The consumer industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by convenience, and health and wellness, and the growing importance of technologies such as personalised nutrition, 3D food printer, and food safety and transparency. In the last three years alone, there have been over 450,000 patents filed and granted in the consumer industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Consumer: Low glycaemic index foods.
However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity.
Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.
40+ innovations will shape the consumer industry
According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the consumer industry using innovation intensity models built on over 110,000 patents, there are 40+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Within the emerging innovation stage, hydrogel dressings, dextrin-based compositions, and safety injection needles are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Edible oil non spreads, encapsulated proteins, and textured vegetable proteins are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are shrimp cultivation and anabolic muscle supplements, which are now well established in the industry.
Innovation S-curve for the consumer industry
Low glycaemic index foods is a key innovation area in consumer
Foods having a GI score below 55 are termed low-GI foods. These foods contain carbohydrates that break down slower than high-GI foods. As such, low-GI foods are highly beneficial for consumers having high blood sugar levels as they can slow down a person’s rise in sugar levels.
GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 400+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established consumer companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of low glycaemic index foods.
Key players in low glycaemic index foods – a disruptive innovation in the consumer industry
‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.
‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.
Patent volumes related to low glycaemic index foods
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Nestle is one of the leading patent filers in low glycaemic food index. Some other key patent filers in low glycaemic food index include Danone, Royal DSM, Abbott Laboratories, and Reckitt Benckiser Group. Recently, Danone added two low-GI milk formulas to its newly launched healthy ageing brand Ganmai, in China. The launches, namely Ganmai XinRuiLi senior goat milk powder and Ganmai MianYuLi senior milk powder, target consumers aged 40 and above.
In terms of application diversity, Perora leads the pack. Pfizer and Tate & Lyle stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, 4D Pharma held the top position, followed by Pfizer and Valbiotis.
In the coming years, low glycaemic index foods will gain the attention of consumers who suffer from medical conditions such as high blood pressure and cannot rely on high glycaemic index foods. Food manufacturers should continue to launch new products across categories to capture a wider consumer base. To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the consumer industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Consumer.