The market has been experiencing high demand for food ingredients with added nutritional value, improved vitamin content and packaged food & beverages with a longer shelf life, the report said.
Rising health consciousness and disease prevalence owing to nutritional deficiency is expected to have a positive impact on functional food market growth over the next six years. Specialty ingredients and an emerging health oriented market coupled shifting interest toward protein consumption, opening key opportunities for the functional foods market. The high price of synthetic dietary supplements along with increased incidences of side effects has led to shifting consumer preference toward natural functional foods. The market is expected to witness surging demand from digestive health and heart health food products on account of increasing health consciousness and changing lifestyles.
In terms of regional consumption patterns, North America was the largest market for functional foods with a majority of demand centered toward the U.S. The U.S. alone accounted for more than 30% of the global market demand in 2013. North America is estimated to continue its dominance in the global market on account of favorable regulatory scenarios for natural food supplements and other confectionery products by FDA and USDA. The Asia Pacific functional foods market is estimated to witness above average growth rates over the forecast period. High demand for nutritional food supplements coupled with increasing disposable income among average consumers is expected to drive functional foods market growth in this region. Future demand is expected to come from countries such as U.S., China, Japan, Australia, India, Malaysia and France.
The global functional foods market is characterized by constant product development in terms of higher nutritional value and unique formula claims by top players operating in the market. Major companies have now shifted their focus toward organic functional foods. Companies including Ceres Organics have developed several organic nutritional supplements based on linseed, sunflower seeds and almond. Major companies involved in this market include Kraft Food, Kellogg’s, Heinz, Unilever and Nestle.