Innovation is at the heart of the Health and Fitness Industry

JANUARY 18, 2021

COVID-19 has highlighted the healthier we are, the better our chance of fighting off infectious diseases. Although many companies have struggled during the pandemic, there has been notable growth in public awareness and demand for wellness, nutrition and fitness products and services. Whether it be a home workout program or a focus on healthy food, the industry has been under the spotlight since lockdown restrictions were introduced.

The human nutrition market is growing at a rate of 6.6% every year. Personalised nutrition through apps, testing kits, and programs is growing even faster at a rate of 15%, leading to an expected total market value of $465.4 billion by 2025. With so many nutrition trends hitting the market, you might ask where R&D fits in?

The recipe for reward

Recipe adaptations which have been researched and developed make businesses eligible for R&D tax claims. Hiring staff to implement changes to a product or recipe could also make you eligible for financial rewards. If you are making advancements in the field of weight-loss, including developing supplements, amino acids, probiotics, gluten-free and vegan alternatives, dietary fibre, natural sweeteners, vitamins and herbal extracts then your innovations could also qualify.

There are many ways businesses in the Health & Fitness Industry could be rewarded. Outside of recipe development, working with CRMs or online programming to allow for accessible, innovative, online diet plans would also enable you to make an R&D tax claim.

Alternatively, if you are an SME concentrating on food preparation or looking at ways to enhance food trucks and deliveries, perhaps developing new software so customers can track your live location or a website that publishes your exceptional menus, then such innovation could make your business eligible for grants and tax credits.

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R&D at ProYouth Nutrition

In an article released in Business Matters Magazine, the story and success of Marina Wegorek came to light. The banker turned ‘mumpreneur’ was appalled by the sugar-filled snack options for children, both on the market and at children’s sporting events. Marina founded ProYouth Nutrition and developed a completely natural snack alternative for pre- and post-energy replenishment. Marina Wegorek has now been shortlisted for the Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2020 in the food and drink category. Talking about the shortlist, Marina said: “I’m absolutely over the moon to be shortlisted for this year’s food and drink entrepreneur award!”

For Marina’s innovation she could claim back R&D costs for:

  • Materials used
  • Staff costs (salaries, employer pension & NIC, reimbursed expenses)
  • Software used
  • Lighting, heating and water costs
  • Clinical trials and testing of the product
  • Subcontractors and freelancers

With the money claimed back from R&D, Marina would be able to:

  • Develop a new software for her brand
  • Move online and find new ways to interact with clientele
  • Create more innovative formulas or recipes
  • Improve her processes to become more efficient
  • Extend the brand to clothing or equipment and look at new material and product development

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The cycle of success

Wellness, nutrition and fitness accounts for approximately 5.3% of global economic output with healthy eating, nutrition and weight loss holding a market value of $702.1 billion. It’s an exciting and lucrative time to be working in the Health and Fitness Industry.

Research and Development tax relief has been designed to incentivise innovation within the industry. Your innovation is rewarded – the reward fuels your next innovation – and the cycle continues.

By – Kelly Staddon

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