From Womb-to-Tomb leading experts gathered to share their knowledge of current and upcoming trends for the new year in nutrition, beauty, health, fitness, wellbeing and some of the science behind it all.

Organised by Colin Tierney, co-founder of NUE Water his concept was simple to:

Kick start 2017 on a healthy and positive note.

Colin facilitated the seminar and kicked it off by welcoming the expert panel and guests. He then shared some background about his company NUE Water. He explained that it’s a young Irish healthy beverage company producing no sugar, low-calorie drinks.

The idea behind NUE Water was simple:

No additives, no calories, no sweeteners or preservatives
just lightly flavoured water with natural fruit, herbs, and spices.

Bottles of the delicious NUE Water range were available for everyone to sample on the day. The water is also stocked in SuperValu and other stores throughout Ireland.

During the afternoon Colin introduced each expert speaker and their area of expertise.


Dave O’Donoghue, CEO, Freshii Ireland, signed up to this franchise on St Patrick’s Day in 2015 and since then six stores have opened in Dublin. Freshii’s business plan is to have up to 40 to 50 stores located in Ireland. The next one will open in Belfast in February 2017.

He emphasized the keys to its success are:

– Knowing the customer: mainly millennials

– Using the right channels to reach them: Facebook

– Selecting the right partners: Arnotts and Applegreen 

– Being in the right locations: both physically and virtually

Dave, explained that Freshii‘s aim is to provide fresh and nutritious meal choices that energise people on the go. It provides meals and snacks that help people live their best life. It has a strong Mission Green foundation. Their motto is:

Eat, Energise

He added that what sets this company apart from the rest is that:

It has nutrition and nutritionists at its core

Nutrition Trends:

Freshii’s target customers in Ireland are mainly millennials. Dave identified some key insights and trends about their behaviour and food preferences and how Freshii’s offerings adapt to their needs.

– Those who read the Freshii menu are usually vegetarian and they decide if they want to add protein or not.

– 50% of customers are not adding protein because they find that Freshii’s portions are big enough and have low Glycemic Index (GI).

– The Irish population is not addicted to ham as some sources would lead us to believe.

Freshii’s hot healthy food outsells cold healthy food on a 2:1 ratio.

– Beef is the third most popular added protein.

– Falafel is the second most popular protein.

– Chicken is the most popular.

Key insight:

A millennial in Ireland is the same as any other millennial State Side.

Dave added that Freshii has a locally and very engaged audience. The company’s aim is to keep this audience engaged so that they follow the Freshii brand.


Oonagh O’Hagan, Managing Director of the Meagher’s Pharmacy Group and recently named Image Magazine entrepreneur of the year is at the cutting edge of all things related to health and beauty. She is a leading figure in the Irish community pharmacy sector. She advised that to be successful in business it was important to be fully aware of the customer’s experience and future trends.

Keep close to the customer, listen to and get their feedback.
Keep well abreast of emerging trends.

Oonagh identified some of the upcoming trends in health and beauty in 2017 and which she is watching closely. Some of them she believes are game changers:

Health Trends:

– Aging population: people living longer and up to the age of 100
– Obesity: problem in Ireland at the moment
– Prevention rather than cure: pharmacies are doing more health checks e.g. Meaghers Pharmacy partnered with Glenville Nutrition and are running the Be Your Best Bootcamp Programme
– Technology: Wearable technology and Health Apps are big game changers. Social media apps for motivation and support
– Other trends: Mental Health Awareness – supplements and therapies are emerging such as L-Theanine and Eco Health Therapy, e.g. getting out in nature by walking in the woods or strolling along the beach.


– Probiotics: grew at an incredible rate in 2016. They improve gut health as Ireland has the highest rate of Irritable Bowel Disease (IBS) and Crohn’s Disease in the world.
– Superfoods: it’s all about the mushrooms
– Algae: omega 3 oils
– Super Spices: turmeric and ginger
– Cell Health: cell nutrition – this is a new phenomenon, being healthy from the inside out and taking supplements such as Quinton

Beauty Trends:

The approach to beauty is changing from ‘external’ to ‘internal’. An example of this trend was in 2016 when singer Alicia Keys kicked off the #nomakeup movement after she decided not to wear it.

Other trends gathering momentum in 2017 will be:

Less is more
– Self love
– Self respect

Taking care of the skin, which is the largest organ in the body, is also high on the agenda for beauty trends in 2017 and include:

Skin brushing
Supplements that will nourish the skin from within

The ‘clean beauty’ trend i.e. beauty products and cosmetics that are natural and contain no chemicals or toxins is also emerging. There is a substantial following now for these products.

Skincare is becoming more clinically led. Customers want a more personalised analysis so they can use products on their skin that are suited to their individual needs. More beauty trends are:

Emphasising features
Contouring eyes
High definition eyebrows
An eyebrow look for different times of the day and events

Oonagh has discovered that millennials want their products as soon as possible.

Lastly, she predicted that there will be a big surge in ‘Influencer’ led products in 2017 such as:

Authentic people
Makeup artists who develop their own brands

To sum up, Oonagh said that there are lots of changes ahead in the health and beauty sectors for 2017 and all of them relate to the ‘Customer Experience’ which is about being customer led and customer engagement. She confirmed that pharmacies are well placed to take on these emerging trends.

Guests were treated to a gift of a Meaghers Pharmacy goodie bag filled with some of the products she mentioned during her presentation


Anthony Kelly, co-founder, WellFest and Glofox, and a fitness and wellbeing expert explained that in a recent report by International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) consumer spend on fitness and wellbeing is experiencing exponential growth in the US.

Wellbeing Trends:

The 2016 Yoga in America Study conducted by Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance identified Yoga as becoming more main stream

Anthony identified some of the key trends in this study:

There are 36.7million US yoga practitioners, up from 20.million in 2012
34%of Americans say they are somewhat or very likely to practice yoga in the next 12 months – equal to more than 80 million Americans
37% of practitioners have children under the age of 18 who also practice yoga
Women represent 72% of practitioners; men, 28%
Practitioners are significantly more involved in many other forms of exercise, such as running, cycling and weightlifting, than non-practitioners
30–49-year-olds make up 43% of the practicing public, followed by those ages 50+ (38%) and 18–29 (19%)
74%of American practitioners have been doing yoga for five or fewer years
The top five reasons for starting yoga are: flexibility (61%), stress relief (56%), general fitness (49%), improve overall health (49%), and physical fitness (44%)
Half of yoga teachers have been teaching for more than six years

Read the full 80+ page report.

Fitness Trends:

Boutique fitness studios are gaining popularity and numbers are increasing. These studios provide specialised training to members.

Anthony is co-founder of WellFest, which is his personal interest. This is a two-day event and thousands of WellFesters are expected to descend on Herbert Park, Dublin on the 6th and 7th May 2017. (#WellFest2017) He added that he is aiming for world domination by bringing people together to participate in a range of group fitness activities. During the event, WellFesters will learn new ideas and tips about fitness from the best of the best.

Anthony’s Top Trends for 2017:

– Personalised Nutrition: people want to and are taking more ownership over their own nutrition
– Bye, Bye Booze: Ireland’s affair with alcohol is over. Levels of drunkenness will change in the next couple of years
Drop in’ mindfulness and meditation centres
– WellFest: world domination

Keeping fit, healthy and energised are important factors to our wellbeing. However, there may be times in our lives when we feel tired and sluggish. The final speaker Pat O’Flynn, the founder, of Active Iron, explained the science of the importance of iron absorption in the battle against tiredness.


Looking even deeper into the science of health and fitness Pat explained the benefits of this product.

Active Iron is tough on tiredness, kind on you.

Research has shown that when taking conventional oral iron supplements many people have problems with absorption and suffer adverse side effects. They can experience unwanted and distressing symptoms such as stomach upset. These symptoms can lead to poor compliance. Active Iron has been shown in clinical studies to be gastroprotective and deliver superior bioavailability compared to conventional iron supplements. Unlike other formulations, it is also gentle enough to be taken on an empty stomach. Therefore it is better tolerated by users.

Pat listed some of the benefits of this product:

Better absorption
Utilises the body’s natural iron gateway
Protects the gut

Nine out of ten Irish women complain of tiredness, which could be linked to a low iron intake.
New research shows that only 18% of women of childbearing age have adequate iron in their diets.

Source: Active Iron

Other at-risk groups that may develop low iron levels are adolescent girls, pregnant women, (at all stages of pregnancy, trimester 1, 2 and 3), vegetarians, vegans and endurance athletes.

Pat explained that to target the right customers the company uses inbound marketing techniques such as blogging and analytics. Female lead sectors targeted are:

1. Switchers: people who change products
2. HCP: Health Care Professionals
3. Symptom suffers

Active Iron is available in Boots Stores in Ireland, the UK and can be purchased online.

The ‘NUE Year NUE You’ seminar organised by Colin Tierney of NUE Water, was well timed, insightful and very successful. Colin achieved his goal to:

Kick start 2017 on a healthy and positive note.

To celebrate the ‘NUE Year NUE You‘ event NUE Water put together their NUE Year NUE You soundtrack for a healthier 2017 to enjoy and share.

If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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