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

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Nestle 1879 Unlock company profile
Danone 1047 Unlock company profile
Royal DSM 615 Unlock company profile
Abbott Laboratories 427 Unlock company profile
Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc 228 Unlock company profile
4D Pharma Plc 203 Unlock company profile
Ajinomoto 171 Unlock company profile
Colgate-Palmolive 160 Unlock company profile
Meiji Holdings 156 Unlock company profile
Otsuka Holdings 142 Unlock company profile
Kirin Holdings 142 Unlock company profile
Tate & Lyle 122 Unlock company profile
Axcella Health 112 Unlock company profile
TCI 109 Unlock company profile
Symrise 89 Unlock company profile
Morinaga Milk Industry 87 Unlock company profile
NuSirt Biopharma 86 Unlock company profile
Alcresta Therapeutics 85 Unlock company profile
Amazentis 83 Unlock company profile
Kao 83 Unlock company profile
Pfizer 83 Unlock company profile
Takeda Pharmaceutical 72 Unlock company profile
Ingredion 71 Unlock company profile
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation 70 Unlock company profile
CJ CheilJedang 66 Unlock company profile
Amorepacific Group 66 Unlock company profile
ValbiotisS 65 Unlock company profile
Nufarm 64 Unlock company profile
Perora 59 Unlock company profile
Valio 59 Unlock company profile
Novo Nordisk Foundation 58 Unlock company profile
JDS Therapeutics 55 Unlock company profile
TargEDysS 53 Unlock company profile
Mitsui DM Sugar Holdings 53 Unlock company profile
Roquette Freres 53 Unlock company profile
mondoBIOTECH 53 Unlock company profile
Glanbia plc 52 Unlock company profile
Shaklee Global Group 51 Unlock company profile
PepsiCo 51 Unlock company profile
Dow 49 Unlock company profile
Chr. Hansen Holding 48 Unlock company profile
FleetCor Technologies 48 Unlock company profile
InQpharm Sdn Bhd 48 Unlock company profile
Provexis plc 46 Unlock company profile
a2 Milk 46 Unlock company profile
Procter & Gamble 46 Unlock company profile
China National Chemical 45 Unlock company profile
Perfect (China) 44 Unlock company profile
Natural Alternatives International 44 Unlock company profile
United Pharmaceuticals 43 Unlock company profile

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.

GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.