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2020 Active Nutrition Consumer Trends Are In: Are They Accurate?

by Matt Weik

I read an article put out by NutraIngredients that spoke about active nutrition consumer trends to watch in 2020. The piece was very brief and while I agree with what was mentioned, I feel as if it missed a bunch of key trends that I feel will boom in 2020. Below, I’m going to touch on what they mentioned, give my opinions, as well as mention what I feel they missed.

The below was all put together by two firms who looked at global trends and came up with their own opinions. So, here goes. Let me know if you agree or not.

Holistic Health

I think it’s safe to say that holistic health is on most people’s minds these days and for good reason – everyone wants to get healthy and live longer. On that same note, people are starting to look for a more holistic and natural way to improve their health or ailments and bypass pharmaceutical drugs. Way too much emphasis from doctors is pushing pills on consumers and not looking for a better alternative. Honestly, that’s the easy way out, in my opinion.

If you look at the warnings on drugs these days, the side effects are worse than the condition itself. If there was a better, healthier, and more natural way to help people, that should be their focus. Therefore, I agree with the article and researchers who listed these trends when it comes to active nutrition consumer trends. People are getting more educated and know more than ever before about health and nutrition (whether they apply that knowledge is another thing).


The second thing they mentioned in the active nutrition consumer trends for 2020 is convenience when it comes to nutrition. Everyone has busy schedules and are looking for quick and healthy meals and snacks. Fewer people are hitting up the vending machine and are looking for healthier alternatives. Healthy snack items are more readily available and consumers are definitely pushing for further advancement in the segment.

Nutrition bars, protein shakes, individual snack packs, etc. are being purchased and consumed by millions and the demand for such products is at an all-time high. I absolutely think that in 2020 this is going to continue to be a huge push by the active nutrition consumer.

Conscious Choices

As mentioned above, consumers are more knowledgeable about nutrition labels and what to look for on the ingredient panel. The movement towards more natural ingredients is booming and consumers are looking to swap out their old poor choices with new healthier ones.

Brands are popping up left and right, coming out with healthier alternatives to what was once an unhealthy option. The active nutrition consumer is making a conscious effort to improve the foods they eat and where their foods and supplements are sourced. While I still believe many will opt for the unhealthy version due to taste and cost, I do see an uptick in the active nutrition consumer indulging in better and healthier options.

Where They Missed the Mark

Now, the researchers only listed three active nutrition consumer trends to watch for in 2020. I believe there are more not listed that are just as important – if not even more important. Below are some of my trends I think they missed listing.

Functional Foods and Beverages

In 2020 I see one of the biggest active nutrition consumer trends being the continued push for functional foods and beverages. 2018 and 2019 were really the start of the movement and I see its continued growth coming this year.

Healthier snack options being one of the biggest trends I’m predicting, but also beverages that contain health benefits are going to continue to be the craze. We saw a bunch of great launches in 2019 and I believe many of those same companies are going to look to expand their portfolio and launch not one, but many new products in 2020.

Higher Protein and Protein-Added Foods/Snacks

Protein has been hot. Brands are adding protein to everything – heck, even candy bars are hitting the shelves with “added protein” in them. We have protein popcorn, protein donuts, and more.

The active nutrition consumer is looking to continue to put their focus on adding protein to foods and snacks to help them recover faster from exercise and get the desired results from their active lifestyle.

Transparent Labels

If you read one of my earlier articles, I see transparent labels being a fad in the industry. Everyone wants to know what’s in their food/supplements, but I think we are going to hit a point where startup brands are going to rip off formulas and underprice the major players. Inevitably, this is going to create some friction in the marketplace, and I feel many of the brands out there are going to go back to proprietary blends on their label to protect their intellectual property. Right now, it’s the “cool thing to do” but I simply don’t see it lasting long-term (but who knows, maybe I’m wrong?).

That being said, 2020 will continue the push for transparency and it will be a hot button for the active nutrition consumer again this year.

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