Demand for ‘gut friendly’ products such as fermented foods, ‘alternative’ flours, dairy-free milks, unrefined carbohydrates and prebiotic and probiotic products were on the increase, Katrina Lytton, nutrition lead within the firm’s Life Sciences function, said.
Reflecting this, the global gluten-free market was growing at over 7% per year, with the UK the second biggest market in Europe, she explained.
According to Lytton, healthy snacking would continue to dominate the nutrition industry in the next year.
“The 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, which boost claims of the medicinal properties of natural ingredients,” she said.
The increasing demand for a personalised approach to wellness was driving innovation, Lytton claimed.
‘Own nutritional profile’
“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,” she said.
“A number of companies are looking into DNA analysis and soon, technology will be able to leverage genetic profiling to feed into our shopping lists, acting as a virtual assistant.”
Lytton also suggested that companies should harness and analyse the “enormous amount” of consumer data available, to understand their behaviour.