Data has been gathered from a multitude of industry resources for the compilation of 10 functional food trends for 2014. The list was published by the Institute of Food Technologists for Food Technology magazine.
Here are some highlights of these trends:
Consumers who once relied on nutritional supplements are switching to fortified and functional foods. Nine out of 10 adults made a strong effort to consume more nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and herbs/botanicals. They are also including more fish/oil/omega-3s in their diets.
Maintaining a healthy digestive system and immune health are top health priorities. Probiotics will play a key role in 2014.
Millennials age 14 to 33 view their food choices as healthier, more expensive, more natural/organic, less processed, better tasting and fresh. They are also the most likely to believe that functional foods and beverages can be used in place of some medicines to relieve tiredness, lack of energy, retain mental sharpness with aging, stress, and eye health.
Millennials and Gen Xers read nutrition labels for calories, vitamins/minerals, serving size and protein. They drink a wider range of beverages than other generations including ready-to-drink coffees and sparkling drinks.
Six out of 10 consumers look for ingredients they can recognize while shopping for food and seek out foods made with simple, real and natural ingredients.
Over half of consumers look for foods without artificial ingredients and a quarter of adults buy organic foods and beverages. The majority of consumers strongly like the idea of getting their nutrition from foods with naturally-occurring health benefits.
Consumers interested in losing weight avoided deprivation-style weight loss campaigns and ate healthier while adding specific real food components and nutrients to their diet.
Two-thirds of consumers trying to manage their weight added whole grains, fiber and vitamin D to their diet. Others added more calcium, protein, antioxidants or omega 3/fish oil.
Sixty percent of adults believe protein works for weight loss, while one-third believe protein boosts metabolism and aids in fat burning.
The 52 million Hispanics in America spent $6.9 billion on functional foods in 2012 and $9.4 billion on natural and organic food and drinks.
Hispanics were the number one users of energy drinks and shots, sports beverages and 100% juice and juice drinks.
Hispanics are twice as likely as the general population to spend whatever it takes to look younger. They are often the first to try a new health food, nutritional product or diet.
Nearly six in 10 adults used a sports nutrition product in 2012. The combined consumer sales of sports nutrition supplements, nutrition bars and energy drinks topped $24 billion in 2012 up 11.2 percent.
Three-quarters of children between the ages of six and 11 and 71 percent of teens 12 to 17 use sports drinks.
Half of the users of protein drinks believe they help them perform better during exercise.
57 percent of consumers mainly between the ages of 18 and 34 or over 65 seek more protein sources to maintain healthy bones and joints, strengthen immune systems and build muscle strength and tone while maintaining energy throughout the day.
Eighty percent of households eat meatless meals for dinner on occasion with eggs as the most popular alternative.
Dairy-free milks including soy, rice and almond ranked fifth and coconut water ranked eighth among popular nonalcoholic beverage trends in restaurants in 2014.
About 16 million American moms are looking for a wider range of healthy, convenient, kid-friendly foods and drinks with nutrient and calorie levels specific to kids.
Forty-four percent of children under age 12 consume organic foods and drinks at least once a week, however, moms are less likely to seek out organic as their children age.
Eight out of 10 consumers believe that functional foods can help prevent or delay the onset of heart disease, hypertension, osteoporosis and Type 2 diabetes. Six out of 10 associate it with benefits linked to age-related memory loss, cancer and Alzheimer's disease.
In 2013, 56 percent of consumers bought foods or beverages that targeted a specific condition while cholesterol-lowering foods and drinks were the most purchased condition-specific food and drink.
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Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.