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Ingredient Solutions for Optimized Energy

As human needs evolve, so do our energy requirements.

The Evolution of Energy

It's evident that energy isn't one-size-fits-all, spanning from exhausted parents to elite athletes—everyone seeks heightened energy, mental clarity, and focus. In 2023, Glanbia Nutritionals initiated a comprehensive consumer study to gain profound insights into modern-day energy needs. This exploration delved into varied facets of energy.  

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Understanding Consumer Energy Needs

Our study on modern-day energy needs revealed many key insights including: 

  • 1 in 3 Americans grapple with low energy levels, notably increasing to 4 in 10 among females.
  • There exists a strong correlation between low energy and poor immunity, fitness, digestive health, and mood.
  • Health claims in North America highlight energy and alertness at the forefront and are showing continued signs of growth for years to come. 
  • Consumers are looking for energy plus.  Combining energy plus other functional ingredients to optimize their day.
  • Distinct consumer product preferences exist and differ for both Quick Burst and Sustained Vitality energy need states.1

Breaking Down Energy Management

Three energy need states emerge when we look at consumers today. Quick Burst, Gap Fill, and Sustained Vitality. Let’s break them down: 

  • Quick Burst: When I need a quick energy fix to get over a dip in my energy levels.  Get me back on track to perform at my best.
  • Gap Fill:  When I need something to fill me up enough to get me through to my next meal - not too much – just something easy to bridge the gap.
  • Sustained Vitality: When I need something to give me sustained lasting energy and also contribute positively to my health.  Nutrients to keep me at the top of my game.

How Consumers Approach Their Energy Needs

Our research indicates that energy management is multidimensional. Imagine there is a daily energy line that symbolizes the energy consumers need on a daily basis to keep going or stay on an even keel. When consumers fall below the line, managing energy becomes reactive, such as kick start, a midafternoon slump, or recovery after exercise to replenish what has been lost. So, consumers are seeking to recover, reenergize, and return to the daily energy line both physically and mentally.

But consumers are also thinking about a newer dimension to their energy management, a more proactive approach to get ahead of their energy needs. And these needs such as Sustained Energy and Quick Burst Energy, sit above the line. 

The need for Sustained Energy, which is to ensure I’m operating at the top of my game is proactive energy management to get the most from the day. In this phase, consumers are conscious of ‘crashes’ and blood sugar management.

The need for Quick Burst Energy, involves peak performance during a demanding time as well as mental focus and concentration. Consumers are seeking this type of energy to boost their performance to get to the next level as related to work, fitness or gaming. This energy is proactively managed to ensure that the energy is available during the time that it is demanded. 

This reframing of energy management, whether needs are above or below the line, illustrates how consumers think about energy far beyond just the physical components of energy. Consumers are seeking energy to support their holistic health and vitality and their mental and physical wellbeing. 

As brand owners and suppliers in the energy space, we need to ensure we are framing our solutions through this multidimensional lens to provide the best solutions for the wide variety of consumers’ energy needs. 

Energy in Consumer Life

From managing children to sprinting a 100-yard dash, consumers seek energy across various life facets. Energy and alertness is the top health claim for north American product launches and energy drinks dominate the $50B functional beverage space, with an anticipated 3% annual growth in the next five years.2 Notably, larger companies, like Dr Pepper Keurig's stake in Nutrabolt, reflect the industry's growing significance.3 

Diverse Format Demands 

Pre-workout ingredients, typically geared for bodybuilding, have expanded into energy drinks, bars, and healthier products. This trend aligns with consumers seeking diverse energy-providing ingredients across different formats, emphasizing their energy needs specifically for Quick Burst or Sustained Energy.

Beverage and Snack Characteristics

Consumers favor a beverage format by 80% vs. food while looking for a Quick Burst of energy and prefer their beverages to be caffeine-rich, flavorful, and fizzy. The preferred product choices for Quick Burst includes: Energy drinks, Pre-workout powders or drinks and functional iced coffees. 1

Consumers are evenly split between food and beverage when choosing products for Sustained Vitality energy and calls for hydrating, lightly flavored, and refreshing options in both beverages and food. The preferred beverage choices are sports and electrolyte drinks, super juices and functional smoothies and pre/probiotics and kefir. For Food options, the preference is low carb, high protein chips, crackers and pretzels, chickpeas, lentil snacks and protein cereals. And in all occasions, having a product with high protein was a top choice. 1

Consumer Preferences and Trade-Offs for Quality

Consumers are willing to invest more money for higher quality ingredients that align with their energy goals, specifically in Quick Burst and Sustained Vitality need states. Interestingly enough, consumers interested in Quick Burst energy are more focused on taste rather than health, while Sustained Vitality leans towards health-led choices over taste preferences.

Key Energizing Ingredients

Because consumers energy needs are multi-dimensional, there are so many options in the marketplace to support energy.  Here are some key ingredients to consider:

  • Caffeine
  • L-carnitine
  • Valine, Isoleucine, Leucine (BCAA)
  • Alanine, Citrulline, L-tyrosine, Taurine
  • B vitamins, Iron, Magnesium
  • Ginseng, Guarana, Green tea extract, Green coffee extract, Ashwagandha, Rhodiola rosea, Mushrooms

Ingredients, Consumer Preferences and Mental Energy

While caffeine remains prevalent, alternative sources like green tea or coffee extract appeal to consumers who are wary of caffeine's potential side effects. Consumer trends underscore a preference for natural, low-sugar, and high-protein options, with an emphasis on holistic health and vitality

Consumers looking for ingredients helping with mental energy and focus continue to rise and is recognized by athletes as being just as important as physical wellbeing. Focus, cognition, mood, and sleep are four subcategories of brain health, although there is overlap with ingredients and products targeting several of these areas.4 Key ingredients for mental energy include: Caffeine, B-vitamins, creatine, L-theanine, L-glutamine, panax ginseng, and choline.

Considerations and Recommendations for Energy Optimization

Consumers seek solutions across different need states, emphasizing the importance of offering diverse products aligned with Quick Burst or Sustained Vitality energy needs. Understanding these energy states enables effective product development aligned with consumer energy demands.

Our Solutions for Quick Burst Energy

Our Solutions

Quick Burst Formulation Product Examples (RTD)

 

Choose an energy-supporting bioactive solution 

OptiATP™ - Optimized, bioidentical form of ATP 

CreaBev® - Soluble and stable creatine monohydrate

Choose an energy-supporting micronutrient

All N® Electrolyte Formula - Validated formula of key electrolytes

Carnitine – High-quality, validated material 

Choose a caffeine-based solution 

NutraShield™ Triple Layer Caffeine - Optimized for better stability and taste

All N® Essential Energy Formula - Validated energy formula including caffeine

Quick Burst Formulation Product Examples (RTM)

 

Choose an energy-supporting bioactive solution 

FitNox® - Plant-based source of nitric oxide, shown to increase NO levels up to 336% while improving endurance

Bioferrin® - An iron-binding, bioactive milk protein (lactoferrin), may have a positive effect on blood iron levels

Choose an energy-supporting micronutrient

All N® Vitamin B Complex Formula - Validated formula of B vitamins

Citrulline – High-quality, validated material 

Choose a caffeine-based solution 

NutraShield™ Triple Layer Caffeine - Optimized for better stability and taste

All N® Essential Energy Formula - Validated energy formula including caffeine

Our Solutions for Sustained Vitality Energy

Our Solutions

RTD

 

CapsiAtra ® - A dihydrocapsiate that supports endurance

AminoBlast® - Optimized amino acids

NutraShield™ KSM-66 ® Ashwagandha -  Optimized, supports endurance, recovery and stress relief 

Taurine - High-quality, validated material 

BevWise® - Pre-acidified, including 5 key electrolytes coming from the protein system 

BevEdge ® Pea – Excellent stability and smooth flow rate

Food

 

KetoSure ® MCT - coconut-based MCT-C8 optimized with whey protein 

FerriUp® - A whey protein concentrate, naturally contains lactoferrin, vitamin B12, and protein

UniTrit™ Vitamin B12 – Optimized for better stability and homogeneity 

Magnesium - High-quality, validated material 

BarPro® - Milk protein concentrates and isolates, extends the shelf life of nutrition bars and minimizes hardening 

Crunchie™ Pea Protein Crisps – ideal for bar inclusion, delivering exceptional texture and an enjoyable crunch

New Product Highlight 

Glanbia Nutritionals just launched a new OptiATPTM product powered by PeakATP® with encapsulation technology applied to protect the ATP when used in applications that are low pH/high acid and high heat processed making it the only ATP product available for RTDs. Find out more here.  

Don’t Forget the Role of Taste

Through our research we have also established the role of taste and its importance. If we look at the functional beverage category as an example, taste is as important if not more important than function in every case. We also see that taste and flavor ranked higher than cost, convenience, environmental aspect and other key categories.5

Partnership Throughout the Process

The evolving energy landscape demands comprehensive solutions catering to diverse need states—whether it's Quick Burst or Sustained Vitality. Consumer preferences, formats, and ingredient trends shape the market, influencing the development of products optimizing energy across varied scenarios.

Glanbia is so much more than just an ingredient supplier. We can help customers at every stage of the new product development/commercialization cycle. Our collaborative approach to development and innovation is a key differentiator for Glanbia Nutritionals vs. our competition. 

Contact us today to discuss your next product formulation for the energy space.

Fueling Change: The Shifting Dynamics of Energy Needs in Food and Beverage

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References

1. Glanbia Nutritionals, Global Consumer Attitude & Usage Study - US, 2023
2. SPINS MULO (multi-outlet e.g. Walmart & Target) + Natural-enhanced (excludes Whole Foods & Trader Joe’s) + Convenience Stores – Does NOT include any online sales, Amazon, Costco, or Whole Foods –  52 Weeks ending August 13, 2023
3. Euromonitor, June 2023  
4. Nutrition Integrated, A conscious approach to brain health UK & Ireland 2021 2) NEWZOO | Global Esports & Live Streaming Market Report | 2022 Mintel
5. Innova Market Insights, Category Insider: Revitalizing the Game: Navigating the Global Future Trends of Sports & Energy Beverages – Dec 2023

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