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What’s hot in 2012? African Mango, organic supplements and brain food, says SPINS

By Elaine Watson, 13-Jan-2012

Related topics: Fruit, vegetable, nut ingredients, Health and nutritional ingredients, Food labeling and marketing, Trendspotter, Markets

African Mango, probiotics, chia, fermented drinks, organic supplements and cognitive health will be top of the health food pops this year, according to TrendWatch 2012, a new report from natural products specialist SPINS.

SPINS, which is best-known for providing sales data in the natural products market, says the thirst for probiotics is likely to continue unabated in 2012:

Probiotic supplement launches doubled in 2011 compared to 2010. Consumers are becoming more aware of probiotics and their benefits.

“With the high incidence of digestive disorders and digestive complaints in the population, the marketing of foods that contain probiotics, and the increased interest of functional foods, we are likely to see the continued success of foods, beverages and supplements that contain probiotics in 2012.”

The rise and rise of organic supplements

Organic supplements are also predicted to grow in popularity, predicts SPINS.

“In 2011 we saw over 800 new item launches in organic supplements whereas in 2009 and 2010 the number was closer to 500… organic supplements are growing at two to three times the rate of non-organic supplements, depending on the channel.”

Brain food

As for health conditions targeted by supplement makers, cognitive health was likely to gain momentum in 2012 as consumers sought new ways to stay focused and alert or looked for products claiming to address memory loss, says the report.

“Many consumers are simply looking to maintain their current state of cognitive health as well as prevent or slow down further decline.”

Raw and Cultured Foods

In the health food aisle, meanwhile, expect to see more raw and cultured foods, says SPINS. “Examples include raw condiments like ketchup, fermented unpasteurized sodas and kvass beverages.

“Meanwhile, cultured raw condiments like kimchee/kimchi and sauerkraut are becoming more mainstream. Factors believed to be influencing fermented/cultured products’ popularity include the consumer’s desire for digestive balance and immune system support.”

Chia, kale chips and seaweed snacks

But which ingredients will light our fires this year?

Look out for protein-fiber- and omega-3-rich chia; quinoa –which “appears to be crossing over now into the mainstream and specialty channels”; garbanzo beans; kale chips; seaweed snacks; vitamin E-rich argan oil; fruit stem cells: and more dairy alternatives (almond, coconut, hemp, sunflower seed), says SPINS.

African Mango: Rising star

On the superfruit front, the African Mango remains flavor of the month, it claims. “In 2010 Dr. Oz featured African Mango on his show and touted its weight loss and cholesterol lowering abilities. Since then, it has been highlighted in various popular magazines and sales have skyrocketed.

“This ingredient is set apart from many other natural weight loss products in that scientific research supports the claims regarding its use. African Mango has been shown to be effective in reducing body weight in three separate clinical studies. The weight loss category is booming at the moment and African Mango is its rising star.”

As for broader trends, we can expect more non-GMO labeling, more vegan options, energy shots, and ‘local’ and ‘artisan’ food, says SPINS.