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Functional Food Industry Dealing With Some Troubling Market Forces

November 1, 2010: 07:23 AM EST

According to market researcher Mintel, several forces have combined to transform the functional foods and beverage industry: the economy, consumer doubts, and tought FDA rules. Price-conscious consumers are more likely to take a cheaper multivitamin, for example, than a specialty supplement. Though antioxidant-rich functional beverages are still highly sought after, consumers can find many cheaper regular beverages containing antioxidants. And they are less likely to buy a functional beverage that is high in calories. Key problems for the industry: consumers don’t really think of functional foods as a category, and they look for foods that are enjoyable as well as healthy, benefits that can come from a wide variety of foods. Mintel says consumers are more likely to choose functional foods to provide a specific benefit: weight loss, energy boost, or stress relief.

Joanna Cosgrove, "Functional Foods - The segment continues to fine tune its image and message—but are consumers listening?", Nutraceutical World, November 01, 2010, © Rodman Publishing
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