The global functional foods market is expected to reach USD 255.10 billion by 2024, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc.Growing geriatric population, healthcare costs, consumers ‘consciousness towards their well-being, and changing lifestyle is expected to drive the functional foods market growth over the forecast period. These foods have the ability to combat various diseases progression and provide promising health benefits to individuals.
Fish oils which contain long-chain omega-3 fatty acids are categorized as a functional food that helps in reduction of cardiovascular diseases and lowers the total cholesterol level. Yogurt, which has lactobacillus bacteria, contributes to improving the quality of intestinal microflora.
However, the functional food is mostly attributed to possess “credence attributes” that is the product attributes cannot be claimed directly by the consumers. Such a factor is expected to critically affect the global industry over the forecast period.
Labeling on a product might claim that it constitutes extra dosage of calcium, which helps in preventing osteoporosis disease. However, consumers are unable to evaluate such claims as the nutrients cannot be smelled or tasted and do not have any proper shape. Consumers need to wait for a particular period to validate the credence claims.
Nevertheless, researchers have been trying to combine functional food and molecular nutrition into one which is anticipated to challenge the traditional diet paradigm. The benefits claimed for functional foods by manufacturers slowly arrive on the plates of the consumers. Speeding the health benefit arrival require more innovative approaches and also funding to expand the knowledge base associated with molecular nutrition.
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Further key findings from the study suggest:
- Epidemiological studies have demonstrated that higher the consumption of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, there is a wider chance of lowering some chronic diseases.
- Soy product is expected to witness the highest growth of 9.2% over the next eight years. Soybean contains isoflavones and lignans, which is attributed to providing high protein content, thus attracting large consumer group for its usage in health diets.
- These foods also contribute significantly to improving the digestive tract of human beings. Digestive health end-use segment is presumed to exhibit a CAGR of 8.6% over the forecast period. Various plants, spices, and herbs help to promote digestion activities among humans.
- Asia Pacific accounted for over 40% of the global market in 2015 and is expected to maintain its lead position over the forecast period. Increasing urbanization and rising geriatric population in countries such as India and China is supposed to aid the regional growth.
- The industry is fragmented in nature with the presence of both local and international participants. Companies include BASF SE, Cargill Inc, Nutri-Nation, Coco-Cola Co., GFR Pharma and General Mills Inc.