Insights for Retailers - Archive

More consumers are seeking energy supplements

Global research shows that the number of people taking a daily supplement has increased by almost 10% in two years.

More than 25,000 people from 23 companies were quizzed by nutrition giant DSM in 2017 and this year, revealing that the numbers taking supplements every day has leapt from 28% to 37%.

The figures also revealed that weight loss is no longer among the top health concerns while those leading a busy lifestyle have pushed energy supplements into the top three sub-categories.

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A third of Brits are looking for specialist vegan products

Research by ‘scan, pay, go’ app Ubamarket reveals the meat-free habits of UK consumers:

  • Brits spend £25 per week on vegetarian and vegan products, totalling £1.3bn a year
  • 36% of meat-eaters, representing almost 19m Brits, are buying vegetarian and vegan specialist products
  • 23% – 11.77m – are stocking up gluten-free meals despite not having any intolerance
  • 31% of Brits – 16m – are eating more vegetarian and vegan meals than ever before
  • 32% of Brits – 16.7m – are consciously trying to eat less meat, for reasons ranging from their health to the environmental impact of the agriculture industry
  • 26% of Brits said that trends like Veganuary and Sugar Awareness Week are shaping their shopping habit.

Half of British consumers would pay more for eco-friendly packaging

Eight out of 10 UK consumers are doing their best to slash their plastic waste, and 46% of them would pay more for eco-friendly packaging.

YouGov research highlighted in The Guardian indicates that households want to get behind the eco drive and by paying more will enable companies to find alternatives to single-use plastics.

Young people lead the way with 51% of respondents aged between 18 and 24 expressing a sense of guilt about environmental damage, not nearly so marked by consumers in their 50s.

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Cut and dried – halting the decline in dried fruit sales

The UK’s leading dried fruit businesses have come together in a bid to dispel consumer myths around the consumption of dried fruit.

The Dried Fruit Alliance (DFA), consisting of Whitworths, Sun Maid, Californian Raisin Administrative Committee, the California Prune Board and the National Dried Fruit Trade Association, aims to re-educate consumers about the perceptions of the category, such as dried fruit being bad for dental health, for which there is no medical evidence. 


Decline has been relatively modest currently at around -2.3% but has continued for the past few years, DFA told Better Retailing Magazine. However, this is contradictory to other categories with similar natural, unprocessed and high nutrition categories such as nuts or seeds, both seeing around 10% year on year over the past few years.

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How much Brits spend on their health

The average Brit will spend more than £65,000 over their lifetime just looking after their basic health.

A poll of 2,000 adults found Brits spend an average of £1,091.26 each year on gym memberships, vitamins and supplements, prescriptions, exercise classes and healthy foods.


And over the course of a 60.3 year average adult lifespan, that adds up to £65,802.98. This figure does not take into account the £120bn we spend on the NHS each year – about £1,912 per person.

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Stand by for the VMHS surge

The consumer health market for vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements is expected to grow by an average compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.5% to 2023, according to figures provided by the Nature’s Bounty Company at Natural Products Expo in April.

This acceleration will be driven by demand for Vitamin D (+24%), probiotics (+21%) and protein (+17%) in particular, according to Paul Chamberlain, Category Development and Product Training Director. Quoting Mintel figures, he said even fish oils, which had shown a decline between 2014 and 2018, would grow by a CAGR of around 7%.

Multivitamins alone generated nearly £218m in value in 2018 but will grow to £320m by 2023, while vitamin D will grow from £15m to £45m in the same period. He said the Big Five sub-categories were general health with a £79m sales value in 2018, followed by joint and bone (£77m), women’s health (£57m), energy (£40m) and beauty (£39m), (source: Euromonitor).

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Vegan, fermented food, beauty and CBD all boosted at Natural Products showcase

Natural & Organic Products Europe served up pioneering trends, thought-provoking debates and ‘better-for-you’ innovations in April. With 700 exhibitors showcasing the best choice of natural, certified organic, vegan, Fairtrade and free-from food, drink, VMS, cosmetics, skincare and eco living, the London trade show saw an attendance of 10,298 (up 3% on 2018’s figures).

“CBD was massive,” reported Lisa Gawthorne, MD of Bravura Foods. “The uncertainty surrounding the novel foods listing certainly doesn’t seem to be prohibiting innovation.” Fermented foods and drinks were popular, she added.

“Beauty seemed bigger than ever – it’s nice to see such a focus on ethical and cruelty-free beauty and displayed in a really professional manner.

“The show was the busiest we have seen it in years – everyone wants to talk anything vegan right now with it continuing to be the biggest food trend the market has seen.” Her presentation on vegan food was one of the best-attended talks, filled with retailers keen to find out more about how they can increase in-store sales of plant-based and vegan products.


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Grocery continues its shift away from supermarkets

Consumer analyst Nielsen reported an April increase of 5.9% in consumer spending in the grocery sector but confirmed there was a continued shift away from the ‘big four’ supermarkets.

Unseasonably warm weather coupled with Mother’s Day and the late Easter bank holiday weekend all contributed to the improvement in sales growth. For the week ending Easter Saturday (20th April), overall sales peaked at +15% as shoppers bought into attractive seasonal offers that complemented the warm weather, both in store and online.

Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda saw their combined market share fall to 64% between February and the end of April.

Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK Head of Retailer and Business Insight, said: “The underlying trend here seems to be that economising rather than compromising is still the key consumer mindset. Looking ahead, it will be important for retailers and brands to keep up sales momentum through increased promotional activity as we head into the summer of 2019 in order to match the levels of last year’s hot summer.”

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Fairtrade Fortnight success in numbers

Fairtrade Fortnight (end of February/beginning of March) attracted an additional 10,000 supporters and reached a million people through its campaign events. More than 50 Fairtrade partners were involved, while campaigners organised 4,000 events.

Kantar research revealed that nine out of 10 people are now aware of the Fairtrade mark and 35% remembered the Fairtrade message. Widespread media coverage was generated and 75 MPs attended the All Party Parliamentary Group receptions.

In April, the Government invited Michael Gidney, Chief Executive of the Fairtrade Foundation, to join the Government’s Strategic Trade Advisory Group to represent the voice of NGOs and the millions of farmers that the UK relies on across the world for produce.

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A stigma that is more than skin deep

The social stigma around skincare conditions is steadily increasing. With the popularity of social media affecting mental health, and chemical companies increasingly promising quick-fix solutions, it’s no surprise that seven out of 10 Brits who suffer from skin care conditions report feeling self-conscious.

Research by Grahams Natural, an Australian therapeutic skin care company, explored how people are affected by common skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and rosacea. Shockingly, nearly one in three (29%) have been discriminated against and excluded socially because of the condition of their skin. Men with skin conditions are twice as likely to have felt this, with 38% reporting exclusion or discrimination, compared to 19% of women.

The self-consciousness brought on by these skin conditions also leads to deeper problems. Half of those that suffer with eczema, psoriasis or rosacea say they are anxious or depressed as a result.

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Keeping an open mind on ‘fad’ diets

The high-fat, low-carbohydrate keto diet is enjoying spectacular popularity at the moment, but will it remain relevant in the years to come? Mintel’s Global Food Analyst Melanie Zanoza Bartelme believes it would be wise to keep an open mind.

“Walking around the floor at Natural Products Expo West in California this year, it was evident that keto was continuing its moment in the spotlight,” she said.

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Growth of the 'Natural Health Service'

The number of Brits turning to natural remedies instead of visiting their doctor is growing with 21% turning to alternatives such as homeopathy, nutritional therapy, therapeutic massages and herbal tonics.

According to a study from the School of Health, 48% prefer to find their own remedies while the average Brit takes nine vitamin and mineral supplements a month.

One in five believe they have to see their doctor less because of the natural remedies they use to ward off illness. A further fifth is considering using herbal medicine, while 16% would experiment with homeopathy and 15% considering nutritional therapy.

Mani Norland, Principal at The School of Health, which commissioned the report via, says: “Busy waiting times and overloaded medical professionals mean many people find it easier to fend for themselves.

“Add to this a growing mistrust of pharmaceutical companies, and it’s little surprise many adults are looking for more natural solutions to stay well.

“People feel more empowered to take responsibility for their own health and do their own research, and the survey shows that many choose natural medicines because they feel they are safer, less toxic with little or no side effects.”

Pack it in

In a survey of UK adults by delivery management company Whistl, 75% of respondents said they wanted e-retailers to minimise parcel packaging waste and use environmentally friendly materials for packaging their online purchases.

Seaganism makes a splash

First came the term ‘vegetarian’, then ‘flexitarian’ before ‘vegan’ became the hip foodie word of the decade. Now UK seafood authority Seafish has come up with ‘Seagan’ as part of a campaign to promote fish as part of a healthy diet when combined with plant-based dishes.

Chief Executive Marcus Coleman says: “The health benefits of eating seafood are well documented and, coupled with the benefits of a plant-based diet, seagansim presents a sustainable, tasty and flexible diet for people of all ages and stages of life. Our Think Seagan campaign will inspire and educate those looking to make changes to their diet.”

Environmental concerns

New Mintel figures show that more than half (55%) of UK buyers of soap, bath and shower products would consider buying products with reduced/no plastic packaging, rising to 68% of over-65s. Just under half (47%) are interested in buying refillable products and 42% would consider using products with an all-natural formula. Four in ten want palm-oil free products.

Vegan UK leading the way, but not quietly

A report commissioned by environment secretary Michael Gove shows the extent to which a vegan diet can have a real effect on greenhouse gases. Mintel says the UK has toppled Germany from its top spot in vegan new product development. A third of UK consumers reduced their meat consumption in the six months to July 2018.

All looking good so far if you exclude the megaphone warriors who picket our supermarkets, including Brighton’s HISBE which deserves better for its ethical and local standpoint. And as Veganuary draws to a close, hats off to the charity which has made a massive impact at the start of 2019.

Michael Gove’s report says that a population turning to healthy diets could result in a 12% reduction in greenhouse gases, moving to vegetarian 26%, and adopting veganism 36%. A pipe dream of course, but it shows the potential impact on food and farming when you consider that the UK generates the equivalent of around 1bn tons of CO2 a year.

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Indies hold the whip hand in cosmetics sustainability

Beauty and personal care brands (BPC) must change their approach to sustainability and zero waste or die, according to Mintel’s 2019 Global Beauty & Personal Care Trends report.

“Some companies are already discussing totally circumventing packaging,” says Mintel. “This is not just a trend, it is a movement.”

Independent retailers already have the lead as big companies that put current profits ahead of investment in zero waste solutions will lose out in the long term. “Indie brands already have the edge as they have built their business practices around ethics,” says Mintel.

“High-profit BPC brands that aren’t investing in this area are already condemning themselves.”

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Source: Euromonitor

Why the VMS category is in good health

Modern lifestyles and growing health awareness are providing a rosy future for VMS sales, according to market research carried out for Solgar®.

Add to that consumer concerns about the side effects of medicines together with demand for ‘natural’ and ‘functional’ products, and the steady growth of the VMS and sports nutrition categories will continue.

Sales of vitamins and supplements are estimated to have reached £442m in 2018, a rise of 6% from £417m in 2013 (source: Mintel). The sector is predicted to see a steady rise in value sales over the next five years, with the market forecast to grow a healthy 8% to reach £477m in 2023.

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Sunshine Vitamin named UK bestseller

Vitamin D has been crowned Britain’s favourite single vitamin supplement, overtaking vitamin C, following research by Mintel.

Sales rose a glowing seven percentage points in 2018, bought by 33% of VMS users, up from 26% in 2017.

While usage has ticked upwards for all age groups, people aged 35-54 were the main drivers, with usage rising from 22% in 2017 to 35% in 2018 among this group.

The UK’s top five single vitamin supplements are Vitamin D (33%), Vitamin C (27%), Vitamin B complex (15%), Vitamin A (12%) and Vitamin E (10%). Meanwhile, well over half (56%) of VMS users take multivitamins.

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Why sustainability is changing retail businesses

Consumer sustainability focus will change the way retailers do business, according to Mark Childs, Senior Retail Consultant at digital services pioneer Capgemini.

The explosion in concern over plastic use has been impossible to miss in 2018 as public scrutiny of plastic waste and its widespread usage has reached mainstream consciousness.

“Within our industry, the problem of plastics has gone from an environmental niche to a subject that is firmly on the agenda of retailers and suppliers alike,” says Childs.

“A recent Greenpeace study found that 72% of consumers think supermarkets are not doing enough about packaging to tackle the plastic problem. As we enter 2019, the expectation for all retailers to develop a solution will only intensify, and the increasing sustainability awareness will require businesses to revisit their environmental goals and timelines.

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What’s hot for health-conscious older people

Healthy ageing is emerging as a food and drink opportunity in 2019. Preparing for a longer, healthier lifespan is particularly relevant as consumers view health and wellness as a holistic, proactive and ongoing pursuit.

This is one of the findings in the Mintel Global Food & Drink Trends 2019 report, highlighting the importance of self-care, a habit identified in Mintel’s 2018 trends report.

Food and drink manufacturers can look to the beauty and personal care industry for inspiration for healthy ageing product development that is centred around positive language across life stages and age demographics, rejects terms like ‘anti-ageing’ for its negative connotations, and addresses longevity-related health concerns.

With more consumers taking an active interest in their long-term health, expect to see more ‘nootropics’, a broad group of supplements like L-theanine, B-vitamins, choline and omega-3s that claim to enhance brain power, focus, alertness and general wellbeing.

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Buzzwords for 2019 – gut-friendly, vegan and ‘unpackaged’

Champion health blogger and author Fab Giovanetti spotlights the key trends for health food retailers in 2019.

At the end of 2017 we saw the rise of miso, kimchi and kefir products from artisan brands and bigger companies. As the BBC named 2018 as "the year of gut health" with a rise in pickled and fermented vegetables, the next step was meant to be affordable and easy-to-consume solutions for busy people. Brands like Happy Tummy Co are pioneering with ranges of food-to-go across London, and this is just the beginning of a new era for gut-health food. Gut-friendly food is a trend we'll still see going strong in 2019, with no sign of slowing down.

Boosting current products with healthy bacteria is something we can see happening in different areas of the supermarkets, getting the general public more and more accustomed to the idea, just like the first cultured ice cream by the Cultured Ice Cream Company. Dairy-free, grain-free, sugar-free creaminess made from cultured kefir coconut cream.

Vegan is a growing segment of the market – being vegan is all about being part of a community, something I know very well from the research I covered in the book Make an Impact, uncovering the six habits of highly influential people. One of those habits is nurturing and participating in a community with a mission that goes beyond the individual, which is something most vegans can easily relate to.

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Loyalty, plastics, local and prices are key influences on retail in 2019

IRI, the analytics and insights provider for FMCG, OTC healthcare and retailers, has published its FMCG trends for the year ahead.

1. Loyalty programmes.

Paul Hinds, IRI’s Senior Vice President of International Retail Solutions, says: “It’s not loyalty, but impactful customer engagement that retailers need to focus on. Loyalty programmes remain an important component of the customer experience, but they are increasingly commoditised, with customer usage driven by habitual collection of points rather than meaningful engagement with the retailer and its brand. This lack of purpose and differentiation is a challenge for retailers who need to derive value from their programmes to justify continued investment, especially with disruptive online retailers and specialist ‘clubs’ able to develop one-to-one relationships with the customer without the need for a traditional points-based programme.

“Understanding the what, when, where and how customers buy and then making a quick, impactful decision to drive growth that can also be accurately measured, is still beyond the reach of many retailers. Those companies who get this right, embedding a customer insight-driven approach across the entire business, will be the ones that lead the pack.”

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CBD is physical stores’ golden opportunity

CBD sales through UK retailers currently stand at around £50 million, primarily online. According to one supplier, that’s likely to grow by a factor of 20 to reach £1bn by 2020, and traditional independent retailers stand to reap the rewards as consumers realise the need to help them make informed choices.

Henri Sant-Cassia of CBD Virtue says: “The online retail space is becoming saturated and constrained as some companies have chosen to suspend trading in CBD. This is pushing customers towards traditional retail.

“There is also an increasing variety and quality of products, which mean consumers need help, so independent stores are becoming the front line in this ballooning trade.

“Thirdly, the demographics of buyers are changing. Initially it was either younger buyers who took their inspiration from Colorado and California, followed by vapers and e-cigarette users who are currently the majority of buyers.

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TV doctor cautious about the latest health and wellbeing trends

Last year we were Fitbit obsessed, spinning took off, and everyone was getting personalised vitamin supplements. But this year, CBD oil sits alongside veganism as a megatrend to watch, says Dr Sara Kayat of GPDQ, the UK’s first GP-on-demand-app and resident GP on ITV This Morning's ‘Second Opinion’.

She emphasises to patients that CBD does not have the psychoactive effect of THC and as such is one of the few cannabinoids that is not considered a controlled substance under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

But she is cautious about the way CBD is promoted.

“CBD has been hailed a cure-all, with claims of improving Alzheimer’s, anxiety and arthritis,” she says. “However, the studies thus far are minimal in terms of human trials.

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The rising power of plant protein in sports nutrition

A report by Lumina Intelligence highlights the shift away from animal protein sources in sports nutrition. This sector is now regarded as mainstream and no longer the preserve of serious athletes and body builders. Claims such as “100% plant protein” and “vegan” are crucial in order to captivate consumer attention.

Lumina Market Intelligence’s sports nutrition data captures over 2,600 unique brand variants and 750 distinct brands across 20 countries. It concludes that flexitarianism is fuelling demand for vegan proteins as consumers aim to reduce animal-derived foods in their diets.

The personal health aspect is also important as there is a growing body of research attesting that plant-based diets are much healthier, substantially reducing chronic disease risk.

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Meat alternatives – bring on the super-sub!

The meat substitute market will reach global sales of £4billion by 2020, according to Allied Market Research. The growth of ‘flexitarianism’ and demand for plant-based protein are leading to better-for-you alternatives in the form of protein-enriched snacks and meat substitutes in most European markets.

Meat substitutes such as seitan, tofu and tempeh are increasingly well-recognised and accepted by consumers, especially those committing to cruelty-free diets, according to food ingredients company Ingredion.

Meanwhile, busy lifestyles have fuelled consumer demand for healthy on-the-go snacks. Industry commentators believe the increased focus on supply chain transparency and a desire for natural claims on packaging is leading shoppers to seek products made with ingredients perceived as natural.

Ingredion’s report on the savoury market says manufacturers are shunning the conventional practices of using corn or potato and are turning to ingredients such as lentils, parsnips and even seaweed in producing nutritious and crunchy snacks.

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New hope for migraine sufferers

Migraine is the leading cause of disability among all neurological disorders with more than 50% of migraine sufferers unhappy with their current treatment. Now a double-blind randomised controlled trial of live bacteria supplements in both chronic and episodic migraine sufferers has shown dramatic improvements in symptoms.

The trial, published in January 2019 in the peer-reviewed journal Cephalalgia, involved a new supplement, Bio-Kult Migréa, and is the first successful controlled trial showing a benefit of a probiotic in the management of migraine headaches.

The Migraine Trust reports that the disease is more prevalent than diabetes, epilepsy and asthma combined and affects three times as many women as men, with this higher rate being most likely hormonally driven.

Research suggests that 3,000 migraine attacks occur every day for each million of the general population. This equates to over 190,000 migraine attacks every day in the UK.

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Taking a digestive approach to beauty

Shopper behaviour analyst Kantar Worldpanel sees a ‘crossing of lines’ between the health and beauty sectors with manufacturers using their knowledge of one to tap into the other.

Although this is seen as a US trend, based largely on the Korean K-Beauty movement that focuses on health and hydration, the UK and European markets are experiencing a similar shift with products recommended for different complexion factors, hormonal fluctuations and lifestyle choices.

The US trend is towards a more natural look as consumers become more invested in fixing beauty issues instead of covering them up – 66% of 18 to 49 year-old women in the US say they prefer a natural look, up 4% since 2016.

The ‘beauty from within’ trend also finds its source in Asia where the idea of beauty is strongly linked with health and wellness, moving skin and haircare regimes away from a topical approach and towards a digestive one.

Kantar quotes examples from Burt’s Bees whose general manager Jim Geikie promoted beauty “from the inside out” when launching plant-based protein powders, and several mainstream beauty lines adding supplements to skin and hair products.

Consumers get the good gut message

‘Total Wellbeing’ tops the list of Mintel’s trends to watch in 2019 in a consumer landscape driven by themes of privacy, individuality, wellness, convenience and connectivity.

Consumers are treating their bodies like an ecosystem and seeking solutions that complement their personal health and evolving needs, according to the market intelligence giant.

And they are focusing more than ever on improving their gut health: “In 2019 and beyond, growing consumer curiosity with the microbiome shows no signs of abating. From gut-friendly fermented foods to probiotic skincare, consumers will demand products that balance and boost the natural bacteria found in and on the body,” says Mintel.

“Consumers are looking externally to their surroundings and internally towards their physical and mental wellbeing, expecting holistic approaches to wellness. [They are] are increasingly seeking personalisation and, in the UK, as many as 42% of British consumers are interested in a personalised diet based on their genes/DNA.

“Developments in health monitoring, such as skin sensors or ingestible capsules, will satisfy consumers’ demand for this personalised approach, while also building on scientific research in these emerging fields.”

GB packaging attitudes

Two-thirds of British shoppers identify with retailers that clearly demonstrate their commitment towards using less packaging, respect the environment and demonstrate fairness, transparency and integrity. That’s according to shopping analytics firm IRI in its latest European Shopper Insights Survey.

Responses from British shoppers scored higher than their European counterparts, with 73% stating that they would prefer to buy products with packaging that could be recycled and 67% prefer to buy products that respect the environment.

Meanwhile in Ireland, figures from Nielsen show that shoppers there are willing to educate themselves when it comes to environmental awareness and recycling grocery products, but they believe it’s the responsibility of retailers to reduce the amount of packaging.

Half of Irish shoppers actively seek products with minimal packaging (48%), look for products in recyclable packaging (46%) or products with no packaging (46%). But 91% believe retailers should do more to reduce the amount of packaging used on grocery products.

Double boost for organic sales this autumn

While retailers were building on the success of Organic September, research from Paris University* hit the front pages on October 23 apparently showing that people who eat organic food are 25% less likely to get cancer.

The Soil Association reported massive coverage for Organic September which contributed to increased demand for organic produce while grocery sales overall were slowing.

“The consensus across all retail reporting is that food and drink sales have slowed over the past three months but organic has continued to show an overall upward trend,” said SA’s Clem Teagle. “Organic in all of the key focus categories of Organic September (dairy, produce, grocery) outperformed non-organic in September and there were also a number of very strong performances including alcohol, confectionery and eggs.”

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Grocery sector should expect a holiday season second wind

A slightly bigger lull than expected in grocery spending hints at shoppers saving their pennies for the Christmas season, according to Nielsen. Following a record summer of spending, the data analytics company’s figures reveal that shoppers are tightening their purse strings in anticipation for the upcoming holiday season.

Value sales growth slowed to +1.9% during the four-week period ending 6 October, compared to +2.4% sales growth in the previous month. Volume sales at the major supermarkets also fell to -0.6%, down from 0%.

Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer insight, says: “The beginning of autumn signalled an objectively disappointing, though not entirely unexpected, slowdown in sales. But keeping in mind retailers had such a strong summer period, it’s likely shoppers are pressing the reset button after a season of excess.”

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Artisan food retailers are missing out on double-digit sales growth

A new report into the UK’s artisan food and drink industry reveals that more than half (53%) of independent retailers and caterers don’t currently sell online, and 35% of those claim they have no intention of making a shift to digital trade.

The 2018 Speciality Market Report, which was commissioned by and launched at Speciality & Fine Food Fair in September, shows that retailers could be missing out on double-digit sales growth from the burgeoning UK e-commerce market.

Three-quarters of those who have embraced an online platform say it has boosted sales and attracted new customers, with 15% of those claiming sales have increased by more than 40% in the past 18 months, and more than half reporting sales rises of up to 9%.

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Why health food retailers can succeed while the High Street suffers

Face-to-face advice from independent health store staff is the foremost factor in keeping high street stores in rude health while the number of casualties in other sectors continues to rise.

Reports two years ago that 46% of Britons say they take vitamins and minerals on a daily basis (Mintel) show that this is a strong segment which is destined to continue its upwards trajectory, according to the boss of a data marketing company.

The global dietary supplements market size was valued at $133.1 billion in 2016 and is projected to accelerate at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.6% from 2016 to 2024, says Andy Wood, chairman of Go Inspire Insight. And almost 30% of all organic sales now take place online or on the high street, with the remaining share in supermarkets.

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Mintel identifies teens as the new cosmetics consumers

Mintel’s team of global beauty and personal care analysts has developed an acronym to identify a new generation of beauty consumers. Aged 16-20 (born between 1998 and 2002), they are Approaching adulthood, Video driven, Influencer aware and Digital natives, or ‘AVIDs’.

  • Approaching adulthood: This group is gaining independence, whether by entering the workforce or choosing higher education. They now have money and responsibility to make their own decisions.

  • Video driven: Their beauty education is ongoing and never ending. They grew up with video tutorials on every kind of beauty look, which has encouraged them to be more creative and experimental.

  • Influencer aware: While previous generations grew up with magazines and celebrities for beauty inspiration, along with social media, these pop culture elements are now combined with influencers – aspirational but accessible figures that connect with consumers on a variety of platforms.

  • Digital natives: They are naturally ‘internet smart’ – cautious over data sharing, aware of hacks and concerned about how brands are tracking them. This affects what they share online: mistakenly associated with the ‘selfie generation’, they are actually less likely than their Millennial counterparts to post pictures online.

Charlotte Libby, Global Beauty Analyst at Mintel, says: “Technology has a strong impact on AVIDs’ lifestyles. Besides traditional teenage-related struggles, this generation is facing a new set of negatives that the beauty industry would do well to address.

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Sports nutrition: it's your business

Sales of sports nutrition products through the major supermarkets and independents are set to capitalise on the high protein trend in mainstream foods.

That’s the conclusion in a Mintel report on attitudes to sports nutrition (June 2018) which concludes: “While the growing choice of high-protein food and drink is creating intensified competition, convenient formats and increasing availability in the mainstream are helping to make sports nutrition more accessible. Interest in products supporting gut health and those featuring health-boosting herbs and spices highlights these as areas ripe for innovation.”

While online and specialist retailers dominate this market, new product development focused on convenient formats and indulgent flavours is helping to make sports nutrition accessible to mainstream consumers. However, this remains “a decidedly modest channel in the market”, says the report.

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What customers expect from their favourite retailers

Retailers need to change the way they communicate with customers online or risk alienating them. That’s the conclusion of research conducted by Censuswide for AI-powered customer marketing platform, Ometria.

Three-quarters of people feel most retailers don't understand their interests; the few retailers that are getting this right are setting a high bar for others to follow. Specifically, the report reveals:

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Voracious organic appetite among behemoths

Organic food retailing in the UK could be in line for a shake-up if trends seen elsewhere in Europe continue, an industry commentator has warned.

With thousands of organic food shops, the European retail sector is ripe for consolidation, says Amarjit Sahota, President and Founder of Ecovia Intelligence (formerly Organic Monitor).

“There are many chains of organic and health food shops in Europe, however few have developed a significant presence outside their home markets,” he says. “As the European organic food industry starts to mature, expect to see more such consolidation. The question is whether the retail sector will be controlled by large groups like Carrefour and Amazon or dedicated organic/green enterprises.”

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Overwhelmed, confused and unprepared – menopause survey shows women need your help

The vast majority of women are going into menopause feeling unprepared and fearful of how it will impact their lives, both at home and at work, new research has revealed.

The survey of 1,100 women throughout the UK, conducted by menopause expert Maryon Stewart, has highlighted that 96% felt unprepared for their menopause, while 29% feel overwhelmed or confused and 27% have chosen to journey through menopause naturally but are lacking knowledge.

The research also highlighted that 71% of women are relying on information they get from the internet, while only 12% choose to speak to their doctor and as few as 2% elect to discuss their menopause with a practice nurse as they don’t believe they will receive constructive help.

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Veg Cities are cooking

Veg Cities launched in June following pilots in Cardiff, Birmingham and Brighton & Hove. The Sustainable Food Cities campaign is led by food and farming charity Sustain in partnership with the wider Peas Please initiative of the Food Foundation, Nourish Scotland, Food Cardiff and WWF.

The aim of Veg Cities is to increase the availability and consumption of vegetables. Food partnerships and/or local authorities are working with seven different sectors, from retail and local markets to schools and local authorities. The aim is to encourage cities to take action such as:

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The ‘unstoppable’ market for women’s probiotics

A global report on probiotics for women by Lumina Intelligence lists the UK as one of the world’s most dynamic markets for the product. And it states that Brexit may see the UK shake off the shackles of EU legislation and take a more liberal approach to food health claims.

The report, ‘Women, probiotic supplements and digital immersion’, says the trend for women’s probiotics is “unstoppable” as scientific data builds and is reflected by an ever-increasing number of government-approved health claims in most global markets.

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Is kombucha the new coconut water?

News that Coca-Cola has bought Australian organic kombucha business Organic & Raw Trading Co indicates the rise of the naturally-fermented live culture beverage.

At the same time, a report by Lumina Intelligence on the global kombucha market quotes Statistica figures that show the global market was worth US$1.06 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach just under $2 billion by 2020.

Does this make kombucha the new coconut water? asks Lumina.

Data captured by Lumina Intelligence in 2018 on the kombucha market included 151 brand variants and 76 brand owners across 18 countries. The UK has 11 brand variants, one more than the US which has 10, according to Lumina.

Read the full story here...

Technology trend predictions for 2019

The constantly changing face of retail presents a wealth of opportunities and challenges for retailers. E-commerce sales figures continue to grow, and new technologies are shaking up shopping habits. But how can brands keep up? Katie Woodhead, Head of Business Consulting at ATTRAQT, provides some pointers:

By looking in detail at emerging trends, retailers can adapt to the fast-changing shopping market with agility – transforming risks into potential and turning opportunities into conversions and sales. To help in this process, we’ve selected our top three trends that will be shaping the shopping space over the course of 2019. Great preparation is, after all, the key to future success.

Read the full story here...

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas and Cyber Week: How consumers make shopping decisions

Love it or loathe it, and whether you consider it relevant to the natural health sector or not, Black Friday and its ilk shattered sales records last year.

Criteo, which works with a growing network of over 18,000 brands and retailers across the globe, says it’s imperative to think about how to better connect with shoppers as they move across devices and channels.

In 2017, mobile transactions were lowest (33%) on Cyber Monday (a work day), and desktop usage climbed, according to Criteo’s monitoring systems. This probably represents the work crowd getting to the office and searching for online deals.

Read the full story here...

Why retailers need to be tech-savvy

New research has revealed the impact innovative technology will have on where British consumers shop.

The research among 2,000 British consumers, published by Hitachi Consulting, exposes the attitudes to technology of different generations and incomes – identifying millennials as the group retailers can target to boost sales and grow market share.

Over two-thirds (69%) of respondents aged 24-35 claimed they would be more likely to shop with a retailer that was enhancing the shopping experience with innovative technology. This generation has also proved over the last 10 years that it is the most likely to change its shopping habits, with almost three-quarters (72%) stating their routine differs to a decade ago.

Read the full story here...

Olive oil sales squeezed

Poor harvest conditions continue to provide a challenging backdrop to the olive oil market, according to the latest analysis of value and volume sales across Europe, including the UK.

Data analysts IRI says Europe is showing an average sales volume decline of -4.3% with Spain and Germany showing the biggest drop.

An increase in value sales of 6% year-on-year is explained by higher material costs and price inflation across the region.

Read the full story here...

Consumers warm to healthy snacks

Health is currently driving innovation in the snacking category with 40% of UK shoppers happy to pay a premium for healthy or functional snacks, according to Nielsen.

The analyst’s report ‘Welcome to the Snacking Revolution’ says 41% of UK consumers seek out snacks with less sugar, 39% look for low fat, 41% want snacks for energy and refuelling, 43% are careful about the portion size and 40% expect to pay a health premium.

“The snacking category is currently worth over £18 billion, and growing at 0.3% in value. It’s an enormous category and an integral part of the store that drives basket spend,” says Joanna Parman of Nielsen FMCG and Retail.

Sugar tax hasn't changed habit of a lifetime

The UK sugar tax has had minimal impact on consumer behaviour since its implementation in April this year, according to Nielsen which says 62% of UK shoppers claim to have not changed their consumption behaviour in any way. Only one-fifth are checking sugar content on packages more frequently since the tax came into effect.

Prior to the tax being rolled out, the majority of the UK supported the government-imposed levy, and some even felt it wasn’t strict enough – 54% of respondents supported the tax, and since its implementation, 69% said it should be expanded to confectionery and biscuits.

Whatever next?

Highlighted by recently were several innovations that could give adventurous health stores even more of a quirky edge. Hand crafted Sea Chips salmon skin crisps, currently in Whole Foods and Harrods, caught the eye – the skin is often discarded yet is packed with nutrients. And Tyrell’s has come up with pink crisps combining the good old spud with raspberry and prosecco. Cheers.

Innovation is driving healthier crisps and snacks – Mintel report

The buzz around the health credentials of pulses looks to have made its mark on consumers, with half of savoury snack eaters deeming snacks made with pulses healthier than potato-based ones. This gives scope for manufacturers to explore healthier formulations of snacks, according to Mintel in its report ‘Crisps, Savoury Snacks and Nuts’.

Savoury snacks high in protein would appeal to 28% of UK consumers, says the report. High-protein claims have traditionally been seen in meat snacks, but have in recent years seen wider adoption by roasted beans and peas as well as nuts and seeds. Given the high interest, this is an area with scope for more NPD by suppliers.

Read the full story here...

Consumers want healthier ready meals, more plant-based options

Brits love the convenience of ready meals but more of us are demanding healthier alternatives to meat. That’s the finding of a survey by Eating Better, an alliance of UK organisations with health, environment and resources perspectives.

UK spending on ready meals topped £4.7bn in 2017, making the UK the biggest ready meal market in Europe. Nine out of 10 of us eat ready meals or ready-to-cook products (Mintel).

Read the full story here...

PARENTING: Reducing risk of childhood obesity by 75%

A study based on 40,000 individuals looked at the association between a mother’s lifestyle and the risk of obesity among their children aged between nine and 18.

The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, reported in the BMJ in July, found that mothers who maintain five healthy habits – eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, keeping a healthy body weight, drinking alcohol in moderation and not smoking – may reduce their children’s risk of becoming obese by 75%.

Read the full story here...

PARENTING: Desperate parents need better snacks for toddlers

Stand-up comedian and writer Sam Avery is partnering with baby and toddler food brand Organix to find out what’s hiding in some baby finger foods and toddler snacks. As a parent he’s standing up for his children and saying no to junk.

Research by Opinium for Organix, conducted among 1,000 UK parents of children aged 0-3 years, revealed that 76% were shocked to discover that some baby and toddler snacks contain up to 30 separate ingredients.

Read the full story here...

PARENTING: School holidays means 5x more sugar!

British parents will let their children consume up to FIVE TIMES as much sugar during the summer holidays as they would any other time, according to research. A worrying poll of 1,000 parents with children aged two to 17 found sugar intake will be hugely boosted during the break from school.

Unsurprisingly, ice creams and sugary drinks were named as the biggest culprits, with just one in 10 parents reporting their child eats more vegetable sticks over summer. A quarter of parents say their child eats far more sweets over the summer holidays than they ordinarily would.

Read the full story here...

Emerging cosmetics industry trends – comment by NATRUE

Changing trends in the cosmetic industry impact the natural and organic cosmetic sector. These include areas such as clean beauty, conscious and ethical consumerism including vegan formulations, sustainability of raw materials and their sourcing and packaging.

Exclusively for Better Retailing Magazine, Cecile Zumbiehl of certification marque NATRUE, observes:

“An aspect that links these trends is a crucial change in consumer behaviour: they are always looking for new ‘green’ alternatives. The principle product categories for natural and organic cosmetics continue to be leave-on products such as face and body creams, lip balms, colour cosmetics such as lipsticks, and rinse-off products like shampoos and shower gels. In terms of claims driving new trends, anti-pollution has recently become one to look out for.

Read the full story here...

Beauty and wellbeing findings by the Soil Association

Increased awareness of global issues through online media and exposés has resulted in consumer mistrust. Consumers are putting pressure on many different industries to conduct business responsibly. These are key findings in the Soil Association 2018 Beauty & Wellbeing report.

Accessibility of information, such as Netflix documentaries on health and global issues, has led to heightened awareness of these issues which is changing attitudes.

Initiatives such as the Sustainable Cotton Communique pledge by 35 brands to achieve sustainable cotton by 2025, are on the rise as consumers demand better business practise. Brand transparency continues to perform with prominence in labelling and supply chains.

Read the full story here...

How to spot the sleep-deprived

Talking to imaginary pets, crying because the supermarket sold out of yoghurt and getting in the shower fully clothed are among some of the strangest things people have done when sleep deprived, according to a new poll carried out by BetterYou.

The survey of 358 people from across the UK found that poor quality of sleep was a common problem with over half (53%) claiming they struggled to nod off.

The search for a good night’s sleep is perhaps contributing to the amount of people self-medicating with nearly one in five admitting to turning to sleeping pills or alcohol.

Read the full story here...

New figures on fibre intake and bowel function for women

Harvard Medical School recently reported that women who include plenty of fibre in their diet are a fifth less likely to develop bowel control problems as they age. Women eating more fibre were 18% less likely to have faecal incontinence (inability to control bowel movements) and a third (31%) less likely to have diarrhoea.

The research team investigated the effects of long-term fibre intake among 58,000 women taking part in the renowned Nurses’ Health Study. Those taking part were divided into five groups based on their daily fibre intakes. Those with the highest fibre intakes – 25g daily – had a faecal incontinence risk that was 18% lower than those with the lowest fibre intakes.

Fibre intakes in the UK are concerningly low. Latest data shows that women aged 19 to 64 years are getting just 17.4g daily. This is sufficiently lower than dietary guidelines which recently increased to 30g daily, indicating a large fibre gap.

Read the full story here...

Consumers still struggling with ‘Clean’ label

Stephanie Mattucci, a global food science analyst at Mintel, has grappled with consumer attitudes to the burgeoning trend of ‘clean label’. Clean-related terms such as ‘clean eating’ or ‘clean label’ do not have formal definitions, she says.

It’s generally accepted that clean eating refers to eating whole, natural, unprocessed foods, and avoiding artificial ingredients and highly processed foods. Or in some cases, following diets such as vegan, dairy-free or gluten-free. This aligns with what consumers already consider healthy: natural, freshly made, organic, and preservative-free.

The concept of clean label has been used by the food industry for many years, but clean-related terms have now emerged as part of consumers’ vocabulary as a new way to say ‘healthy’, especially in the US.

Read the full story here...

Kantar sees the fresh produce trend

A Kantar Worldpanel report says that, despite global FMCG growth remaining slow in 2017, retailers and manufacturers that adapt to meet macro-economic changes and shopper needs can still find ways to grow.

“Around the globe, consumers are becoming more health conscious,” says the report called ‘Winning Omnichannel: Finding Growth in Reinvented Retail’.

With people living longer and having more information at their fingertips, there has been heightened demand for FMCG products that promote healthy living or deliver added health benefits.

Read the full story here...

Plan now for Organic September

Organic September encourages people to eat, drink, use and choose organic every September. 2018 is set to be the biggest yet, de-mystifying organic and showing consumers how easy organic food is to introduce to their daily lives.

The main thing to note is that it is completely FREE to join in and all businesses taking part will be given a “toolkit” of materials, both print and digital, to help support their Organic September activity, whether or not they are certified by the Soil Association.

For independents, there’s a free visual merchandising guide to help get the organic message across in the run-up, including a new point-of-sale toolkit, available in June, to help highlight organic products with clear messages for shoppers.

Read the full story here...

Celebrate the success of Wake Up To Organic 2018!

Over 280 independent stores, cafes and farm shops across the country served up over 14,000 free organic mini breakfasts on Wednesday 13 June in the biggest ever annual event to help shoppers make the switch to organic at the start of the day.

With more stores taking part than ever before and every region of the UK covered, the UK woke up to celebrate organic with their local independents who served up lots of tasty treats, showcased local producers and shared what makes them happy about growing, making and selling organic food and drink.

The campaign was supported by a host of organic brands providing samples for stores to use on the day to create lots of tasty treats and many Organic Trade Board members running their own Wake Up events in the office or getting out and about to visit stores and get involved in the action.

Read the full story here...

Anticipated growth in organic personal care

The global organic personal care market size is expected to reach $25.1 billion by 2025, exhibiting a 9.5% compound annual growth rate during the forecast period (Grand View Research Inc).

Growing demand for organic and natural hair care, skincare, and cosmetic products is expected to expand market growth over the projected period, including a rise in demand for vegan products.

Demand for environmentally sustainable products and celebrity promotion of veganism will drive this trend, coupled with changing consumer perception toward organic products and animal welfare. Not to mention demand for chemical-free skin and hair care products.

The researchers also note that enhanced skin tone is another contributing factor as organic beauty products are made to provide skin with a better treatment, by using natural-based ingredients and fragrances that do not cause any harm to skin and body.

How bad is the British diet?

New research by has examined how often Britons indulge in poor eating habits. The online pharmacist commissioned an independent survey among more than 2,000 UK adults and discovered:

  • 38% of people eat a ready meal at least once a week. Men (45%) were far more likely than women (33%) to do this.

  • 27% eat fast food on a weekly basis. The figure jumps to 46% among millennials (18-34 year olds).

Read the full story here...

Sports nutrition protein bars lead growth

Sports protein products accounted for 72% of total UK sports nutrition value sales in 2017, with powder being the dominant format (source: Euromonitor). Hectic consumer lifestyles are generating demand for convenient on-the-go formats within sports nutrition, including bars and ready-to-drink products.

These categories were the fastest-growing in the UK sports nutrition market in 2017, with sales rising by 16% and 14%, respectively, in current value terms.

Collagen conundrum

Animal-sourced collagen in so-called beauty food is bucking the current growth trend of plant-based alternatives, says analytics company GlobalData.

The company’s 2017 consumer survey revealed that 57% of consumers worldwide said that collagen is effective in beauty/grooming products, while 45% preferred food as a format for beauty/grooming.

Is worker health the answer to the ‘productivity puzzle’?

While GDP has recovered since the 2008/9 Recession, productivity has more or less flat-lined. This is one of the highlights in a report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) asking if the economy has recovered 10 years on.

Having shrunk by more than 6% between the first quarter of 2008 and the second quarter of 2009, the UK economy took five years to get back to the size it was before the crisis. The latest data show that the UK economy is now 11% bigger than it was before the Recession, says the report.

A shrinking economy meant many lost their jobs and employers stopped hiring. By the end of 2011, the quarterly unemployment rate reached 8.4%, the highest since 1995.

Read the full story here...

Healthier products are consumers’ priority

European consumers want healthy, nutritious food and they are willing to pay more for it. That’s the headline finding of a trends report by ingredients company Ingredion.

But the same consumers are unhappy with the standard of healthy food and drink available, and are challenging the industry to formulate and manufacture better quality, more nutritious products that also deliver taste and freshness.

The food and drinks industry still needs to earn consumer trust. Not only do they want more information on what their food and drinks contain, but consumers are using technology to closely scrutinise products prior to making buying decisions.

Read the full story here...

Shoppers question what’s natural

Shoppers are becoming suspicious of seeing the word ‘natural’ on product labels, according to a report by Dutch food colouring specialist GNT. The manufacturer says 45% of consumers are suspicious when they see claims of naturalness on product labels.

A research company commissioned by GNT asked more than 5,000 consumers about natural claims on labels and discovered that consumers pay closer attention than ever to what they eat and drink every day. Checking for unwanted ingredients has become routine.

Read the full story here...

Food flavours for balance and harmony

Market intelligence agency Mintel has identified major flavour trends that will influence the products on health store shelves.

Middle Eastern cuisine has become an inspiration for fusion flavours, while ‘less sweet’ desserts featuring ingredients such as olive oil and vinegar are gaining popularity in the US, and functional ingredients are adding colour and flavour to food and drinks in western markets.

Meanwhile, Mintel predicts spice blends, sauces and condiments will introduce diners to emerging international cuisines, while new spin on seasonings and preparation methods will bring meaty flavours to both meat and vegetables alike.

Read the full story here...

Delay in coeliac disease diagnosis risks neurological damage

Coeliac UK, the largest independent charity for people who need to live gluten-free, says that delayed diagnosis of coeliac disease is creating a growing health problem across the UK with undiagnosed patients at risk of suffering with complications of the disease including irreversible neurological damage.

In its 50th anniversary year, the charity is urging health professionals and the general public to take coeliac disease seriously. During its Awareness Week activities (14 - 20 May 2018) Coeliac UK was highlighting the symptoms and emerging evidence relating to previously unknown complications of the autoimmune disease.

Chief executive Sarah Sleet says that even though awareness of coeliac disease has grown, there still exists a perception that the disease is not that serious because it requires a gluten-free diet as its medical treatment.

Read the full story here...

Serious about plastics waste

A group of 60 manufacturers, retailers and trade associations aims to withdraw single-use plastic packaging by 2025 through better design, and make 100% of plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable.

But a firm that specialises in making pallets from recycled plastic warns that consumers need to be assured that their recycling is beneficial.

If plastic is recycled as single-use packaging it merely runs a second risk of going to landfill or into the oceans, whereas re-use as a long-term product negates this risk.

Read the full story here...

Digestive health tops the nutraceutical agenda

The importance of a healthy gut has risen to the top of the nutraceutical industry’s agenda for the first time, a new survey shows.

Speaking ahead of Vitafoods Europe (May 15-17, Palexpo, Geneva), experts have attributed the findings to growing consumer awareness of the importance of healthy gut microbiota and the potential of probiotics.

The organisers of Vitafoods asked 220 nutraceutical industry professionals to choose the three most important health benefit areas for their companies. Nearly a quarter (23%) named digestive health, with the same number identifying general wellbeing and healthy ageing. Another 22% named cardiovascular health, while 21% said immunity was a key area.

Read the full story here...

Food companies ‘need to create a protein buzz’

Insects are a healthy and highly nutritious food source with high protein, fibre, vitamin and mineral content, but too few consumers are aware of the benefits.

That’s the conclusion of Globaldata’s Consumer Associate Analyst Matthew Perry, who points out that cricket flour has twice as much protein as beef, and twice as much iron as spinach.

But 38% of consumers surveyed by Glabaldata are unaware of the ingredient. Perry says insects are also greener and more sustainable alternatives to traditional animal protein sources such as beef, pork and poultry given that they emit fewer greenhouse gasses and require less water and feed to produce.

Read the full story here...

What’s the true cost of crime?

Reported retail crime in the UK stands at £700m. It’s estimated that this costs 1.2% of turnover on average. Add to that 160,000 incidents of violence or abuse against staff and we’d all agree that something has to be done.

A company called Facewatch was at the National Association of Health Stores’ informative lunchtime event at Natural & Organic Products Europe in April to offer a solution.

The Met’s deputy assistant commissioner Mark Simmons has said that his officers won’t bother with looking into crime where the value of damage or item stolen is under £50. Will the police attend a shoplifting report? Probably not, said Nottinghamshire’s Police & Crime Commissioner, Paddy Tipping.

Facewatch chairman Simon Gordon explained his system of real time alerts using facial recognition technology which issues alerts either to a shop or a collective of co-operating high street businesses.

Whether the cost of such a programme is worth it depends on the problems your store is facing.

Can health stores help with migraine?

Migraines affect a whopping 14% of the population – that’s 6m people and new research shows that you may have part of the solution on your shelves.

More than 190,000 migraine attacks every day in the UK are more common in women and are the leading cause of disability among all neurological disorders. Twenty-five million work and school days are lost every year. The financial burden on the UK economy is conservatively estimated at around £3.5bn.

And half of sufferers are unhappy with their current treatment.

A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study using Bio-Kult probiotics in the intervention group has shown a dramatic reduction in the mean frequency of headaches – in chronic migraine by almost half with no change in the placebo group, and a similar result in episodic migraine.

Asthma study may reveal CBD hope

Recent publicity about the true dangers of asthma has highlighted the heavy burden of the common inflammatory disease in adults and children. The number of asthma cases doubled between 1990 and 2015.

According to Asthma UK, 5.4m people receive treatment for the condition, 1.1m of them children – and the UK has one of the highest rates in Europe.

Cannabis biotech company CIITECH was at Natural & Organic Products Europe in April to promote the collaborative work of Prof. Raphael Mechoulam, discoverer of the endocannabidinoid system, and Prof. Francesca Levi-Schaffer, a global expert in asthma research.

The Hebrew University scientists are working towards identifying a possible inhibitory effect of a derivative of cannabidiol (CBD) on allergic airway inflammation. This is expected to reveal significant advances especially for those who are steroid-resistant.

Keep it simple, say Millennials

Health and wellness Millennials are young adults aged between 18 and 35 who aspire to living a healthy life. But they struggle to achieve this because they face so many daily pressures in an increasingly complex world.

According to a summary of consumer trends research by Nature’s Bounty, presented at Natural & Organic Products Europe 2018, these people are looking for a trusted, credible brand with simple solutions offering effective, easy-to-use products.

Read the full story here...

GDPR deadline looms – help for small stores

Many companies are behind schedule to achieve Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance by the looming May 25 deadline. Around 40% of companies only expect to achieve compliance with the regulation after the deadline.

That’s the finding of a major survey sponsored by international law firm McDermott Will & Emery and carried out by the Ponemon Institute.

Read the full story here...

12% of Brits follow meat-free diet – The Grocer

Research carried out for The Grocer magazine indicates that 12% of the UK population follows a meat-free diet. Young people continue to drive the trend, according to the Harris Interactive research among 2,000 consumers.

The figures show that 7.8m people have given up meat, with 3.9m identifying as vegetarian, a three-fold rise since 2012. Interestingly, 25% of those surveyed said they were thinking of giving up meat in the next year.

Animal welfare concerns and the ethics of the meat industry were cited as key factors, as well as dietary considerations.

The full report is available here (subscription required).

The majority of US consumers prefer the term 'plant-based' to 'vegan', according to a US-wide survey by food development specialist Mattson. Many consumers see veganism as associated with animal rights and environmental activism, while they see 'plant-based' as a positive dietary option.

Visitors form a queue to meet Dr Rangan Chatterjee on the Viridian stand at Natural & Organic Products Europe.

How health stores and the NHS can work together

Viridian is spearheading a drive to link the work of UK health food stores with NHS services.

Following the recent Jack Noah Memorial Lecture at the Health Food Institute by Dr Rupy Aujla and the visit of TV personality Dr Rangan Chatterjee to Natural & Organic Products Europe, Viridian MD Cheryl Thallon is calling for a joint mission to promote “lifestyle medicine”.

“I envisage a training event where Drs Chatterjee and Aujla pool their expertise and create a set of approved protocols that health food stores can sign up to, giving all GPs the confidence to send their patients for a dose of lifestyle medicine for 90 days, prior to a further visit to the GP to reassess,” says Thallon.

She will reveal full details in an article in the Summer issue of Better Retailing Magazine.

Meanwhile, you can view her interview with Dr Chatterjee and Patrick Holford here.

It’s getting healthier, say analysts

More people are buying vegetarian, free-from and organic food as the healthy eating trend gathers pace.

That’s the view of big data and technology expert IRI which has surveyed European shoppers.

People are paying more attention to their health as the healthy eating trend gathers pace, according to IRI. More than two thirds (72%) of shoppers in the UK are buying healthy food – with less salt, sugar, fat or calories.

Read the full story here...

View from the High Street – how owners see their future

A poll of 300 high street independents reveals that almost half expect good times ahead. The survey by Liberis, which provides alternatives to business credit cards, has revealed 46% of SME owners with a physical location view their future on the high street as “booming”.

Health and beauty retailers were among the top three sectors that plan to add online shopping to their bricks and mortar stores, the other two being restaurants and fashion outlets.

Read the full story here...

UK to see growing demand for natural and local beauty products

Sales of certified organic and natural beauty products in the UK reached £75.9m last year, according to the Soil Association Organic Market Report 2018. And a second report by a major analytics firm says 50% of beauty shoppers want the ingredients to be natural.

The Soil Association report reveals an increase of 24% and the seventh year of consecutive growth for the UK certified organic and natural cosmetics market.

And according to Mintel’s Beauty & Personal Care Trends Report 2018, half of UK consumers who buy beauty products are looking for natural ingredients.

Read the full story here...

Independents shine in organic success

Encouraging figures emerge from the Soil Association 2018 Organic Market Report, which shows UK independent retailers leading the way in new sales. Year-on-year growth of +9.7% saw independent retailers organic sales reach £359.3m in 2017 compared with 2016. That’s 16.3% of the market compared with supermarkets at 67%.

Only food service businesses did better with +10.2% growth for last year, with home delivery on +9.5% and supermarkets +4.2%.

The biggest surge came in the chilled and deli sector with +21.3% followed by beers, wines and spirits at +8.2%. Frozen was up 6.7% and fresh produce 6.5%.

However, bakery declined -10.3% and babyfood and drink -2.3%.

Read the full story here...

Plastic packaging – small steps in a big problem

Consumers awakening to the problem of plastic packaging, especially its effect on our oceans, is an issue brands are going to have to grapple with. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation estimates that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the sea than fish.

Shocking forecasts like that ought to inspire the packaging industry to go beyond token gestures – Mintel’s Packaging Trends Report 2018 applauds companies such as Ecover which uses plastic recycled from the sea, “but it won’t solve the problem”.

“Using plastic recovered from the sea to create new packaging has been used by ‘eco’ brands such as US-based method and Belgium-based Ecover to draw attention to the issue,” says the report.

Read the full story here...

Europe’s probiotic sales held back

Europe’s fixation with its anti-probiotic health claim stance has held back this obvious opportunity for UK health stores. While probiotic sales have rocketed in the USA by a staggering 138%, the European Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation (NHCR) has caused uncertainty with its refusal to allow health claims applications.

Statistics research company Euromonitor believes this has cost the European probiotics sector more than €1bn in sales between 2009 (when NHCR was introduced) and 2017.

Peter Nählstedt, Europe President of the International Probiotic Association, is quoted by William Reed’s as saying: “The overly stringent scientific requirements for probiotics and the de facto prohibition to use the term ‘probiotic’ resulting from the NHCR interpretation by the European Commission is depriving the EU of innovation and investment in research in a promising sector that is growing everywhere outside Europe.”

Meanwhile, global research continues to show the benefits of probiotics for everything from digestive health to mental wellbeing and weight loss.

Plant-based yoghurt will trend this year

Dairy-free yoghurt, especially beyond soy, is the next disruptor in the plant-based boom, according to The Yogurt Market and Yogurt Innovation, 3rd Edition by (US market data).

“To an even greater degree than Greek yogurt in its pure, plain incarnation, dairy-free yogurt chips away at the premise that yogurt is at heart a good-for-you product category,” says the report.

“Non-dairy yogurt takes probiotics and high protein, both hot nutritional trends, and transfers these trump cards to the plant-based product trend’s bag of tricks.”

Just as in the UK, Packagedfacts notes that younger and trendier Americans are switching lanes from “leaning more vegetarian” to “leaning more veganish” and thereby cutting back on or foregoing dairy.

Use of the term “yoghurt alternatives”, now becoming mainstream, will complicate any dairy industry efforts to ban the use of “yoghurt” for dairy-free products in the way it has tried to enforce regulatory restrictions against the use of “milk” for plant-based milk alternatives such as almond, coconut or cashew.

More on the Packaged Facts report on yoghurt.

One in 12 parents are raising their children vegan

Eight percent of UK parents are bringing up their children as vegans, new research shows. Half of these parents confessed that their children had expressed a desire to eat meat or animal products before, with the majority stating that ‘health benefits’ associated with the vegan diet was the driving force behind their decision.

The team behind carried out the study for Veganuary following an increase in the number of searches on-site for discounts relating to vegan and vegetarian products.

According to the study of 2,177 parents of children aged 0-12 in the UK, 13% of parents have vegetarian children with the majority of these being raised vegetarian, rather than eating a meat-free diet through personal choice.

Read the full story here...

Stress factors – it’s a youth problem

A whopping 85% of Brits suffer from anxiety or stress at least sometimes, with three in 10 (29%) suffering at least three times a week and 15% every day. But it is the young who are experiencing the highest levels of anxiety and stress – 25% of 16-24-year-olds feel anxious or stressed every day.

Meanwhile, it seems that age brings an element of calmness, as just 9% of over-55s say they feel anxious and stressed on a daily basis and a quarter (25%) experience no stress whatsoever.

These are the findings in Mintel’s stress report with Richard Caines, the company’s Senior Food & Drink Analyst, noting: “High incidence of anxiety and stress and not finding enough time to relax suggest untapped space for brands to promote ways of relaxing. These can include products such as mindfulness apps, teas, bath and shower products, as well as adult colouring books.”

Some of these apply to independent health food retailing though colouring books might remain peripheral.

The report adds: “Just over half (51%) of the population describe their general health as somewhat or very healthy for a person of their age, while just 15% of Brits believe that they are somewhat or very unhealthy for their age. Getting enough sleep (69%), eating a healthy diet (68%) and regularly exercising (65%) are ranked as the top three habits for staying healthy.”

Mintel's Managing Healthy Lifestyles UK 2017 report is available to purchase priced £2195.

Genetic testing to help women lose weight?

Almost 60% of UK women who have tried to diet say they are yet to find a successful way to manage their weight, despite over a third admitting to having tried four or more different diets. Research by LloydsPharmacy discovered that over a third say it doesn’t matter what they do they can’t lose weight, while one in three say that diets may work initially but they put the weight back on.

And one in seven say that every diet they have ever tried has failed.

The research revealed that diet failures are leaving a quarter of British women feeling like they have no control over their weight, while a further 20% say they are at the end of their tether.

LloydsPharmacy Pharmacist Anshu Bhimbat commented: “In their attempts to lose weight many are often following fad diets and 59% have admitted to giving up a particular food group without consulting a dietitian.

“It can often be hard to know what approach is best as it can vary so much between individuals. Decoding our genes aims to demystify that by helping people understand how their genetics impacts their weight, therefore allowing them to make choices based on their individual body type.”

Genetic testing for weight management is a relatively new concept which until now hasn’t been as widely available or as affordable. LloydsPharmacy’s ‘myDNA’ uses a simple cheek swab to analyses genes known to influence body size and weight, our ability to maintain and lose weight, the way the body stores and processes dietary fats and the risk of elevated triglycerides and cholesterol levels. This helps to tailor a personalised diet plan.

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Healthy means natural says GlobalData

Today’s wellness revolution is developing rapidly and positioning products as ‘healthy’ is no longer enough for discerning customers. In order to effectively resonate with consumers through health claims, firmly identifying what this term actually means to them will be essential, according to data and analytics company GlobalData.

According to GlobalData’s primary consumer research, when asked what consumers believed healthy to mean, the factor which most resonated with consumers globally was ‘natural’, highlighting the popularity of unprocessed whole ingredients as a route to better health and the continued impact this claim has among a global audience.

Jamie Mills, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “This is further strengthened by ‘fresh/raw’ which also ranked within the top five claims resonating with consumers. Positive claims such as these fit in with consumer desire to achieve optimum health through their lifestyle and are particularly evident as balanced nutrition was ranked the second most ‘healthful’ claim.”

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Some old wives’ tales and (possibly) some smart remedies

Is turmeric a cure for baldness?

Does sleeping in socks filled with onions shake off a cold?

Well there have been some bizarre health remedies down the years but we are grateful to an online pharmacy website for clearing up a few old wives’ tales. surveyed more than 2,000 UK adults to reveal the common, obscure and downright strange health remedies people put their faith in:

  • 56% of UK adults – 29 million people – have gargled salty water to get rid of a sore throat, and 68% of those believe it works (it might!).

  • The other most common health tricks people rely on are: sweating out a cold (47%); having a nightcap to help them sleep (44%); and “hair of the dog” (36%).

  • A third of people (32% or 16.6 million) admit to eating carrots to improve their eyesight, but just 25% of those actually think it helps.

  • Some of the more bizarre health remedies people try include: applying butter to burnt skin (19%); sleeping in socks filled with onions to shake off a cold (8%); and rubbing turmeric on their scalp to combat baldness (7% of men).

See the research results and the pharmacy’s opinions in this table and send your opinions – and your obscure remedy ideas – on Facebook or Twitter.