Americans no longer rely only on dietary supplements for added nutrients. Whether heart-healthy cereals or yogurts for digestive health, functional foods and beverages are gaining traction with mainstream consumers. According to a new report from MarketsandMarket, the global functional foods market is projected to reach approximately $2.5 billion by 2020, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of roughly 6 percent from 2015 to 2020.
In 2014, North America was the largest market for functional food ingredients. Asia-Pacific is projected to be the fastest-growing market for functional food ingredients during the review period. This is driven by the increasing consumer awareness and growing incidences of chronic diseases such as gut diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes and rickets.
Consumers want functional and fortified foods that are healthy, safe and enjoyable, so food manufacturers must balance that yum factor with health, texture, appearance and cost. Functional food ingredients have the capability to add a particular benefit to the end product. A proper understanding of the features of various specialty food ingredients allows food and beverage formulators to use their potential contributions to meet the consumer demands. The features of these ingredients include preservation, texturization, emulsification, coloring, processing aids, and nutritional enhancement. The changing lifestyles and growing health awareness among consumers are some of the factors fueling the market for functional food ingredients.
One functional food sector experiencing increased demand for snack bar for heart health. Given the position of heart health as a leading health issue in the United States, product developers and marketers have the opportunity to develop new bars that can deliver nutritional ingredients with research supporting their benefits for heart health.
Download the free “Straight to the Heart: Formulating Bars for Heart Health" Digital Issue to learn about the positive associations of soy protein, phytosterols, soluble, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids with hearth health are explored along with methods of optimizing snack bar formulas to deliver great taste and texture.