Nutritional Outlook

Nutritional Outlook, April 2018

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Botanicals/Herbs ■ NUTRITIONAL OUTLOOK 44 APRIL 2018 Under-the-Radar Botanicals to Watch in 2018 As consumer demand for natural ingredients continues to grow, lesser-known botanicals, backed by millennia-old healing traditions and supported by contemporary research, are poised to steal the spotlight in 2018. BY KIMBERLY J. DECKER W ith "natural" an industry impera- tive and "plant-based" consum- ers' new rallying cry, you'd be hard-pressed to f nd a category more perfect- ly poised for growth than herbal and botani- cal dietary supplements. T is nature-made category practically epitomizes what con- sumers imagine when their thoughts turn to alternative health-and-wellness paths— paths well worn by millennia-old healing tra- ditions stretching from the Amazon to Asia. And it's true that herbal and botanical in- gredients are the historical roots—literally and f guratively—from which today's supple- ment industry springs. But what makes this an especially exciting time for the sector is the extent to which contemporary science now corroborates what traditional practi- tioners held to be true—and the extent to which contemporary culture seems open to exploring what the category has to of er. Notes Shaheen Majeed, president of Sa- binsa, worldwide (East Windsor, NJ), "Botan- icals have a long and rich history improving human health, and consumers are aware of that. Building on that history—and reinforc- ing it with modern research—clearly works." Growth Spurt It works, in fact, to the tune of $7.452 billion. T at's the dollar amount that U.S. consum- ers spent on herbal supplements in 2016, pushing retail sales over $7 billion for the f rst time—7.7% above what they'd been the previous year, per the American Botanical Council's (ABC; Austin, TX) 2016 Herbal- Gram Herb Market Report. "T e botanical and herbal market contin- ues to grow and is now stronger than ever," declares Ramon Luna, marketing coordina- tor, Ecuadorian Rainforest (Belleville, NJ). MarketsandMarkets estimated demand for botanical extracts alone at nearly $4 billion in 2017, he notes, with projections for it to reach just over $6 billion by 2022. "T at's a promising outlook for botanicals and herbs in general and shows that consumers are aware of the potential of natural ingredients and may even prefer them over artif cial products." Back to Basics "May" is an understatement. "Many more people are going a more natural, more holistic route away from the chemical, synthetic drug therapies of the past," says Brien Quirk, direc- tor of R&D, Draco Natural Products (San Jose, CA). T at, in turn, is piquing interest in herbal and botanical remedies. So, too, are the rising costs of staying well. As Majeed says, "Conventional healthcare is so expensive that people are looking for ways to stay healthier." Botanicals' perceived simplicity of ers an attractive option. "Con- sumers are looking for natural alternatives to Western medicine, and they're going 'back to basics' when it comes to health and wellness." SHUTTERSTOCK.COM/ KHUNPONG Could chaya (Cnidoscolus chayamansa) be the next big superfood?

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