By Rachel Adams
Health and wellness is becoming a key focal point for consumers, who are increasingly turning to functional foods to improve nutrition and meet dietary needs.
And as we all know, there’s much room for improvement when it comes to the health and nutrition of the global population. In the United States, obesity is considered an epidemic, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, and many Americans fall alarmingly short of the suggested intakes of nutrients critical for good health, such as fiber and vitamin D.
And globally, developing countries are facing malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies, while developed countries are falling victim to the adverse health effects of the widely adopted Western diet.
On top of that, humans need a variety of nutrients that the body simply can’t produce, such as essential fatty acids and minerals, which means consumers must take initiative to ensure they’re receiving adequate nutrition.
Like many consumers, I turn to functional foods throughout my day to keep me satisfied, full and healthy. In addition to convenience, successful functional products also taste good and, most importantly, provide an added health benefit consumers want—probiotics in yogurt, for example.
As consumers, like me, continue becoming increasingly proactive about health, opportunity will continue to surge in the functional foods sector—a market that saw a global increase in value terms of 26.7 percent from 2009 to 2013, according to a 2014 report from Leatherhead Food Research. Former author of the Formulating Foods blog on Food Product Design, I’m well-seasoned in the health and nutrition space, and am excited to further explore this exciting food category and its role in providing solutions to the many health issues facing the global population.
Welcome to the Functional Food Perspectives blog, and stay tuned as I follow the latest news, trends, issues and developments relevant to the functional foods space.