Industry Report: Three ingredients trending in Health and Wellness products

In our efforts to live longer and healthier lives, consumers are increasingly searching for effective solutions that work from the inside out. The health and wellness market is looking at time honoured traditions and incorporating them in delicious and even sexy ways to appeal to Millennials and Boomers alike, who are more interested than ever in putting their health first as they age. Here are some of this year’s bourgeoning market trends on track to make an impact in the industry.

Trend #1 – The Year of the Pulse

Pulses, the nutrient-dense seeds of legumes, are the little superfood that’s big right now. From soups, stews, rice dishes and desserts, pulses are making a huge comeback in dry, flour or canned forms. Brendan Brazier, a former endurance athlete who is now an author, influencer and co-owner of Vega, a plant-based nutrition company, uses pea protein in his shake and smoothie protein powders. He’s been harnessing the power of the pea and other vegetables in his products since the company started in 2001. With Asian markets looking to get a foothold in the industry and consumers there clamouring for plant-based alternatives, expect a rise in demand, as predicted by Market Watch.

You’ll also find chickpea, pea and bean flour making huge strides in everything from gluten free treats, snack foods, and breads thanks to a rising interest in anti-inflammatory alternatives to gluten. The UN has designated 2016 as the Year of the Pulse with PEI-based, Canadian celebrity chef Michael Smith spearheading the movement to get more Canadians to eat chickpeas, lentils, dry peas and beans in every possible permutation. There’s even a “Pulse Pledge” the home cook can take to put pulses front and centre on the plate.

Trend #2 – The Mighty Seaweed

Seaweed is as nutrient dense as it gets. It’s chock full of iodine (great for the thyroid and the brain), minerals, contains more calcium than broccoli and is almost as protein rich as pulses. Also known as sea vegetables, you’ve likely had a nori wrapped sushi roll or strips of nori in your bowl of miso soup. The Japanese enjoy it as a fresh wakame salad, and now, Michelin starred chefs are using the super food in their creations. British chef head Michael Smith (not to be confused with our Canadian chef by the same name), at the Michelin starred The Three Chimneys restaurant on the Scottish Isle of Skye, features sea vegetables in salad dressings, sauces and as a salty flavour enhancer.

Scottish company Mara Seaweed sustainably harvests their sea vegetables off the coasts of Scotland before smoking, toasting and drying them to glean various flavour profiles ranging from sweet to savoury. Across North America, Annie Chun’s line packages nori strips as snacks, offering up flavours including sesame and wasabi.

Trend #3 – Beauty From the Inside out

Move over cold cream. A spate of companies are looking to entice customers with drinks and drink powders designed to enhance the beauty regimen from the inside out. Beverages or beverage powders (to which you add water, nut milks or tea) chock full of antioxidants such as turmeric, zinc, probiotics and even adaptogens (a botanical, such as a herb, that can help the body adapt to stress) are coming on strong. Their appeal? Makers say they can help fight acne, promote glowing, supple skin, and even delay the signs of aging.

One such product is the LA-based juice giant, Moon Juice, known for their beautifying juice-based elixirs. They’ve recently launched their Moon Juice Beauty Dust, a powder which claims to promote lustrous hair, bright eyes and strong nails using pearl, goji, and Shisandra berry, as formulated by renowned Chinese Herbalist, Ramania Dean Thomas. And of course the city’s celebs are some of the company’s best clients.

Explore the Hubba blog and follow #HubbaHW on Twitter for more news and interviews like this shining a spotlight on the most interesting news and brands in the Health and Wellness world.


Mary Luz Mejia

Mary Luz Mejia

Mary Luz Mejia is a NATJA nominated freelance food/travel journalist, Gemini-nominated former food TV producer and food communications professional. Her work can be found in Saveur, HOSS Magazine, Ensemble Vacations Magazine, and she's the Toronto correspondent for Follow her @MaryLuzOnFood.
Mary Luz Mejia