Across the world, there is a general increase in cost of healthcare expected by 2050, with some countries predicted to see as much as 20-30 percent of their GDP spent on this sector alone.
As populations become more affluent and lifestyles become more hectic while consumers become more indulgent with regard to their eating habits, lifestyle diseases have become a key global cause of death, informed Dr Satish Lele, senior vice president, who spoke at the recent Protein Now conference that was held in Singapore.
All these factors have caused nutraceuticals to become more popular today, and this comprises the dietary supplements and functional foods and beverages segments.
Currently, Asia Pacific dominates the nutraceutical market. Consumers are becoming more aware of the importance of health and fitness, which opens up opportunities for all manufacturers to target large-scale problems such as obesity or heart health, or ride on an emerging consumer trend for ‘beautifying’ products. This is where protein and active nutrition (form of nutrition that involves a lifestyle to provide active and functional food) products can play a part.
There are many sources of protein today, animal- or plant-based, and these come with their own advantages or disadvantages over each other. Dr Lele expects soy and milk protein to continue dominating the scene, but fast moving novel protein ingredients (e.g. pea and algae) have already and will continue to shake up the industry over the next few years.