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Trends for 2009

The best natural choices

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Trends for 2009

The New Year traditionally affords a chance to look back at what’s just past while creating excitement about what’s to come. It’s a time of change that generates hope for the year ahead.

The New Year traditionally affords a chance to look back at what’s just past while creating excitement about what’s to come. It’s a time of change that generates hope for the year ahead.

After months of unprecedented ups and downs in world financial markets, this New Year finds consumers more cautious with their money than they have been for decades. They’re balancing the emotional effects of worldwide economic worries with the concrete concerns of a cooling economy.

As an alive reader, you’ll be balancing economic concerns with a desire to lead a life that’s rich in natural health and wellness. Here’s a look at the coming consumer trends that will likely have an impact on natural health shoppers like you.

The Green Shift

Despite some very real economic fears, 2009 promises continued growth in consumer consciousness. The green movement will stay top of mind with shoppers who will carry on the trend toward sustainable living and conscious purchasing.

Consumer awareness is as high as it’s ever been and companies leveraging consumer concern will see shoppers responding. Consumers will show concern about their individual carbon footprints and seek out products touting such environmental buzzwords as fair trade, locally grown, sustainable, biodegradable, and organic. Even in tough economic times consumer responsibility and awareness will continue to grow.

Keenly Aware

A broadening sense of personal health and well-being will remain a key focus for consumers in 2009. While economies are in flux, shoppers will respond by staying fit, healthy, and mentally capable of weathering the storm. They’ll shop for the health and the well-being of both themselves and their families.

Specialty diets such as raw food, whole food, gluten-free, dairy-free, and antiaging regimes will make inroads with consumers who will shop with concern for the sustainability of their personal health.

Eager Delivery

Of course, natural health and wellness retailers will be eager to deliver what consumers want. From a renewed focus on organic foods to a vibrant display of organic ingredients in skin care and supplements, 2009 promises to provide choice for consumers. Even the family pet will be turning its discerning nose to new and natural products formulated especially for it.

While there’s no way to determine just which products will resonate with consumers in 2009, alive can tell you what to expect at your favourite health and wellness retailer. The trends, at least, are clear.

Food

Fast and Fortified

In 2009 health and convenience will be top of mind for consumers. The average shopper has long recognized that certain foods provide more than the basic nutritional needs; that some foods naturally contain, or are fortified to contain, health-enhancing compounds which may help to prevent disease.

Power-packing Edibles

Consumers are currently enjoying access to more information about the nutritional depth of their favourite common foods. This occurs as antioxidants, immunity-boosting and cholesterol-lowering ingredients, and digestive aids all see increases in consumer demand.

Healthy fats shine and sustainable seafood will catch consumer attention with its healthy abundance of heart-helping oils such as omega-3.

Fruits and vegetables will remain a staple on dinner tables, but consumption should increase as consumers seek natural sources of important phytochemicals such as flavonoids and isoflavones to help fight future heart disease and cancer.

Grain products such as bread and pasta will be chosen by consumers for their whole grain benefits such as additional antioxidants and fibre.

Cereals, both hot and cold, will offer quick hits of nutrition with added fortification such as vitamins, minerals, heart-healthy oils, and cholesterol-lowering fibre.

Grocery staples such as yogourt and other fermented dairy products will deliver added doses of probiotic and prebiotic bacteria in an effort to aid digestion, increase energy, and improve immune function.

Quick, nutritious meal replacements and snack bars will command consumer attention thanks to numerous formulations offering specialized nutrition options and the easy consumption of important nutrients.

Even frozen entrees are becoming better for your health with an influx of organic ingredients and a decrease in chemical additives.

Health-boosting Refreshments

Refreshment is a hot market as consumers seek quick, easy drinks that provide an added punch of nutrition in the same container.

Vitamin- and mineral-infused waters are becoming all the rage as consumers seek more than simple hydration in their beverages. Even herbs are making their way into water bottles.

Other popular functional beverages include natural juices that contain high antioxidant counts such as acai, pomegranate, and cranberry juice.

Teas continue to shine with consumers seeking the health benefits provided by daily cups of green and white tea.

For those seeking their daily caffeine fix, “fair trade” and “sustainable-growth” will remain the buzzwords for 2009.

Beauty

Natural and Enriched

Natural personal care will improve its already substantial momentum with “cosmeceuticals” on the leading edge to naturally prevent wrinkles and other age-related skin concerns. Consumers are demanding products that are free from potentially harmful ingredients and chemicals but that are filled with effective nutrients and organic ingredients.

Skin-soothing Infusions

After a year with endless numbers of tainted concoctions making it to market and the resulting product recalls, consumers are influencing the natural beauty trend by voicing loud and clear expectations of what they will not accept in their cosmetics. Gone are long lists of unpronounceable parabens and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives that consumers will dump in favour of natural ingredients with no known side effects.

Watch for naturally soothing ingredients in skin care products such as vitamins E and C, hemp oil, CoQ10, sea buckthorn, lotus flower extract, and marine minerals.

As we worry about what goes in and on our bodies, mineral-based makeup will attract more consumers with specially formulated products for eyes, lips, and face.

Antiaging is a key consideration for leading demographic groups. Shoppers will concern themselves with looking young. They will seek skin care products with sun protection factors of 50 and above.

The green phenomenon will continue its push into consumer beauty products offering less packaging, fewer chemicals, and better value.

Advanced Organic Formulations

Organic remains a term that shoppers recognize and respond to. Beyond produce and other food items, organic is now infusing itself into beauty products as consumers recognize just how easily our sensitive skin absorbs chemicals and other unwanted ingredients.

Consumers are becoming savvier with their dollars. Skin care lines offering organics will have to prove their organic roots with official organic certifications clearly marked on the labels.

Organic body washes, moisturizers, shampoos, and conditioners will all make new inroads with consumers.

The packaging of beauty continues to concern consumers who will look for reduced packaging–and recycled packaging when it can’t be reduced.

Supplements

Innovative and Improved

The supplement market will go from strength to strength as consumers seek simple ways to amend dietary shortfalls. Natural, organic, and bioavailable are all terms that shoppers will consciously seek in their dietary supplements.

Science Targets Absorption

Bioavailability is the buzzword of the year. Consumers will seek to target the supplements they take, expecting better formulas with cleaner ingredients that are readily absorbed by the body. As well, consumers will seek supplements that target specific concerns such as food allergies.

Consumers will seek to counter the malabsorption of some vitamins and minerals by seeking the most bioavailable supplements on the market.

Organic and bioavailable will be terms highlighted on supplement labels for easy identification.

Consumers will seek supplements to deal with food allergies and other physical ailments. Probiotics and digestive enzymes will lead the natural way.

Immune-boosting herbs such as oregano oil and black elderberry extract will experience growth as consumers seek to ward off colds and fight influenza naturally.

Consumers will buy supplements that are clearly targeted to address specific physical concerns and ailments.

Pets

Holistic and Healthy

Like never before, Fido and Fluffy are considered an important part of the family and deserving of the same nutritional concern afforded the rest of the clan. Sustainable and natural pet products are predicted to hit an all-time North American sales high of nearly $1 billion in 2009.

Nutrition meets convenienceGone are the days of searching out a specialty store to purchase natural dog or cat foods as they become readily available at many natural health stores across Canada. In 2008 the number of new pet foods claiming all-natural ingredients rose by 29 percent. Those claiming organic ingredients rose a whopping 567 percent. Clearly, the family pet is eating better than ever.

Pure ingredients are the focus for pet food changes in 2009 with byproducts taking a backseat to pure infusions of chicken, soybean meal, and rice.

Pet foods will be naturally complete with extensive offerings of vitamins and minerals targeted for strong teeth and bones.

Brain health will be targeted with pet food manufacturers offering omega-3 fatty acids that boost cognitive performance and mental function.

Glucosamine also finds its way into low-fat pet treats helping to keep Fido slim while soothing sore joints.

Consumers are requesting more manageable packaging of pet food. Convenience packages made from recycled materials will be all the rage.

Sustainability goes beyond packaging and lands right on Fluffy’s back with pet clothing, collars, and beds being made from sustainable, nontoxic, and recycled materials such as bamboo, cork, and wool.

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