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Never a dull moment.

Since I have been editor of this magazine, I have been fortunate and unfortunate--fortunate because I have never experienced a slow news month and unfortunate because sometimes there are just not enough hours in the day to stay on top of it all. This issue was particularly draining because the trends proliferating the functional food and supplement sectors have created an endless stream of opportunity for nutraceutical companies.


Let's start with the massive explosion of low-carb products, since it is the biggest thing to hit the food industry in more than a decade. Julie Hirsch, Ph.D., authored this edition's low-carb feature, "The Low-Carb Evolution" (page 32), which I feel is the most balanced article on the low-carb trend to date. The million-dollar question on every food producer's mind is whether or not the low-carb market is here to stay. The answer is yes, provided that companies intelligently position their products to focus on the inherent benefits of product ingredients and move away from "counting carbs." Dr. Hirsch notes in her article, "The good news lies in the fact that there is excellent long-term potential for low-carb products because even after this 'craze' has fizzled, we will be left with some good, healthful new products that can be repositioned to reflect their true inherent goodness--not just the fact that they are low in simple carbohydrates." Throughout the past several years, many experts have expressed disappointment in the performance of the functional food market. Perhaps the low-carb trend is precisely the jumpstart the market needs to move toward a more profitable future.

In the supplement sector, companies should be buzzing about the recent survey released by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), which includes important information regarding complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use among 31,000 U.S. adults. Overall, the survey found that 36% of adults claimed to use some form of CAM. Even more significant, however, was why people chose to use CAM: 28% of adults used CAM because they believed conventional medical treatments would not help them with their health problem and 13% felt conventional medicine was too expensive. These findings are only a small window into consumers' dissatisfaction with conventional medicine.

I have provided only a snapshot of what's happening and there is so much more! Take note of the trends and make big plans for the future.

Editor's Note: Annette Dickinson, Ph.D., in mid-June announced her plans to retire as president of the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) effective in Spring 2005. Dr. Dickinson was the original staff person at CRN when it was founded by three vitamin companies in 1973. She served in various positions throughout her 31-year tenure, including as vice president, scientific and regulatory affairs; in early 2003 she was named president. Dr. Dickinson has worked tirelessly on behalf of this industry and her presence will be missed. We at NUTRACEUTICALS WORLD wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors.
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Title Annotation:From the Editor
Author:Madley-Wright, Rebecca
Publication:Nutraceuticals World
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Jul 1, 2004
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