Vitafoods 2023 Highlights: The Active Consumer

By Olivia Haslam

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags vitafoods active nutrition Sports nutrition gaming functional beverage Sports nutrition products Protein Snack Gummies

Companies at Vitafoods 2023 saw active consumers as a key target demographic, with exhibitors presenting innovative concepts targeting a wide range of consumers leading active lifestyles.

Niahm Hunt, marketing manager for Kerry Taste and Nutrition, presented four gummy concepts as part of the firm's ‘proactive health portfolio’, consisting of functional, science-backed ingredients, spanning across different interest areas: immune and joint health; cognitive health; digestive health; and woman and infants health.

Hunt explained: “Gummies have exploded in the market over the last few years, they’re not just for children, they’re for adults, and we all love the experience.
“We, at Kerry, think it’s a great way to get functional ingredients in a convenient and tasty way.”

Mathias Toft Vangsøe, H&P Nutrition development manager at Arla Foods Ingredients, presented the Lacprodan EasyBar, a multi-layer chocolate protein bar which utilise different protein sources in the coating, filling, and bar mass, the purpose of which is to relieve the texture challenges that come with trying to fit all the protein into one element of the bar.

He said: “There’s a real trend for protein bars to behave increasingly like a snack bar, but with the same, the same level of nutrition, and that requires innovation like this.”

Tony Gay, technical sales director at Prinova, showcased the firm's jellybean-flavoured hydration drink concept, aimed at broadening younger active consumers' horizons when it comes to hydration supplements.

Gay explained: “We’re focusing on a younger demographic, and not just the sports nutrition demographic, but all consumers interested in health and wellness.
“Concepts which are going to be hydration based are becoming more and more mainstream.”

Rébecca Louis, head of communication at Givaudan Europe, spoke to NutraIngredients about the importance of appealing to different active lifestyles.

She drew attention to Gamers as a main demographic for product innovation, stating: “There is a great opportunity with them [e-Gamers] to innovate and bring new functional food supplements into the market.”

She also noted that industry perception is appropriately evolving alongside gaming popularity, explaining that consumers are looking to keep attention and focus and sustain energy, as well as staying fit and healthy.

And Chris Whiting, nutrition and savoury category manager at Synergy flavours, affirmed that gamers and e-sports players are an area of interest.

He said: “Historically, this demographic might have been eating or drinking quite unhealthy products, which is something we [at Synergy] are aiming to help rectify... It’s an area which is exciting to be innovating around.”

Synergy presented its new energy drink with additional functional ingredients, flavoured with salted Japanese plum inspired by Synergy’s ‘flavours of the future’ project.

And for those looking to maintain active lifestyles, Lonza’s protein-based UC-II portfolio was presented by Joris Dewit, executive director, who explained their focus was promoting mobility, joint comfort, and flexibility.

Their catalogue included gummies in the form of joint collagen combined with vitamin C, and a full spectrum collagen, with the USP of small dose requirements. 

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