Ever since the 2004 ban of ephedra and the more recent 2009 recall of Hydroxycut, innovation has been on the lam in weight-loss ingredients. The promise of herbal on-comers like green tea, hoodia and bitter orange has so far been left unfulfilled, and even better-researched ingredients like CLA and Nutra Bridge’s proprietary 7-Keto have yet to make a mainstream splash. Frank Jaksch, CEO of ChromaDex, puts it this way: “Weight loss equals caffeine right now.”

Industry vets have suggested that star ingredients won’t drive recovery of the post-ephedra world. Others suggest that the consumer vantage on weight loss is changing. Lynn Dornblaser, a director at market research group Mintel, asserted in a March 9 Nutracon session that consumers are shifting their focus from “losing” weight to “maintaining” weight. She pointed to growth of new products in energy and weight loss that offer sustained energy and satiety, employing a balance of fat, protein, carbohydrates and fiber, versus typical stimulants.

Products promoting satiety proliferated on the Expo West show floor this year, in categories ranging from nutrition bars to whole foods to engineered supplements. Of note is chia, the South American wonder-seed, which easily absorbs water to induce fullness. Ancient grains are beginning to draft into the market behind the growing success of quinoa. On the supplement front, Cyvex Nutrition rolled out a new satiety-promoting potato protein extract, SolaThin, at Expo West. Other potato extract supplements include Slendesta, from Kemin.

NBJ will explore ingredient and consumer trends in the world of weight loss and its sibling market sports nutrition in our upcoming Sports Nutrition & Weight Loss Web Seminar. Speakers include: Brian Smith, Partnership Capital Growth (PCG); Marc Brush, Editor-in-Chief of NBJ; and Patrick Rea, Publisher and Editorial Director for NBJ. The Webinar is scheduled to take place from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Mountain Time on Thursday, March 24, 2011. To sign up, please visit the Registration Page.