By Jill Failla
In SPINS’ recent 2018 trend predictions webinar, we called out moringa as a superfood to watch this year. A complete plant protein, Moringa oleifera is a tree leaf native to Asia (often ground into a powder) that is high in antioxidants, calcium, potassium, and vitamin C. It’s also being studied and marketed for benefit claims from energy to heart health to blood sugar support and even lactation support for nursing mothers. This versatile ingredient offers a lot of application potential, and we’re already seeing it in several spaces.
SPINS data shows that products containing moringa as a Functional Ingredient grew sales 54.3% to an $8.1 million annual market across all tracked categories, with exceptional growth noted for tea, shelf-stable juices, and wellness bars. Two organic teas of note include Yogi’s Blackberry Moringa Green Tea version with approachable fruit and green tea flavor as well as hibiscus, ginger, cinnamon, and licorice root, an ingredient that adds a natural sweetness without sugar, and The Republic of Tea’s Super Herb Tea in Moringa, which popped up at the recent Winter Fancy Food Show.
Kuli Kuli is a B-Corp brand built entirely around this starring ingredient, offering bars, energy shots, protein powders, and teas, many of which are also gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, Non-GMO Project Verified, and certified organic. The company was founded by a former Peace Corps volunteer, and a big part of its mission is to source from women-led cooperatives. Its product lineup made a splash at the 2018 Winter Fancy Food Show – and not just because of the capes.
Not limited to food and beverage products, moringa is sprouting up in skin care, marketed for nourishing vitamins and hydration. The True Moringa brand, like Kuli Kuli, is built on the key ingredient and a social mission, supporting small farmers, and its line includes oils, scrubs, soaps, toners, and even lip color.
Beyond serving as the basis of brands like Kuli Kuli and True Moringa, we expect the ingredient to appear in products from a range of brands in a variety of categories in 2018, from frozen smoothie kits to power bowls to snacks like popcorn and chips. For example, Vegan Rob’s incorporates moringa into its flavor lineup of organic, whole-grain, sorghum-flour Puffs, and DNX includes organic moringa in several of its Grass Fed Meat Bars.
We look forward to seeing how this versatile ingredient plays out at Expo West and throughout this year, especially how brands are sourcing it and providing transparency around the supply chain.
SPINSscan Natural and Specialty Gourmet (proprietary), SPINScan Conventional Multi Outlet (powered by IRI), 13 Quads Ending 2017-Dec-31.