KeHE Predicts Nootropics, Microbiome Health and More for 2020

KeHE Predicts Nootropics, Microbiome Health and More for 2020
Innovation in natural and specialty pet food is one of KeHE's five industry trends to watch in 2020

KeHE Distributors has tapped its "Product Innovation Gurus" to name the top five industry trends to watch in 2020. These range from category trends to exciting new products and include:

1. Nootropics

As functional ingredients gain traction, brands in the food, beverage, beauty and supplement industries are turning to a new way to improve mental health and wellness with nootropics. They're a class of substances that can boost brain performance by improving cognition, learning ability perception and memory. 

Common nootropics include caffeine and creatine, but those to keep an eye out for include L-theanine, Rhodiola and Bacopa. 

2. Taking care of the environment

KeHE says that "there's no Planet B." From farming practices and manufacturing processes, to packaging, recycling and reducing waste, people are taking note of more sustainable practices available within the product lifecycle. Shoppers are putting their dollars to good use by buying more sustainable products. 

Regenerative farming has also become a focal point within sustainability. The term refers to improving soil health and maintaining long-term agricultural sustainability. The goal is to not only to "do no harm" to the land but to improve it, through dynamic and holistic practices such as conservation tillage, cover crops, crop rotation, composting, mobile animal shelters, and pasture cropping. 

3. Innovative pet food

Pet food, the fastest-growing category in center store grocery, is fueled by innovation in natural and specialty pet food which shows with its 25% growth, according to IRI/SPINS. Natural, organic and premium pet food brands are centering their products around catering to pet owner's needs by optimizing nutrition and ensuring safety for pets.

4. CBD

CBD, also known as cannabidiol, represents a huge opportunity in the food and beverage industry, pending potential FDA regulation updates. Considered as a "healthy" functional ingredient, CBD is claimed to provide body and mind wellness with pain relief and anxiety, and to improve sleep.

The newfound interest has sparked innovation within categories such as skincare, cosmetics, supplements, pet care, snacks, candy, beverages, etc.

5. GUT Health

It seems as if everyone is talking about gut health – specifically microbiome health. Microbiome refers to the trillions of bacteria, fungi and organisms in the human gut. It plays a crucial role your overall health by controlling digestion and benefiting the immune system. 

A range of functional ingredients, such as fiber, probiotics, prebiotics and postbiotics, are emerging in the food and beverage products to support gut health. Postbiotics refer to non-viable bacteria that can help with absorbing nutrients, regulating digestion and improving gut-brain communication. Postbiotics mostly apply to personal care products but are expected to grow into functional categories soon.

Employee-owned KeHE provides natural and organic, specialty, and fresh products to chain and independent grocery stores, as well as to natural food stores and other specialty product retailers in North America.

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