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Taste solutions fit for any lifestyle

Lifestyle nutrition is a major trend that has moved beyond niche health and wellness audiences like athletes and bodybuilders to attract a growing number of people in the mainstream consumer market. In just the last few years, we have seen the significant rise in consumers adopting specialized eating habits like keto, paleo, and vegan diets.

An adjacent emerging trend is the growth of functional nutrition products formulated to help people reach specific health and fitness goals. A recent survey from Technomic shows that beverages and food formats that support consumer convenience – at home and on the go – and help them achieve their nutritional goals are performing exceptionally well.

Indulgent, specialized diet-friendly products, meal replacement beverages for vegan diets, and snacks that support immunity are a few examples of how enterprising brands can develop targeted wellness products that emphasize convenience. Products with the right balance of nutrition, convenience, and taste not only are on trend but also fill a gap in the market where new opportunities have opened up. Read on to learn more about these lifestyle nutrition trends and how you can leverage Virginia Dare in your development process.

Formulating Foods for Keto

One challenge many consumers face when adopting the keto diet is navigating the restrictions on which foods can be eaten and which to avoid – a particular concern with convenience foods and snacks. And because some nutritional deficiencies are inherent in elimination diets, issues such as electrolyte imbalance are common with carbohydrate-restricted diets like the keto diet.

Brands can appeal to the growing segment of consumers who choose keto and other specialized diets by creating applications in easy grab-and-go formats and that help simplify eating within the nutritional guidelines. In 2019 there has been a surge in the number of new products formulated for keto dietary needs, and there is an abundance of growth opportunities as the trend continues to grow.

Food scientists and developers are challenged by flavor modulation and mouthfeel management in low and no carbohydrate applications. Blending alternative flour types for bakery applications can cause changes in texture, and it is a challenge to add sweetness without added sugars in foods that traditionally call for sugar.

Whether it is reformulating to replace ingredients in an existing product or developing a new product from scratch, our team of food scientists and expert flavorists works closely with you to deliver preferred taste. 

Formulating with Plant-Based Ingredients

The movement toward a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle is perhaps best exemplified in the massive plant-based food trend impacting every corner of the food and beverage industry.

An ingredient trend illustrating the growth in plant-based foods and lifestyles is the growing pea protein market, which is expected to cross $150.0 million by 2025. Protein in general is an extremely popular ingredient, leading to its use in unexpected applications like waffle mixes or coffee creamer.

While plant-based proteins present flavor and sensory challenges, flavor modulation has played a large role in building popularity with and acceptance by the average consumer. Increased palatability of plant-based proteins opens up opportunities for brands to reach the growing market demanding plant-based foods and beverages for both health and sustainability reasons.

Meal replacement drinks are a popular convenience trend that complement the increasingly hectic lifestyle of many consumers. Targeting these applications to specific niches in the lifestyle nutrition market presents exciting opportunities for further growth as the plant-based nutrition trend continues to surge.

Formulating for Function and Flavor

As boomers age and younger generations start proactively managing their health and aging, targeted nutrition products that place an emphasis on food as medicine are increasing in popularity.

Often derived from natural food sources or plants, functional ingredients frequently present flavor challenges. For example, the addition of omegas boosts brain health and is especially important in helping consumers with specialized diets balance their nutritional intake. However, omegas can leave a fishy aftertaste, making flavor modulation especially important for brands who want to create great-tasting solutions.

Borrowing from centuries-old medicinal practices such as Ayurveda and Chinese Traditional medicine, many consumers are seeking out foods that contain adaptogen herbal ingredients that play functional roles in prevention and healing. Ingredients such as turmeric, ginger, and mushrooms are thought to have functional uses, such as fighting stress and inflammation, while fortification of foods with vitamins and minerals to benefit bone, joint, immune, and brain health is also gaining interest and popularity.

Looking Forward

While specialized diets, plant-based foods, and functional applications are popular emerging trends, there are some other trends to watch. Personalized nutrition, in particular, is an emerging segment of the lifestyle nutrition market.

Virginia Dare is committed to staying ahead of lifestyle nutrition trends and delivering preferred taste. Contact us to learn how our expert flavorists and food scientists can help you develop delicious, on-trend applications, and visit us at SupplySide West booth 2859 to taste our lifestyle nutrition samples, which include keto brownies, vegan meal replacement drinks, and immune support cookies.