The omega-3 industry has reported declines , with the biggest hit in the US market experienced by omega-3 sourced from anchovy. However, krill and concentrates recorded $18.7MM and $16.7MM increases in value sales in 2012-2013.
Speaking with NutraIngredients-USA at the recent IFT Annual Meeting and Expo in New Orleans, Jandali, VP of BASF Nutrition & Health, North America, said BASF is the leader in high concentrate omega-3s following the acquisitions of Pronova and Equateq (now BASF Pharma Callanish).
“We’re very happy to be in the growing part of the market,” he said, and added that the company is investing in separation and purification technologies to maintain its position.
At the IFT show the company showcased some omega-3 concepts, including omega-3 fortified snacks for kids, including a “Be Active bar plus omega-3” with omega-3 fish oil and vitamin D3, a “Graham Cracker plus DHA” and a “Chocolate almond nut butter plus DHA”.
“The line between meals and snacking is blurring,” said Ludger Eilers, Business Manager, Nutrition & Health, BASF North America, and research indicates that 49% of consumers are interested in snacks that provide a health benefit, he said.
In addition, the US snack and nutritional bar market grew by almost 3% in 2013 to reach a mouth-watering $5.5 billion, he added, and it’s forecast to grow by 12% by 2018 to an impressive $6.2 billion.
The company also experienced significant interest in its nut spread, said Eilers. “We’ve been blown away by the feedback at IFT for our chocolate almond nut butter plus DHA.” This may not be hugely surprising when one considers that the US nut based and sweet spread category is forecast to grow by 66% over five years to reach $6.5 billion by 2018.
“We’re keeping our pulse on trends and overcome the technical hurdles so our customers don't have to,” said Eilers. “There is tremendous opportunity when you consider that six in ten U.S. adults consume specially formulated functional foods and beverages at least occasionally.”
The company also showcased capabilities in the sports nutrition sector, including a chocolate recovery milk with Tonalin CLA, an ingredient with over 20 clinical trials supporting its potential to reduce body fat and maintain lean body mass.
“Young professionals are more likely than other generations to consume milk before or after exercise, making this demographic a great target for health focused milk products,” said Eilers.
Eilers also talked about the need for ‘transparent labels’ given that 52% of consumers check the ingredient list on products (according to IFIC), and the an estimated 15 million Americans have food allergies. “BASF offers choice so customers can select what's right for them depending on the target audience, finished product, regulatory guidelines and package claims,” he said, “and the portfolio includes naturally sourced, vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free and allergen-free ingredients.”