Last year, market analyst Mintel tracked 1859 global launches of functional food products, which is more than double the 904 products launched in 2005.
The figures, from Mintel’s Global New Products Database (GNPD) include introductions of all new functional food or beverage products that carry some form of health claim on their labels.
While these include products claiming to deliver specific added health benefits (e.g. digestive health or heart health), they also include products that imply healthfulness via a reduction of certain nutrients or components (e.g. reduced/no sugar, fat, calories, allergens, preservatives).
According to the latest statistics provided to NutraIngredients-USA.com today, The US accounted for 30 per cent of all functional product launches in 2008, with 551 new introductions.
The countries with the next highest number of new launches were Italy (203 products), Japan (135), the UK (130), Germany (106) and France (103).
The US also leads product launches in 2009 to date, with 330 new introductions between January and August. Japan is so far in second place (179), followed by Germany (129), Italy (122) and the UK (107). France lags behind with 47 new functional products launched in 2009 to date.
According to a new study released earlier this month by Pricewaterhouse Coopers, the US functional foods market was worth $27bn in 2007.
The report, which noted consumers are willing to pay premiums for foods that target health problems, predicted that functional foods in the United States could grow by up to 20 percent or five times that of the food industry as a whole.
Functional foods have grown to the point where they account for five percent of the food industry, with consumers more interested than ever in fortified foods – even those whose overall nutrient profile is variable, it said.
Most popular categories
NutraIngredients-USA.com examines the most popular functional food categories as demonstrated through new product launches in the US and abroad. Click here to access the article.
Source: Mintel's GNPD