According to Euromonitor, the global market for healthy products such as organic or hypoallergenic, was evaluated as much as $38 billion in 2017. This reflects the global trend of healthy lifestyle and prevention of illnesses by changing the food patterns. Nowadays, around 30% of the world’s food companies invest into healthy products and this segment of the market is growing much faster than the others. Another interesting fact: nearly a half of the liquids people consume nowadays are the functional drinks!

Every second startup comes up with a healthy food product.

Russia is not lagging behind though. One of the leading international companies, PepsiCo, has launched a unique program for food startups – business accelerator PepsiCoLAB. Mabius, a center for food startups, became an operator for the food track. Around twenty teams that come top at the final of the selection process will be able to launch their products with PepsiCo, and only after three months of this acceleration program those products will come up to a completely different scale while the best teams will be able to continue their business in a partnership with PepsiCo.

PepsiCoLAB received around 200 applications for participation, and we realised that our opinions as the project’s experts and the ideas of the startups creators are very similar. Nearly every second startup’s idea comes with a healthy food product concept, including those with the functional products. These products include yoghurts with probiotics and without sugar, energy capsules, healthy snacks with granola, sport drinks based on organic ingredients.

It is interesting how entrepreneurs come up with their ideas about healthy food products. During out meeting with the startup teams, we heard a lot of similar stories – many stated that they gained weight while studying due to an unhealthy diet or while working in a stressful office environment, but then decided to do more sports, lost weight, significantly developed their physical conditions and then, inspired by all that, came up with their own business that would contain functional nutrition ideas.

Nowadays we sit a lot, do sports rarely, eat on the run and this is why we need less food in terms of volume and nutritious value.

What is functional nutrition and why is average nutrition not necessarily functional? In fact, any food can be functional, because it contains vitamins, microelements and nutrients. However, people used to eat much more because they had much more movement as well as physical exercise. Now the framework of health is changing dramatically, as nowadays we sit a lot, do sports rarely, eat on the run and this is why we need less food in terms of volume and nutritious value, since we gain weight otherwise as it is impossible to spend as many calories a day as we used to in the past several centuries. At the same time, life is becoming longer, and people who are currently 30 years old will potentially live up to 100, instead of the average 70-80. We learn how to live longer and to live this long life well, with no illnesses, staying healthy mentally and physically. Functional food helps us to get necessary nutrients, vitamins and becomes a sort of medicine, that is easy and safe to be taking care of yourself with.

Turmeric is the main hero of the "anti-inflammation" food and it also a great product for better immunity system.

And now let’s turn to what the analysts expect to be trendy in 2017:

  • There will be a decrease in sugar in products. It has some benefits – it is a source of quick energy and good taste. Nevertheless, large amounts of sugar can lead to the processes of inflammation as well as, according to the recent scientific data, those processes can lead to the oncological diseases.
  • The biggest growth will be expected fin turmeric, and it will often appear in new products. Turmeric id the main hero of the “anti-inflammation” food and it also a great product for better immunity system. This year you should look for turmeric and almond milk latte, a trend that has already started in Europe and the US so it will quickly arrive to Russia.
  • Decrease in milk consumption – it is more and more substituted with soya, almond and coconut ‘milks’.
  • There will be more beans, as they are a good source of protein. In order to get proteins but avoid consuming meat, leaders of the functional nutrition recommend including more beans and lentils. The food producers have already reacted to this, and now you can see snacks based on peas and lentils, on a base of something like quinoa; Russian food producers will join this trend soon, so expect to see those products in small shops for healthy foods.
  • Non-gluten and non-lactose products will be popular too and this will become widespread.
  • Yeast drinks like combucha will also become a thing – in the US, it has already crossed the line of 1 billion dollars. Those drinks can substitute the juices, especially the fruit ones, that contain the already mentioned sugar.
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