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Mintel: Chia blazing ahead, prickly pear on the cusp of greatness?

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By Elaine Watson+

Last updated the 27-Jun-2014 at 01:05 GMT

Mintel: Chia blazing ahead, prickly pear on the cusp of greatness?

Chia is going from strength to strength while prickly pear cactus is a dark horse that could be a big hit down the road, says Mintel.

Chia is being added to everything from bars to hot cereal, but there has also been growing interest in the drinks aisle, with beverages accounting for 12% of new chia-based product launches in 2013, up from zero in 2009, according to new data from the market researcher. 

In geographical terms, North America had the lion’s share of chia global launches in 2013, accounting for 59% of new product introductions featuring chia (meanwhile Innova Market Insights says the number of new launches globally featuring chia rose 52% in 2013).

As to marketing messages that resonate, the best advice for firms considering using chia is to focus on its nutritional credentials (high fiber, protein, omega-3s) rather than making hard health claims, says Mintel, which reports a tenfold increase in chia ingredient penetration globally between 2009 and 2014.

“Since 65% of US consumers are trying to include plenty of fiber into their diet, manufacturers could use chia’s high fiber content to help set it apart in beverages, as less than 1% of all beverages launched in 2013 used a high fiber claim.”

Prickly pear: One to watch in the beverages aisle?

Another ingredient to watch in the beverages aisle is prickly pear, which has been gaining momentum gradually following the launch of products such as Cactus water (click HERE ), adds Mintel.

Although fewer than 100 products have been launched globally with a prickly pear ingredient between 2009 and 2013, the health benefits as well as the plant’s resilient nature make it a promising superfruit, it argues.

The plant, which is used in Mexico as a hangover cure among other things, can be positioned it as a natural source of taurine and antioxidants for energy drinks or as an added source of fiber, says the market researcher.

What's the next coconut water? Find out at the FoodNavigator-USA beverage entrepreneurs forum on July 23.

Click HERE to register for free. 

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