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The Top 10 Functional Food Trends in America

Posted by BeWell A.

Newswise — Foods that may provide a health benefit beyond basic nutrition, identified as functional foods, are becoming a key part of everyday life, according to a new article appearing in Food Technology, a publication of the Institute of Food Technologists.

Liz Sloan, Contributing Editor and President of Sloan Trends and Solutions, a trending and market predictions firm focusing on the food industry, has identified the top 10 trends in functional foods. The article noted that the majority of Americans, 69 percent are incorporating foods into a preventative lifestyle, while 27 percent are utilizing food as a treatment to manage a preexisting health condition. One-third of shoppers (36 percent) are trying to reduce the risk of developing a health condition, follow a doctor’s advice (30 percent) or manage/treat a specific condition on their own (25 percent), according to the Food Marketing Institute¹ data.

“Today’s consumers are extremely sophisticated, and they are attracted to functional foods’ ability to help manage health and wellness,” said IFT spokesperson Roger Clemens, PhD. Simply put, Americans are relying heavily on the foods they consume to improve their well-being.

Top 10 Food Trends

1. Healthy Household Halo – Americans are looking to create a healthy household. Approximately 57 percent of shoppers are making a lot of effort to eat healthier². With half (53 percent) of adults controlling their diet – 61 percent for weight, 36 percent cholesterol, 22 percent blood sugar, 18 percent high blood pressure, and 14 percent diabetes³. Babies and young children also drive healthier household eating. Popular trends include DHA for brain and eye development and probiotics for digestive health. In recent years, sales of healthful kids’ foods have outsold regular kids’ products 3:14. With 28 percent of parents admitting that they have an overweight child and one in eight kids having two or more risk factors for heart disease later in life, the No. 3 concern of moms, after immunity and growth/development, is now healthy kids foods.

2. Natural End Benefits – Recent scientific validation of the health benefits of superfoods have convinced consumers that key benefits are, in fact, naturally achievable, thus creating a new trend to whole food nutrition. New superfoods include:
• Blood Oranges
• Goji Berries
• Seabuckthorn
• Mangosteens
• Garbanzo Beans
• Specialty Mushrooms

3. Balancing The “Bul-get” – The U.S. weight loss market—projected to grow from $58 billion to $69 billion by 2010—is undergoing a sea change as consumers shift from dieting/weight loss programs to managing weight via smaller portions, specific food restrictions, and light/low-fat and super-satiating foods 5. Products providing, satiety, the state of feeling full or gratified, are now a hot commodity.

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