Rising obesity rates and consumer demand for convenient, on-the-go meals are just two factors driving the $3 billion meal replacement food and beverage market, according to a recent report from Euromonitor. Industry revenue increased by an average of 6.9 percent per year from 2006 to 2011, and revenue is expected to grow 9.3 percent in 2011.
The opportunity for makers of prepackaged powdered drink mixes, ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages or bars is ripe, but now that traditional vitamins and minerals are a given in good-for-you drinks, consumers are looking for nutrition that goes above and beyond the status quo.
More consumers are turning to meal replacement products these days, whether it’s for convenience, weight loss or simply to get more nutrients. What’s more, consumers want to make sure they are getting the nutrients they would expect from a full meal, but they also want to make sure that these meal replacements aren’t eating up their entire calorie counts for the day.
But when it comes to formulating meal replacement beverages, maintaining the taste, texture, mouthfeel and overall quality consumers expect can be a challenge. Careful consideration of ingredients, processing rigors and the beverage’s intended health benefits are important factors for successful product formulation.
Contributing editor Marie Spano examines how product developers are overcoming formulation challenges in the article, “Meal Replacement Beverages," which is available for download in Natural Products INSIDER’s Content Library.