Functional foods boasting health and wellness claims that range from improving bone density to memory are profuse in our supermarkets and apparently our home cupboards as well.
Functional foods boasting health and wellness claims that range from improving bone density to memory are profuse in our supermarkets and apparently our home cupboards as well. A recent review of functional foods by PricewaterhouseCoopers revealed that consumers are indeed eating-up these claims as more and more mainstream products such as granola bars, cereals, dairy products, and of course beverages carry some sort of supercharged function with a premium price tag.
Comprising approximately five percent of the overall US food market, an estimate between $20 and $30 billion in sales per year, functional foods seem to have a strong stance in the food industry. To top this, estimates for growth, range from about 8.5 to 20 percent per year- as compared to the “measly” one to four percent expected overall industry growth rate. PricewaterhouseCoopers alleges the enormous growth to acquisitions, licensing, and partnership agreements and predicts future growth from changing demographics like baby boomers as well as health care trends, awareness and health research.
Overall, functional beverages lead in both revenue and growth. Second to beverages in revenues are dairy products. The most popular a.k.a. profitable product claim benefit is energy, followed by heart health.
We at SupermarketGuru.com commend the impressive growth, innovations and not to mention marketing of the functional foods industry, but not without a catch. Much of these fortified foods are the overly processed, high fructose corn syrup containing, calorie ridden junk foods that obese America desperately needs to stay away from; but instead, new formulations and impressive health claims (such as those on our favorite candy bars) lure us back. Over consumption regarding calories is not the only fear, but over consuming vitamins, minerals, herbs and other added “health boosters,” in addition to our current diets, could lead to unforeseen health problems.
Since this industry niche - or not so niche - is sure to continue to grow, let’s be sure that products are actually delivering on packaging promises. The convenience and health allure of fortified foods undoubtedly draws consumers in, formulators be sure to keep your customers happy and healthy by making sure the product’s nutritional profile supports the benefits of the added ingredients rather than denying them.
Click here to read the full PricewaterhouseCoopers report.