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How are keto manufacturers keeping the category fresh for keto followers?
The popularity of the ketogenic diet continues to grow as more consumers learn of it. Market research from The Insight Partners predicts that the keto market will see a 5.5% CAGR through 2027, with snacks and beverages leading the ketogenic products category.1
While the rise of keto-friendly to-go products may have contributed to the myth that keto is just a fad, according to Keto Primo (Temecula, CA) co-founders Diana Alanis and Emily Adams, the keto trend is only growing. Over the last two years, a number of creative keto products have hit the market that are making keto simpler for consumers. Here are some of the most innovative product trends in keto today.
Keto Enters the Convenience & Condiments Markets
Several brands are introducing functional foods that help to promote ketosis or that adhere to the requirements of the ketogenic diet, and many of these functional foods are in the form of convenience products and condiments. Alanis and Adams said in a joint statement that busy American families are looking for healthy meal prep solutions that don’t require a significant time investment.
“Preparing food should be simple. Nearly every American restaurant has a bottle of ketchup on the table, and nearly every children’s menu has chicken nuggets with BBQ sauce for dipping. So instead of serving our families a side of corn syrup with every meal, [ketogenic condiments] provide comparable taste while also containing healthy ingredients.”
Condiments, they say, are also an ideal vertical for keto products because products like barbecue sauce are a fast and easy way to add flavor to meats and vegetables. Keto Primo aims to make the ketogenic diet more accessible and more convenient. To that end, Keto Primo is also working to educate consumers on the keto lifestyle through their recently launched Keto Revolution podcast.
Ketogenic Supplements Fight the Keto Flu
There are several reasons why keto dieters take keto supplements, and brands are diversifying both product formats and product claims in an effort to appeal to a broader segment of the keto market. Terms like keto flu are becoming increasingly common in marketing claims for keto supplements. Caroline Alan, co-founder of electrolyte supplement brand Keto-BEAM (Portland, OR), says that brands are changing both their marketing language and their product formats where ketogenic supplements are concerned.
“The term keto flu speaks to the experience of people who adhere to the keto way of life,” Alan says. “Many keto flu symptoms are actually a result of micronutrient depletion, not electrolyte depletion. Liquid supplements are trending up because they have high bioavailability. Pills are trending down because they have very low bioavailability—only about 10% to 12%.”
Consumers Prefer Powdered Exogenous Ketones
Vanessa Pavey, Education Scientist at Life Extension (Fort Lauderdale, FL), says that exogenous ketones commonly come in a powdered format because powder is the preferred delivery method of athletes and biohackers. Beta-hydroxybutyrate, in particular, for instance, commonly comes powdered.
“Ketones are an efficient energy source for highly metabolic tissue like the brain and the muscles,” Pavey says. “For long-distance cyclists and marathon runners, who need sustained energy during a workout, a powder is easy to mix into a water bottle and sip throughout the session.”
Pavey says that she expects powdered keto supplements to incorporate more functional ingredients as they evolve. For instance, she cites the theoretical example of an exogenous ketone supplement that helps keto dieters maintain the ideal fat-to-carbohydrate ratio.
“It is very likely that future research will continue to show the brain and body benefits of using ketones for energy. Powder-based supplements that provide endogenous ketones combined with nutrients that assist endogenous ketone production will perform well in the keto product category. Mango extract and resistant starch, for instance, provide such benefits.”
Keto Products Ready for Mainstream
The growing diversification of the keto products market indicates that mainstream consumers are increasingly accepting of the keto diet and lifestyle. Google Trends data indicates that in the United States, search traffic for the term keto has grown by 850% over the last four years.2 As consumers continue to become more health conscious and look for ways to cut back on sugar and carbs, keto will only grow, and there will be more opportunities for innovative and creative keto products. Brands that can come up with creative keto-friendly alternatives to consumers’ existing preferred foods will be well positioned for the future growth of the keto market.