- New launches of maternal nutrition products doubled in 2022.
- Stage-specific products help meet nutritional needs at different stages.
- Maternal nutrition is also expanding into self-care and active aging for moms.
Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate all mothers and reflect on how we can support them to be their best. These maternal nutrition trends focus on keeping moms healthy, strong, and balanced at every stage.
There are many ways to build a family. Motherhood is not one-size-fits-all, and we celebrate all types of mothers, wherever they are on their journey. Nutrition products that meet mom’s needs at each stage and come in convenient, enjoyable formats can help her focus on her most important priorities. More moms are realizing this.
The maternal nutrition market is growing. According to Mintel data, the share of new food, beverage, and supplement launches with a maternal claim doubled between 2021 and 2022.1 While most of this activity is in vitamins and supplements, innovation in nutritional beverages and baking mixes is on the rise.2
The top claim in maternal-positioned products launched from 2019 through 2022 was low/no/reduced allergen (featured in one in three products), followed by gluten-free (27.9%), vitamin/mineral fortified (20.7%), and vegetarian (18.5%).3 However, the fastest-growing claims during this period were sugar-free (+86.6%), plant-based (+60.8%), and diabetic (+34.0%).4
While there are a number of opportunities in this important and expanding market, these are the key maternal nutrition trends we’re watching closely:
Major companies such as Procter and Gamble are focusing on stage-specific products that address the changing health and nutritional needs of mothers. This includes products customized to meet preconception, prenatal, and postnatal needs.
Nutrition for preconception aims at helping women get their bodies and minds fit for pregnancy—filling nutrient gaps, achieving a healthy weight, and supporting mental wellness. This emerging segment has the potential to be a high-growth area of maternal nutrition.
|Focus areas||Vitamins and minerals, weight management, mental wellbeing|
|Format ideas||Water stick packs, shake mixes, nutrition bars|
While prenatal nutrition is a better-known segment, new opportunities here are based on women interested in prenatal foods and beverages when supplements are hard on the stomach due to morning sickness. Ingredients focus on healthy development for babies (especially the brain and immune system) offered in enjoyable formats and soothing flavors (like ginger, peppermint, and lemon).
|Focus areas||Brain health, immune support, and healthy development for baby|
|Format ideas||RTD shakes and shake mixes in soothing flavors|
Supporting new moms with convenient, customized nutrition products for this stage can provide them peace of mind that they’re taking care of their health—and for those who are breastfeeding—also supporting the health of their baby. Besides providing essential vitamins, postnatal nutrition products emphasize protein and calcium to replenish mom, with an eye toward healthy calories.
|Focus areas||Healthy calories, protein and calcium, vitamins and minerals|
|Format ideas||Nutrition bars, protein snacks, RTD smoothies|
Of course, a mother’s health matters beyond the immediate postnatal stage since mastering mom mode brings plenty of its own challenges. This is why self-care for mothers is emerging as another opportunity in the maternal nutrition market.
Ingredients for maternal self-care nutrition products include collagen to support skin health and protein for weight management, plus stress and sleep support ingredients like adaptogens and magnesium. Hassle-free formats are a big benefit to busy moms who might have trouble fitting balanced meals into their days, while indulgent flavors offer moms a way to treat themselves.
Keeping up with a kid is no small feat. Nutrition that helps a woman to stay active during motherhood—and throughout aging—is another aspect of maternal nutrition. The idea is that, when combined with regular exercise, active nutrition products taken over time will also help women keep up with the grandkids.
Calcium and vitamin D for healthy bones and protein to support strength are central to this type of product. There are also a number of bioactives for active women that have clinical results and work well in beverages, bars, and snacks. Any combination of these ingredients can be blended into a custom premix to streamline the development of active aging, maternal self-care, or stage-specific products.
As we think of moms everywhere who work tirelessly to care for their loved ones this Mother's Day, we can also consider how we might help care for moms. Nutrition products that help them stay physically and mentally healthy, energized, strong, and active can help them be the best mothers they can be.
As a global leader in nutritional ingredients, we offer the maternal nutrition ingredients you need—such as dairy and plant-based proteins to support strong muscles and our unique TruCal® milk mineral complex, which provides bones with more than just calcium. We also offer premix solutions that range from an off-the-shelf women’s multivitamin blend to custom blends unique to your brand.