New data point to an untapped market potential for female nutrition. But more work is needed to address the full range of women’s health requirements.
The findings about women’s health come from sector specialists at consultancy Sagentia Innovation. “The specific role of nutrition in female health is finally gaining attention,” Ankita Singal-Sareen, senior consultant at Sagentia Innovation told Nutrition Insight.
“Further fundamental and clinical research will generate female-specific data, especially for younger women and across racial and ethnic backgrounds,” Singal-Sareen said. “Science-led developments in female nutrition will help fill these gaps and we anticipate that they will accelerate over the next twelve months.”
The current lack of clinical research and data for women’s health conditions has left a significant gap in understanding of how women respond to different solutions and how different conditions can present in women.
Historically, women have not been included in clinical trials, which has perpetuated a “one size fits all” approach to nutrition solutions. To move away from this approach, experts say there’s a need to better understand each life stage for women to develop better-tailored solutions.
Enabling technologies such as data management tools is critical in developing these better solutions for women’ health. Companies must determine how to leverage available data and identify insights to deliver products to customers. Kerry’s RDA director for women and infant health, Monica Maria Olivares, told Nutrition Insight that there are myriad opportunities for manufacturers to develop products that meet women’s specific needs.
Currently, digestive health, weight and fitness, and energy needs are already well-served by a number of brands offering everything from drinks and supplements to energy bars, but there are still unmet needs such as joint health, hormonal changes, and cognitive function — significant considerations as Gen X and millennials are aging. The oldest millennials have just hit their 40s. Women make up half of the world’s population.
The research shows that there is untapped innovation potential in women’s nutrition, according to Singal-Sareen. She says companies need to conduct more clinical data and research to develop new solutions for women. “Start to think about how to get there. That could be looking at ingredient solutions. It could be leveraging data you’ve already collected through various platforms and looking at ecosystems of enabling partners out there,” she said.
“What we need is a robust approach focusing more on prevention than treatment,” adds Singal-Sareen.
“Targeted nutrition could support women across various life stages and the associated physiologic, neurologic and hormonal variabilities.”