky-rocketing popularity of plant-based protein, along with being scrutinized by several groups, meat consumption trend is still going strong. New inventions of lab-grown meat are fascinating developments that could be of large appeal to sustainability.

Meat contains valuable source of high protein, iron, B complex vitamins, zinc, selenium and phosphorus. However, there are still excess calories from meat due to its fat content. Meat also contains saturated fats that are considered detrimental to cardiovascular health. Total fat and saturated fat from meat have been associated with higher serum HDL-cholesterol levels (Liu et al., 2019). Hence, moderation of meat consumption is advisable.

Key Trend: Superfoods That Lift Your Mood

Disturbance in a person’s mood is hypothesized to be the main underlying feature of Mood Disorders and has the highest lifetime prevalence rate. Mood disorders including depression, social anxiety and cognitive decline are increasing (Lu, 2015).

Besides exercising, food can be used to maintain emotional well-being as it provides comfort and a good socializing tool. Adequate DHA and EPF intake are linked to reducing the risk of depression. DHA and EPA aid serotonin, a nerve messenger that helps balance our mood. Studies showed that the anti-inflammatory effects of these omega-3 fatty acids on nerve cells may promote the reduction of depression risk (McNamara, 2016).

Flaxseeds, hemp seeds and chia are good for your mood as they are rich in omega- fatty acids. They help to enhance cognitive activity as well as protection against neurodegenerative diseases (Lopresti, 2016).


                In a nutshell, healthy lifestyle & eating diets can be achieved by including a variety of healthy ingredients in our daily food consumption. Adequate hydration and water intake is recommended along with enough sleep. Manufacturers are actively seeking to provide healthier food choices to consumers. They have been actively working on reformulating their product recipes while maintaining the existing taste and flavor profiles to not deter consumers.


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