Fermentation: how to make a trend into an opportunity

Fermentation Report

If you have any doubts about the growth potential of the fermented foods trend, dismiss them now. The sign that fermentation has reached its tipping point came with the decision by PepsiCo, the world’s second-biggest food and beverage company, to acquire fermented drinks maker KeVita.

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Recent Case Studies Special K sidelined by weight-wellness shift Once the world’s biggest weight-management food brand and a case study for how to create success in the sector, Kellogg’s Special K has been dramatically left behind by shifting consumer trends. read more Probi: four key lessons in how to successfully commercialise nutrition science Whatever sector of the ingredients market you are in, the story of Probi offers a clear guide to how to successfully commercialise nutrition science. At NNB we have closely followed Sweden-based Probi’s fortunes since 1995. read more Kellogg bets on moringa It’s a bold move and a sign of the times. Ten years ago – perhaps even five years ago – it would have been unimaginable that one of the world’s biggest food companies would invest $4.25 million (€3.96 million) in a start-up with only $1 million (€930,000) in sales and an idea to build a brand on an unknown ingredient. read more Sustainability its own reward Sustainability, we are told, is front-of-mind for every consumer, an increasingly key purchase driver, a consumer expectation that every company must deliver on. read more Fermented foods bubbling up Rather quickly, fermented foods have become a fertile new laboratory in the American better-for-you food and beverage business, driven by online and media discussion and enthusiastic early adopters. Will this be enough to overcome skepticism about “food that bubbles”? read more Chef aims to convince consumers with “lost art” of fermented food Despite being a chef and head of a cooking school, Michael Schwartz had eaten unhealthily for most of his life. But an epiphany on the need for healthful products in the American diet lead him to found fermented food brand Bao with businessman Michael Brady, using popular kombucha as the “gateway” to its more challenging products, which are all organic, raw, live, fermented, probiotic, vegan, gluten-free and unpasteurized. read more Can growing consumer interest mainstream probiotic juice? Outside of Sweden and Finland, probiotic fruit juices have failed to take off as a category. But with consumer awareness of probiotics now well-established and a small but growing number of people showing enthusiasm for probiotics in forms other than dairy, Tropicana judges that the time is right to introduce mainstream Americans to the idea of probiotic fruit juice. read more Start-up pitches natural energy benefits of coconut oil Coconut has become one of the trendiest natural ingredients, thanks in large part to the marketing of coconut water and coconut milks. Now mainstream, it’s a familiar ingredient to many people, in skincare or haircare products from well-known brands such as L’Oreal and Garnier. read more Plant-based sports drink aims for the top Entrepreneur and cancer survivor Jerome Tse has a single-minded mission to bring organic, plant-based products to the market and he plans to compete with the beverage big guys. read more “Demon” sugar threat – or is it an opportunity? Sugar is now the biggest nutritional villain in the western world. The requirement by the US government to list the amounts of “added sugars” on most food and beverage packages from mid-2018 may only strengthen this negative view. Some brands already are trying to mitigate the damage – or take advantage of it. read more Sugar tax: the antidote to our sweet tooth? In a little over a year’s time, the UK’s ‘sugar tax’, or soft drinks industry levy, will come into force. What impact has it already had, and how much difference might it make in the future? read more
Seize the day in digestive wellness
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Seize the day in digestive wellness

It’s a sign of the times. A small sign, admittedly, but as is so often the case in business, the smallest signs turn out to be some of the most important ones.

As the picture shows, healthy-and-natural foods retailer Whole Foods Market has created a special Digestive Health section within the chiller cabinets of its UK stores.

Fitting in neatly between the milk and the yoghurt, it’s a section devoted to one of the biggest consumer needs (along with sustained energy).

One third of people suffer from some form of digestive symptoms – the most common ones being bloating and constipation (Source: World Gastroenterology Organisation (2016)) and maintaining digestive wellness becomes a bigger focus as people age.

Digestive wellness has consistently been a key driver of growth for the food and beverage industry for 20 years, lying behind some of the biggest shifts in our market:

  • It’s a trend that has spawned some of the world’s biggest and most successful probiotic dairy brands (Danone Activia and Yakult, to take just two examples, with combined sales of $6 billion).
  • It’s the consumer quest for digestive wellness that has – without any question – been the driver of the gluten-free, dairy-free and lactose-free trends.
  • It’s the quest for digestive wellness that has been the main driver of growth for plant milks – most almond milk and other nut-milk brands reference the benefit of “digestive comfort” on the label or in marketing.

The field of digestive health, like many others, is fragmenting and people are becoming more open to digestive benefits from a much wider variety of products.

It is this openness of consumers to new experiences that is behind the rapid growth of a new market for fermented foods and beverages

When PepsiCo, the world’s second-biggest food and beverage company, bought small fermented drinks maker KeVita in late 2016, it sent a clear sign that fermented foods have reached a tipping point ( http://bit.ly/2kUuruT).

Smart companies will seize the digestive health and fermentation opportunity now, at Day One.


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Julian Mellentin

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