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Health Is Wealth: Capitalize on Healthy Food and Beverage Trends with an Industry-Specific PLM

Health Is Wealth: Capitalize on Healthy Food and Beverage Trends with an Industry-Specific PLM


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Health Is Wealth: Capitalize on Healthy Food and Beverage Trends with an Industry-Specific PLM

1 Nov 2022

John McCurdy
A food manufacturing facility worker records data from product testing.

The age-old phrase “health is wealth” would seem to be top of mind for consumers today, with Statista putting the value of the global health and wellness food market at $841.1 billion and projecting growth to $1 trillion by 2026. Additionally, a 7,500-participant survey conducted by McKinsey found that 79% of respondents believe wellness is important, and 42% consider it a top priority.

For a food and beverage business like yours, this trend represents opportunities—for growth, for higher earnings and for innovation. In order to capitalize, though, you will need to research the product varieties that fall into the general category of healthy foods, determine which you’ll explore and ensure that your new product development (NPD) process is optimized and streamlined.

We’re here to help with a rundown of the different kinds of healthy foods and beverages that are popular with shoppers right now and the benefits they offer, as well as an explanation of how a product lifecycle management (PLM) solution can accelerate your time to market and help to align your new items to these trending tastes.

Popular Health-Focused Product Categories

Because everyone’s health and wellness goals are different, there is a wide range of product varieties that you can consider as you begin the development process for your new offerings. To some extent, your choice will be informed by the kind of consumers you’re targeting, what works for your particular product segment and what regions you operate in.

Keep in mind that this is just a small sample of the many ways that brands attempt to appeal to more health-conscious consumers—and new formulations with their own benefits emerge with relative frequency.

Functional Foods

This broad category includes all food and beverage products that have health benefits beyond their nutritional value. Some are fortified with additional vitamins and minerals; others boost immunity or promote growth, and most involve ingredients derived from fruits, vegetables and nutrient-dense grains and nuts.

Insight Partners puts the global functional food market at a valuation of approximately $234 billion and predicts it will continue to grow at an 8.7% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to reach $418 billion by 2028. While functional foods have great appeal as snacks, they also have plenty of applications across other sub-verticals within the larger industry, including dairy, beverages and prepared packaged foods.

Fermented Products

These food and beverage products are those produced through controlled microbial growth and the conversion of food components through enzymatic action. They tend to be high in anti-oxidants and have good anti-inflammatory properties—not to mention they promote good gut health and better digestion.

Future Market Insights reports that the fermented food and beverage market has topped $575 billion in 2022 and projects growth at a CAGR of 5.6% through 2032 to reach $989 billion by 2032. Many traditional foods like yogurt and pickles undergo fermentation and carry the above benefits, but there are also new trendy options like kombucha, kimchi and natto that are popular right now.

Low-Carb and Keto

While there is no hard and fast definition for the term “low-carb,” it’s safe to say that these products are designed to minimize the carbohydrate content in favor of more fat and protein with the aim to promote weight loss. Keto (or keto-friendly) products are a bit more precisely defined but adhere to the same general principle, with the goal being that 50% of food by weight comes from fat and 70% of calories are derived from fat.

The low-carb diet market is currently valued at $10.93 billion, according to Data Bridge Market Research, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.9% through 2029 to expand to $18.65 billion. Meanwhile, Acumen Research and Consulting published a report in 2022 that valued the keto diet market at $10.2 billion with a projection of growth to $16.1 billion by 2030 thanks to a CAGR of 5.4%.

Plant-Based and Vegan

As you might guess, plant-based products are those derived from plants and consist solely of vegetables, fruits, grains or pulses. The category has a large overlap with vegan products, though those carry the specific stipulation that no ingredients can be derived wholly or partly from animals, completely eliminating meats, eggs and dairy. Diets focused on either of these categories tend to offer higher fiber and greater nutritional value while being lower in fat but also certain vitamins and minerals.

Brand Essence Research calculated the value of the global plant-based food market to be $41.8 billion as of the beginning of this year and projects robust growth through 2028, with a CAGR of 12.3% resulting in expansion to $93.9 billion by that time. Meanwhile, Grandview Market Research published a valuation of the vegan food market at $15 billion, with predicted growth at a 10.6% CAGR that would put it at more than $33 billion in 2030.


Originally created as a nutritional plan for those with an intolerance to gluten—the mixture of proteins found in wheat, barley, rye and oats—gluten-free diets have gained more widespread popularity thanks to their beneficial effects for those that suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, HIV enteropathy and other conditions.

According to Statista, the global gluten-free food market has a $6.7 billion value as of 2022 and should expand to $14 billion by 2032, which would represent a CAGR of 7.65%. While many foods are naturally gluten-free—such as meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, nuts, fruits and vegetables—gluten-free flours are also popular, as they allow those adhering to this diet to enjoy baked goods without the worry of a negative health outcome due to their condition.

How PLM Systems Accelerate and Optimize

Once you’ve decided which of the various healthy product categories to play in—your “angle of attack,” so to speak—you’ll need to make sure that your NPD processes are properly optimized to produce the best results. An industry-specific PLM system is the ideal solution for businesses hoping to deliver their new offerings to market faster and more closely aligned to the tastes of today.

That’s because a PLM acts as a single source of truth for everyone involved in the NPD process, which facilitates better decision-making and allows for greater accessibility of key files and information. Aptean PLM Lascom Edition is a fantastic option thanks to its user-friendly interface and features dedicated to workflow efficiency, both of which lead to a faster time to market.

Additional advantages of our PLM solution for the food and beverage industry include:

  • Advanced formulation features. With built-in USDA National Nutrient and CIQUAL databases, our software can automatically generate ingredient lists, nutritional values and allergen disclaimers. Users can also verify product brief requirements in real time as changes to the formula are made.

  • Component and material management tools. Our solution allows employees to easily query the central database for ingredient and nutritional information, and a dedicated formulation tool can identify the type and amount of ingredients included in each of your products. Aptean PLM Lascom Edition also automatically records quality events that affect your ingredients for future reference.

  • Labeling functions. The integrated labeling tool included with our system can generate a declarative list of ingredients and quickly produce the Nutritional Facts panel for your new offerings. It also supports multiple languages and regional formats for businesses who operate in more than one region.

  • Workflow engine. Knowing how costly errors can be during the NPD process, we designed this feature to allow you to assign specific tasks and rights to only the users you choose, helping to make sure the right people conduct critical tasks. The features dedicated to the approval process automatically detect anomalies so that you can intervene before a small error becomes a bigger problem.

More Reasons to Trust Aptean for Your PLM Needs

When you choose Aptean as your provider of food and beverage software, you’re gaining a business partner for the long term. We strive to act as a guide during the implementation process and beyond, offering advice based on the best practices we’ve learned from the decades of experience our team members have accumulated.

We also offer a host of other solutions in our suite of purpose-built food and beverage offerings, including an award-winning enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform, an efficiency-boosting overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) system and enterprise asset management (EAM) software that helps you proactively maintain your production machinery.

So, if you’re ready to hear more about how Aptean PLM Lascom Edition and our other leading food and beverage solutions can help you break into the healthy product market, contact us today. You can also request a personalized demo at your convenience.

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White ceramic bowl containing salted mini pretzels