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Especially in the major market countries, more consumers are looking to buy food and drinks products comprised of ingredients that they perceive to be healthy. For many consumers, food and drinks products made with natural ingredients fall into this category, with artificial ingredients being perceived as inherently unnatural and unhealthy. Regulatory pressures on manufacturers are firmly in the direction of making food and drinks products healthier. Trends in food and drink ingredients labeling regulations are also becoming more restrictive. In developed markets, as the proportion of consumers interested in natural and healthful food and drinks increases, so will sales of products with naturally nutritionally rich and quality calorie content.
In developed markets, concerns about natural and healthful ingredients will fit in with consumers concerns about food and drink ethics - increasingly, healthful will also mean ingredients that are responsibly sourced in terms of social and environmental sustainability. The idea of more gourmet and exotic products will also chime with consumers' increasing concerns for natural and healthful ingredients - the idea of having premium and/or novel nutritionally rich, quality calories will catch on. The staying power of emerging, novel ingredients will largely depend on meeting consumer demands in terms of taste, provenance and efficacy.
‘Natural' was the top claim in food and drink product launches, with a share of 9.24% in 2008 rising to 10.03% in 2009. Between 2008 and 2009, soft drinks were the leading category in terms of their share (60.7% in 2009) of products launched with an innovative ingredient formulation, followed by confectionary. Manufacturers are driving bakery and cereal ingredient formulations forward by specifying provenance of key ingredients including wheat and garlic, and by specifying the genus of wheat varieties and of other key ingredients such as seeds. Probiotics remain a key ingredient theme in the dairy category and had a rising ingredient share in the period 2008-2009. A key theme in soft drink ingredient formulations between 2008 and 2009 was more natural ingredient formulations. One strategy used by manufacturers of confectionary products to offer benefits of calorie quality and nutritional value is fortification with vitamins and minerals.
Author: Paul Chapman, Analyst
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