Friday, November 19, 2021

Something Sweet to Think About (for the ageing population)

If you know me well, you are aware that I have never been a fan of anything chocolate. In fact, I have never been much of a sweets person. I’ve always preferred salty and savory. But, that changed in the past few years and it started before the pandemic; however, the pandemic made me more mindful of my changing tastebuds and the accompanying sugar intake. A lot of us “ageing” folks are with me. 

This is why I found BENEO’s webinar this week on formulating foods for healthy aging so interesting. I was completely unaware that on December 14, 2020, The United Nations General Assembly declared 2021 to 2030 to be the Decade of Healthy Ageing. Three days later, the World Health Organization issued the Baseline report for the Decade of Healthy Ageing, which included data stating that at least 14% of all people aged 60 years and over, which is more than 142 million people, are currently unable to meet all their basic daily needs.

Now, sweets are not a basic daily need; however, for many older adults, it’s the highlight of their day. (I’m not there yet, but I am starting to understand the “sweet treat” daypart.) This presents an opportunity in the category I have long noted as being the most underdeveloped in the U.S.: refrigerated dairy desserts. 

Here’s the deal. It has to taste good. It has to feel good. It has to satisfy. And remember, it’s a sweet treat, so sweet taste is paramount. There are many ways to deliver sweet, and for sweet treats for the ageing population, I highly recommend staying away from sweeteners with off notes, may cause gastrointestinal distress or rapidly raise blood glucose levels. We grew up with sugar and TAB (saccharin) as our benchmarks for sweet taste.  

“Getting older is a privilege,” said Denisse Colindres, manager of nutrition communications for BENEO in North America. “Good choices on nutrition and lifestyle allow us to age optimally.”

I highly encourage you to watch this 45-minute webinar. I watch a lot of webinars and present many as well. It’s not often I can say I’ve heard some new information. This one kept my attention. Link HERE

The fact is, by 2050, 2.1 billion people will be over 60 years old. (I will be 83 years proud!) Product development focused on this age group should be on your radar to aim for positive ageing. 

A leading concern is blood sugar levels rising, and this is without that daily sweet treat. It just happens with ageing. 

Natural Grocers, a chain of better-for-you food and supplement stores founded in 1979 and located across the U.S., issued its sixth annual top-10 nutrition trend predictions for 2022. They were identified by the company’s team of health and wellness experts in collaboration with its purchasing and analytics teams. The predictions include healthspan, sensible indulgences, functional flavors, pet nutrition and saying goodbye to burnout.

“As we look back at another year in which our communities have felt the obvious and hidden effects of a global pandemic, there is no denying that people are changing how they approach their health,” said Shelby Miller, Natural Grocers’ manager of scientific affairs and nutrition education. “People are considering how their everyday choices affect their long-term health, and our trends for the coming year reflect how those decisions are intricately tied together to shape our wellbeing and our ability to thrive and flourish.”

The number-one trend is “From Lifespan to Healthspan.”

“With a growing realization that healthspan is as important as lifespan, in 2022, we will focus not only on how long we can live, but also on how healthy we can live those years. This will look like supporting health with diet, lifestyle and supplements not in mid- to late age, or only when a health issues arises, but throughout our lives,” according to the retailer.

This supports BENEO’s perspective of “Seeking positive ageing in every generational phase of life. People want to enjoy their life and be their best self.” Let’s help them!

Here’s another webinar you won’t want to miss. We will be presenting some never-before-revealed data on the future of dairy foods innovation.

2021 to 2022 Dairy Industry Outlook
Hope you join me on the Dec. 1 webinar hosted by Dairy Processing to discuss the dairy manufacturing economics of this past year and what we can expect in 2022. Cypress Research surveyed dairy processing professionals in June and July of this year and 148 respondents shared their input on their company’s performance in 2021, compared to 2020; the outlook for their company for 2022; and their views on the overall health of the dairy industry in the coming year. Register HERE.


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