Alternative and functional pain management gathers steam

Alternative and functional pain management gathers steam

The times, they are a changin’: the percentage of consumers who prefer “alternative medicine” to standard medical practice has risen from 17% over the past 10 years, a 37% jump. The trend extends deeply into the realm of pain management, which continues down an inclusive path that suggests success for alternative therapy professionals.


Treating sleep disturbances: let me count the ways

Treating sleep disturbances: let me count the ways

If you have pain, take a pain reliever; if you can’t sleep, take sleep medication. Right? Wrong. Packaged Facts’ survey analysis suggests that sleep disturbance sufferers are much less likely than pain sufferers to take either OTC or prescription drugs to treat their condition. And yet OTC and prescription sleep remedies do the job: disturbance sufferers who take medication to treat their condition report high rates of relief.


Nutritional supplement marketers must mind the celebrity gap

Nutritional supplement marketers must mind the celebrity gap

There is a huge gap in how men and women respond to endorsements of nutritional supplements from famous people. I discuss this gap and what it means for how supplement marketers can most effectively advertise to each gender in Packaged Facts’ report, "Nutritional Supplements in the U.S., 7th Edition". However, I thought I would break down those results a little more in this blog since the results are so fascinating.


A case of “natural” survival in the frozen food aisle

A case of “natural” survival in the frozen food aisle

The last few years have not been kind to frozen foods. Overall sales have for the most part been flat or shrinking. Any increases have been minimal and short-lived. The recent damage to this once essential grocery segment can largely be traced to a growing consumer taste for fresh, natural, and organic foods.

Like most food trends, the strength of this trend may be overstated but it is real and it is growing as can be seen from the double-digit sales increases for organic foods reported by the...


Why functional ingredients are among key food trends for 2015

Why functional ingredients are among key food trends for 2015

Today’s consumers want and expect more than great taste and belly-filling from the foods and beverages they consume. Ninety percent of Americans believe that certain foods offer health benefits beyond basic nutrition, according to research published in Packaged Facts’ Functional Foods: Key Trends & Developments in Ingredients. Baby Boomers and Millennials are looking for products offering positive nutrition to help them optimize health and avoid chronic and, potentially, life-threatening illness...


The science and religion of nutritional supplements

The science and religion of nutritional supplements

Discussion of the merits of nutritional supplements can be tricky, in the same way topics such as politics and religion are sometimes best avoided. That’s because you have two very polarized types of people when it comes to supplements: the “true believers” who believe that the supplements they take help to keep them healthy, and may have personally experienced positive results from taking specific supplements, and the “unfaithful,” who may point to studies that prove (to them) that vitamins and...


Concern over added sugars reshapes the sugar and sweetener market

Concern over added sugars reshapes the sugar and sweetener market

Our love-hate relationship with sugar and sweeteners is intensifying as concern about added sugars mounts and negative consumer sentiment related to zero calorie sweeteners is slow to wane. Sugar, especially white granulated sugar, is being compared to tobacco and cigarettes in terms of the serious danger it poses to health, even being called toxic by some public health advocates. Sugar is considered a culprit when it comes to obesity, rising rates of diabetes and, more recently, it is implicate...


Goodbye to trans fats

Goodbye to trans fats

As expected, the FDA is (at a very measured pace) closing the door on trans fats. Our understanding of the role of fats and oils in the diet has advanced considerably since the simplistic 1980s and 1990s focus on reducing dietary fats altogether (Nabisco’s Snackswells brand is usually cited in this context). That made sense to a degree because fats are higher-calorie than protein or carbs, and because saturated and especially trans fats aren’t healthy.

But that doesn’t mean that anyone ever go...


Sports drinks are from Mars, nutrition bars are from Venus

Sports drinks are from Mars, nutrition bars are from Venus

The market for sports nutritionals-which includes sports drinks and nutrition bars as well as product categories such as protein and weight gain powders, and pre- and post-workout supplements and energy gels-has experienced encouraging growth in recent years. Factors contributing to future growth in the sports drink and nutrition bar categories include a rapid increase in the number of dedicated fitness enthusiasts and the bullish growth plans of specialized retailers of sports nutritionals, whi...


A final rule from the FDA on gluten-free

A final rule from the FDA on gluten-free

The FDA’s ruling on the use of “gluten-free” labeling is a triumph for consumers who suffer from Celiac disease, wheat allergies, or other grain-based food intolerances. When the regulation goes into effect a year from now, consumers who follow a gluten-free lifestyle out of necessity or choice will be able to shop for groceries with more confidence. The FDA’s final rule is setting a gluten limit of less than 20 ppm (parts per million) in foods that carry this label. The FDA explains that is the...