Functional food trends in the US

by Comité de Arándanos

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According to the Commercial Office (Ocex) of Peru in Miami, in the last 20 years, US consumers have shown interest in foods and beverages that have some kind of health benefit and that are natural.
This segment has evolved into a food and health industry that has high levels of opportunity, in which personalization and fragmentation are the main drivers of its growth and constant change.
Trends
One of most outstanding trends that offer new opportunities, is the consumers’ search to improve their digestive health, which has opened the doors to dairy products with probiotics, free of gluten or lactose, and vegetable milks.
In turn, the fragmentation of this small segment allows the entry of new ingredients or product categories, projecting great opportunity for probiotics, thanks to the growing interest in fermented foods, and for prebiotics, which are already being combined with other key ingredients like kiwi, figs, or beets.
In addition, the trend of a plant-based diet has favored the development of new products in this segment and created opportunities for prepared vegetable products that offer healthy benefits, taste good, and are convenient for consumer.
This type of prepared products, which include snacks and other products such as cauliflower rice, mini beets, broccoli snacks, resealable carrots or beans sachets, or processed chickpea snacks are generating a growth in the industry’s sales.
Other outstanding products are proteins as an ingredient, and alternative foods to meat.
The trend that most marks this industry is the consumers’ desire to obtain food and ingredients that are functional in a natural way. This, in turn, becomes the main driver of the healthy food and beverages market’s innovation strategies.
Consumers are looking for a product that has an intrinsic health benefit. Currently, turmeric is the naturally functional ingredient that has the strongest growth potential and, after having developed its strengthening in the supplements segment, it is transitioning to be an ingredient in food and beverages.
Other products that are entering strongly are green juices, blueberries, almonds, and algae snacks, among others. Vegetable snacks or foods prepared with super grains or super fruits, such as plums, Goji berries, turmeric, maca, or medicinal mushrooms also have a strong potential.

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Comité de Arándanos


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