December 9 2007
Markets for superfoods, exotic fruits to double by 2011
by David Gutierrez
(NewsTarget) The market in "super" foods and drinks is anticipated to nearly double from its 2001 levels by the year 2011, according to a report written by market analysis firm Datamonitor.
According to "Super Food and Drinks: Consumer Attitudes to Nutrient Rich Products," demand for superfoods has surged as consumers have become more concerned about nutrition. More than 50 percent of the 5413 U.S. and European consumers surveyed for the report said that they took more active steps to improve their diets in 2006 compared with previous years. The steps include eschewing foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar, as well as actively seeking out those perceived to be high in nutritive value. These include foods that are fresh, organic and nutrient enriched.
In particular, demand for products containing certain "super" ingredients, such as acai or goji berries, has skyrocketed. From January 2005 to May 2007, the number of products incorporating pomegranate as an ingredient increased by 500 percent compared with the period between 1999 and 2004.
This is part of a wider market trend, which has seen sales of soy products almost double in the United States while more than tripling in Western Europe between 2001 and 2006, and sales of green tea increased by more than 30 percent in the United States in the same period.
Datamonitor projects that the super foods market will grow from its 2001 levels of €5,872m ($8,013m) to €7,448m ($10,163m) by 2011.
The report also raises concerns with the growing market and offers suggestions for producers. Among the concerns cited are the ecological costs associated with shipping exotic ingredients from distant places to U.S. or European markets. The report also warns producers against marketing their products as a "magic bullet," and instead encourages them to emphasize the products' role in a healthy, balanced diet.