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Functional Foods 07 Feb 2018

What’s New in the Functional Foods Market?

The wellness industry is not just about products that are safe but also food that benefits us.

By Tanvi Jetly Feature Writer

The functional food market is growing and this is not just a statement. With the change in the year, there is also a change in the market trends that seem to be quite interesting. The nutraceuticals market has been abuzz with latest developments that can prove to be really beneficial for consumers. Functional foods, being a part of it, have brought in a number of new discoveries for a healthier diet and future.

Digestive Health
In this term, it is all about digesting. Products that can be digested easily are in huge demand as people with a sensitive stomach would like to avoid heavy products in comparison. With the demand for probiotic, gluten and lactose-free dairy products and plant milk, the segment of digestive wellness is definitely going to expand. In the years to come, the product range will see more fragmentation in the market. The list will expand to many more ingredients, various new products and more types of avoidance.

Convenient Vegetables
The plant-based trend is here to stay. Convenient vegetables, as they are called, are making their way into the functional food market to help consumers choose the best. Generally, people do not like eating vegetables as much as they should. Companies have realised this and by innovating something new, they want to serve the customers what suits their taste. By convenient vegetables, it is all about how innovative the brands can be with vegetables that might seem basically boring to customers. By offering products like mini-meals, side dishes, snacks and many more that are made out of vegetables, various international brands are not only serving healthy and lip smacking meals, but also generating huge revenue and accelerating sales.

This concept is not only refrshing but has also provided people with the choice to not compromise on taste and still stay healthy. A healthy food product like Kale, which is very common internationally, does not have many fans of it but with experimentation, the products out of it have been made quite cool for consumers to accept.

Naturally Functional
Functional foods that are natural is what consumers need the most as the trend of going natural is at an all-time high. Green juices, full- fat dairy, seaweed snacks are some of the natural functional foods that have risen again. Turmeric, which has been in the supplements section for too long, has now started to move towards foods and beverages section. This transition is happening after consumers realised that it not only is perfect for supplements but also has the potential to be a functional food.

Expert Speak
“In Nutraceuticals, India in particular, the market is growing very rapidly. Here, we have a booming middle class and a B2C issue that’s gaining significance as western foods are expanding in India. So, we are trying to revert back to more traditional diets, supplements, medicines and things like that,” says Chad A. Wissinger, General Counsel, NutriMost Wellness and Weight Loss.

“I think it is because of the people getting more aware that we have gone to the extreme end of chemicals by harming the nature, our body and all the essential things. With time, people have realised that living a natural life is a much healthier alternative than using all kinds of chemical-based products,” says Anurag Sharma, Managing Director, Shree Baidyanath Ayurved Bhawan Pvt. Ltd.

Conclusion
Functional foods are an integral part of nutraceuticals market which is gaining its identity in India after being accepted internationally. The market has been growing at a steady CAGR of nearly 8%, as reported by Technavio, and the market looks positive until the end of 2020. With functional foods being introduced in the Indian market, the segment, in no time, will create a customer base that would like to consume products that will be beneficial to their health.

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