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Top 10 Functional Food Trends

April 25, 2012

Source: Ingredients Network

“Consumers are preferring to get their nutrients naturally and their health benefits naturally, versus fortified foods or vitamin and mineral supplements,” Dr Elizabeth Sloan.

Top 10 functional food trends

1.  Real food nutrition

More people are making an effort to serve meals that are naturally higher in vitamins and nutrition.

At the same time, vitamin and supplement users report cutting back significantly on their use for three reasons: a belief that the quality and benefits of nutrition in foods is best; pervasive doubts about the bioavailability of even the highest quality supplements; and concerns about the long-term effects on the digestive system

Dr. Sloan noted that consumers believe that vitamins and minerals are more beneficial when they are consumed in food. Other trends for 2012 include:

2. Mini managers

Rather than making drastic dietary changes, consumers are still buying the same staples, such as bread and pasta, but they are seeking healthier versions of those products such as whole grain bread. Another study found that for the first time, shoppers are now considering whether a product has artificial sweeteners or high fructose corn syrup when evaluating its nutritional value.

3. Bioavailability

Dr. Sloan noted that consumers increasingly believe nutrition plays a key role in maintaining health and staving off serious diseases, and they will seek products that help them get important nutrients.

According to one study 55 per cent of consumers believe calcium is very effective for bone health; 55 per cent believe fibre is very effective against colon cancer; and 38 per cent believe omega vitamins are very effective for heart health

In cases where consumers take a dietary supplement, magnesium is the fastest-growing mineral (up 25 per cent in 2011). In addition, supplements that promote healthy vision are surging in popularity.

4. Protein power 

5. Plant based

6. Gourmet nutrition

7. The new risks (stroke, heart attack prevention)

8. First aid (relief from sore throat, constipation, sleeplessness) 

9. Kids, dads and grannies (appealing to these groups) 

10. Liquidification

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