FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK: Separating fads from trends –

This push for new products is of course common to other industries as well.  And also true of those other categories of consumer goods is the danger that it’s just newness for the sake of newness.  How often is “New and Improved!” just a doily on a label?

In an earnings call a while back, the then CEO of one of the publicly traded major retailers in the supplements space famously said something along the lines of “Everyone knows this is a churn business.”  Within that welter of new product development, which trends are actually moving the industry in a direction of more health for more people?

NutraIngredients-USA attended the Expo West trade show earlier this month where all of the latest trends were on display. Among the big trends we saw​ was a huge number of products containing CBDs, tons of collagen, lots of ‘keto friendly’ items, an upswing in products promising cognitive benefits and more.

So what separates a fad from a trend?  Fads are flashes in the pan—think green coffee bean or raspberry keytones here—that in retrospect had little underpinning in scientific evidence.  Trends are harder to spot at the beginning, but over time make a mark in the market.  This is usually because they have a solid underpinning in the research to which marketers can point to and which gradually takes hold with consumers.

When does a marketing message hold water?

Among the trends that hold both promise and warning are the plethora of new RTD beverages.  Pretty much every one of these products claims to be a game changer. I had a publicist working with a new beverage brand try to sell me on the product which was billed as a breakthrough.  Chief among its attributes is the packaging choice—an aluminum can instead of a plastic bottle—that the founders believe matches up better with current sustainability trends and the concerns about micro plastics in the oceans. So far so good.