Unconventional Fitness Regimes, Innovation Lifting Functional Foods

London — Product innovations and consumers increasingly turning to non-traditional fitness programs are expected to lift the functional foods and beverages markets, which is anticipated to grow 8 percent in the coming five years, according to Technavio.

Analyst Manjunath Reddy says: “Other factors that will fuel market growth include an increase in the demand for functional foods from older people, increase in the number of health-conscious adults and increased concern about the health of children.”

In addition to releasing products with flavors corresponding to consumers’ demands, manufacturers are also focusing on sugarfree and low calorie items, Technavio reports. Further, technology is helping to a mask the impact some functional ingredients have on taste. For example, microencapsulation allows manufacturers to cover bitter flavors associated with amino acids and similar ingredients.

The researcher notes shoppers are increasingly drawn to functional products as a form of disease prevention in the face of rising healthcare costs. This is leading some marketers to focus on effectively labeling and aligning product formulas with specific benefits and applications to draw consumers’ attention.

Also lifting the functional market is increased participation in non-traditional fitness programs, such as yoga, as spending on products related to these activities has grown. Technavio reports sales for yoga products in the U.S. is $27 billion annually, and spending on these types of items has increase more than 85 percent in the past five years.