Middle East Focus: Clean label flavours, sugar-free fruit juices, lacking dietary supplement education for athletes and more feature in our round-up

By Pearly Neo contact

- Last updated on GMT

Clean label flavours, sugar-free fruit juices, lacking dietary supplement education for athletes and more feature in this edition of Middle East Focus. ©Getty Images
Clean label flavours, sugar-free fruit juices, lacking dietary supplement education for athletes and more feature in this edition of Middle East Focus. ©Getty Images

Related tags: Middle east

Clean label flavours, sugar-free fruit juices, lacking dietary supplement education for athletes and more feature in this edition of Middle East Focus.

Going green: Flavour enhancement products need to be both ‘clean label and clean energy’ for China and Middle East

Flavour enhancement products today need to not only cater to consumers’ clean label demands, but also be made using clean energy if firms wish to capitalise on the current wellness and sustainability trends that are on the rise in the China and Middle East markets.

This is according to flavour enhancement specialist firm Angel Yeast, which has made a bid to increase the ‘cleanliness’ of their products – both in terms of content and manufacturing process – in order to maximise market value in some of its largest markets.

“[Clean label is not just a trend], it is a mainstream trend in many of the markets that we are operating in, including China and the Middle East,”​ Angel Yeast Europe Division and company spokesman Eric Ao told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

Fruit without frills: No added sugar trend and affordability push driving Middle East juice growth

The juice industry in the Middle East is being driven by demands for no added sugar products in the wake of rising health consciousness and government ‘sin taxes’, along with major brand efforts to make them affordable to the mass market.

Studies including over 700,000 participants across the Middle East have found obesity rates to be stubbornly high in the region at 23% or more over the two decades from 2000 to 2020.

This is in spite of initiatives to combat this situation such as Saudi Arabia’s Healthy Food Strategy in 2019 and ‘sin taxes’ on multiple food and beverage items including soft drinks and energy drinks in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Oman.

Pressure to perform: Athletes need better education on supplement consumption – Study

A new study has urged authorities to tighten regulation and educate athletes on the consumption of dietary supplements to avert potential health and competing eligibility risks.

According to a cross-sectional study titled “Dietary Supplements Use among Athletes in Lebanon: Knowledge, Attitudes, Practices, and Correlates”​ published in the journal Foods​, usage of dietary and sports supplement were prevalent among athletes. However, they showed knowledge deficits and unsatisfactory attitudes towards various factors on supplementation.

At least 34% of the Lebanese subjects reported using supplements without a recommendation from specialists, and 69% admitted to not reading the supplement’s nutrition facts.

‘There’s going to be a lot of burnt capital…’ Navigating the ‘hand-wringing phase’ of alt meat investment

The long-term imperative driving meat alternatives is clear: We only have one planet, with a growing population and finite resources, and raising animals to feed them all just takes up too many of them, says Tom Mastrobuoni, chief investment officer at Big Idea Ventures. But right now, he says, “We seem to have entered a stage of hand-wringing, where brands are waiting for consumers and consumers are waiting for brands.”

So what is the mood in the market amid weakening US retail sales of meat alternatives, grim P&L figures from a couple of high-profile publicly listed brands, and mixed messages from big CPG players (Kellogg says it remains bullish about the long-term prospects of its soon-to-be spun out $350m plant-based business despite some recent issues, while Maple Leaf Foods plans to re-allocate some resources away from plant-based back to conventional meat)?

Craving goat: Milk powder market to be a major driver for the goat milk sector

Goat milk has been under-utilized in powder production, but rising demand for infant formula could change this in the coming years.

The goat milk powder market is set to grow at over 8% annually, reaching a valuation of over US$5bn during 2022-2027, according to Arizton research into the goat milk products market.

Goat milk powder is most commonly used in infant formula, but remains a niche product, with only 1% of the global milk output currently being processed into powder, the researchers said.

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