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Functional Foods: Key Trends by Product Categories and Benefits

  • February 2015
  • -
  • Packaged Facts
  • -
  • 127 pages


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Within the vibrant U.S. functional food and beverage market, Â weight management and satiety, sports nutrition, and energy are areas showing exceptional activity, in part due to the growth of products and categories targeting breakfast and snacking occasions. As a result, important shifts in brand positioning, benefits and product claims are taking place.

Although one-third of adults say they are watching their diet to lose weight, consumers continue to shun brands and foods focused on weight loss in favor of those promoted as healthy. This has traditional weight loss brands repositioning as they deemphasize weight loss and dieting and address wellness more generally, with impacts across several product categories.

Sports nutritional products are also being reinvented. Sports beverage brands are attempting to find their right footing in the market without being associated with soft drinks and the negative health associations of excess sugar consumption, including obesity and diabetes. They are also avoiding being grouped with energy beverages, which are under intense scrutiny for posing a health threat from high levels of caffeine. Newer market entrants and reformulated iconic brands of sports drinks portray a healthier image, increasingly containing natural ingredients, less sugar and foregoing artificial ingredients. Nutrition bars used by athletes and sports enthusiasts are rapidly evolving from dessert-like sweet foods with added nutrients to more inherently nutritious products, including savory flavor combinations.

To satisfy consumer needs for energy, single minded focus on highly caffeinated drinks is giving way to a wider selection of products that are positioned to offer long lasting energy. Targeting breakfast and snacking, products touting lasting energy benefits span categories including cereal, bars, meat snacks and nuts.

Scope of Report

Functional Foods: Key Trends by Product Categories and Benefits provides extensive discussion of the categories, products, benefits, brand positioning and claims associated with market changes taking place related to weight loss and satiety, sports nutrition and energy. In addition to discussing current trends in the marketplace, the report highlights potential opportunities and anticipated direction of future development. Coverage of each of the three areas includes discussion of recent changes in scientific understanding of relevant health and wellness topics, regulatory developments, ingredients and nutritional comparisons among products.

Report Methodology

The information in this report was obtained from both primary and secondary research. Consumer data were derived from a Packaged Facts national online consumer survey conducted in January 2015 with a panel of 2,000 U.S. adults (age 18+) balanced to the national population on the primary demographic measures of gender, age range, ethnicity, geographic region, marital status, presence or absence of children in the household and household income.

Additional consumer data were obtained from the Simmons National Consumer Survey through Summer 2014 from Experian Marketing Services. On an ongoing basis, Experian Marketing Services conducts booklet-based surveys of a large and random sample of consumers (approximately 25,000 for each 12-month survey compilation) who in aggregate represent a statistically accurate cross-section of the U.S. population.

Retail sales figures credited to IRI (Chicago, IL) are based on IRI aggregated multi-outlet (MULO) sales tracking, which represents sales through U.S. supermarkets, drugstores including Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid), mass merchandisers (Wal-Mart, Target, Kmart and Shopko), warehouse clubs (Sam’s Club and BJ’s, but not Costco), dollar stores (excluding Dollar Tree) and military commissaries.

Store visits were made to numerous retailers in Minnesota, New York and Texas in conjunction with this report.

A wide range of secondary sources was also leveraged including industry reports, videos embedded in websites, presentations obtained from seminars, workshops and conferences, trade publications, business newspapers and magazines, consumer blogs, financial blogs, social media, annual reports, 10Ks and press releases.

Who Will Benefit From This Report
Food and Beverage Manufacturers
Food and Beverage Retailers
Ingredient Companies
Private Label Marketing Firms
Advertising Agencies
Investment Banks
Benefits of This Report Include

Consumer research findings related to health and wellness and the role of functional foods

Coverage of multiple functional food markets:

Weight management and satiety
Sports nutrition
Discussion of major trends related to:

Numerous tables and figures providing product composition information and comparisons

Identification of opportunities for food and beverage manufacturers

Prediction of future trends

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