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Get to know all the details of the diet food sector: key trends and strategies explained

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Global Diet Food Industry

Part of the global functional food sector, the world weight control product market is expected to reach almost $47 billion by 2015, according to research from Global Industry Analysts. Market growth is fuelled by a rising number of overweight and obese consumers, product innovation, and increased awareness surrounding health issues. The portion of the population suffering from obesity represented by children continues to grow, prompting manufacturers to market their products directly to children and to offer a wide range of tastes and flavors. Obesity is growing in emerging nations due to urbanization and changing lifestyle habits, holding strong expansion for market growth in these regions.

Manufacturers are meeting consumer demand more elaborate diet programs, offering 24-hour support tools to encourage interactive dieting habits, reports Business Insights. US demand for fat replacers is growing, along with customized eating programs designed to cater to consumers wishing to maintain a healthy weight or lose excess weight.

Key Segments

The global weight management industry is forecast to generate sales of $650 billion by 2015, according to Transparency Market Research. The market caters to obese and overweight individuals trying to shed extra pounds to improve their health, and also to health conscious consumers seeking to avoid becoming overweight as a preventative measure against weight-related health concerns.

North America dominates the global weight management market, generating almost $148 billion in 2010. This region is followed by the EU, recording market growth comparable with that of North America. Asia represents the region with the greatest weight management market growth potential as consumers in the region are adopting western lifestyle and eating habits necessitating weight management measures.  Asian consumers have rising disposable income and are reacting more rapidly to weight-related health concerns, spurring market growth in this sector.

The market for fat replacement in food and drinks is growing due to increased consumer awareness concerning different types of fats. Popular reduced fat product ingredients entering the market between 2008 and 2010 include pectin, guar gum, gelatin, cornstarch, xanthan gum, soy protein and carrageenan, reports Business Insights. Sunflower oil was particularly popular, present in more than 9% of products. Fat replacers must effectively limit or replace the target fat at an affordable cost without causing side effects.

Gluten-free foods are growing in popularity due to rising cases of celiac disease and a wider portion of the population suffering from food allergies, reports Packaged Facts. Many family and friends of those suffering from celiac disease and allergies also adopt eating habits excluding gluten to support the allergy or celiac disease sufferer, further fuelling market growth. The rate of market expansion is expected to slow over the next five-year period. Gluten-free products are expected to generate more than $5 billion in sales by 2015.

Regional Market Share

UK state initiatives to encourage people to cut back on salt, sugar and saturated fat to combat weight-related health complications have been fuelling the growth of the reduced-sugar, and low-fat foods and drinks sector. Alternative products containing less sugar and fat are increasingly available on the market, making this sector one with vast potential.

The US diet food home delivery market is worth almost $925 million, according to MarketData Enterprises. There are around 30 major players competing in this market segment, some delivering at a nationwide level and others catering to local markets. This market segment is expected to record yearly growth of 4.5% between 2011 and 2014. Around 65% of customers are female, with most customers opting for plans lasting between 8 and 12 weeks and paying close to $725 per month.

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Parent industry: Functional Food
Related industries: Vitamin and Supplement, Nutraceutical, Sport Nutritional

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