FrieslandCampina predicts nutrition trends for 2024

FrieslandCampina Ingredients, a protein and prebiotics company, has released its fourth annual magazine detailing five key trends that will drive the evolution of the food, drink and supplement industries in 2024. Nutritional Trends 2024, offers insights on the latest consumer research and market trends to help brands unlock new areas for innovation and new product development (NPD) in adult nutrition.

There’s no doubt that it has been another tumultuous year on the world stage – and consumers are feeling the burden. But people are taking positive action, turning to nutrition as a source of comfort and control – opening up a wealth of opportunities for brands to empower consumers to make healthier decisions in challenging times.  

The five key trends shaping consumer habits in the specialised adult nutrition sector are: 

  1. Securing the future, sustainably. In 2024, the nutrition landscape is shaped by a growing demand for sustainability – 48% of consumers have made changes to their diets and lifestyles in the last 12 months to behave in a more sustainable manner, according to FMCG Gurus research. But scepticism looms – 47% of consumers doubt brands’ environmental claims and 49% fear greenwashing, Euromonitor notes. With so many nuances and potential pitfalls, manufacturers need to do everything they can to ensure the sustainability claims they make are backed up by robust, tangible data to ensure long-term business success.
  2. Nutrition for all. Our nutritional needs are shaped by our age, sex, genetics, lifestyle and so much more. In 2024, consumers will increasingly understand their unique nutritional needs – and seek tailored solutions to meet them. With 25% of global consumers saying there is a lack of available products that meet their nutritional requirements, according to FMCG Gurus, there’s huge opportunity for brands to develop tailored nutritional applications that meet consumers’ specific, and currently unmet, needs.
  3. Alt proteins go global. Plant-based is no longer the new kid on the block. In 2024, more and more consumers are seeking out meat and dairy alternatives as part of their increasingly flexitarian diets, FMCG notes. It’s a promising avenue for innovation, but plant-based products need to be as good as their dairy counterparts, both in taste and nutritional quality. Alternative proteins, like those created through precision fermentation, also have the potential to shake up the market, but there is work to be done to dispel myths and inform consumers.
  4. Going beyond via the gut. By now, the links between physical and mental health are undeniable in the minds of most consumers. Not only do 41% define good mental well-being as feeling active and energetic, analysts Mintel state, a whopping 80% of consumers say they work out to support their emotional health. Today’s consumers increasingly recognise how the gut affects more than just digestion; it’s a prime area for improving immune, brain and muscle health. Brands can capitalise on this by taking a holistic, full mind and body approach to their gut health solutions.
  5. Ageing and recovering well. In 2024, people are taking a more proactive approach to their health, and this statement rings especially true for older populations, who are increasingly looking to age healthily to keep doing what they love for longer. Older consumers are focusing on how their diets can provide them with the support they need to live healthier and be active for longer. But nutrition isn’t always proactive and sometimes, we need high-quality nutrients, like protein, to support muscle maintenance and help us recover from illness. Recent innovations in medical nutrition are leveraging muscle-boosting ingredients typically associated with sports and active nutrition, to support those who need it the most.

“Our world is an uncertain one right now – but amid the confusion, consumers are increasingly looking to manage something they can control: their nutrition,” says Vicky Davies, global marketing director, performance, active and medical nutrition. “People are taking positive action on what matters most to them, whether that’s the environmental impact of their food and nutrition choices, getting a better night’s sleep or setting a new personal best at the gym. There is so much opportunity to provide consumers with the nutrition they need to live as well as possible.” 

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