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Top Five Functional Trends for 2013: Emerging vs Developed Markets

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Functional health and wellness products continue to be in high demand as consumer knowledge about the efficacy of ingredients spreads across the globe. Functional ingredients are associated with a wide range of health trends offering additional benefits beyond regular nutrition. The latest Health and Wellness research findings revealed that fortified/functional products are set to see a strong constant annual growth of 5% over 2012-2013, equivalent to US $11.5 billion globally.

According to Euromonitor International, the top five functional trends for 2013 include:

1. Desire for energy

2. Long-term weight control

3. Probiotics: The year of US, China and Brazil

4. Preventative ageing

5. Heart-healthy emerging markets

Consumer desires and interests can vary significantly across the globe, with age being one of the key determinants of nutritional and psychological needs. Young populations, with a mean age of below 30, will put more focus on having a good time, prioritising products that provide functionalities, such as energy boosting, while older populations (a mean age of 50 and above) will favour beauty from within and cardiovascular health products.

Absolute Retail Value Growth of Top Five Functional Trends for 2013 and Mean Age of Target Consumer

Absolute Retail Value Growth of Top Five Functional Trends for 2013 and Mean Age of Target Consumer

Source: Euromonitor International

Note:  Error bars represent age range of core consumer

Absolute Retail Value Growth in Developed vs Emerging Markets for Top Five Functional Trends, 2013.
Absolute Retail Value Growth in Developed vs Emerging Markets for Top Five Functional Trends, 2013.

Source: Euromonitor International

 1. Desire for energy

  • With increasingly busy lifestyles, consumer interest in energy drinks and sports drinks, the latter of which promote endurance, fails to tire. Demand is driven by developed markets and in particular the US, where the constant value growth for 2013 of endurance and energy boosting products combined is over US$1 billion. But as brands such as Red Bull and Burn gain a global consumer following, emerging markets, and Brazil in particular, are set to take off.
  • Core consumers:  Ages 20-35

2. Long-term weight control

  • Numerous attempts to curb the growing obesity epidemic have failed. As a result, long-term solutions for calorie reduction via healthy lifestyle changes are becoming a necessity. In fact, the European Foods Safety Authority (EFSA) has launched average requirement (AR) of daily calories depending on age in January 2013: as age increases, AR decreases. A much needed move towards more personalised nutrition, due to large variances in lifestyles and activity levels is driving the need for more age-specific products.
  • Demand is driven by emerging markets with rapidly rising levels of obesity, including China, Brazil and India. While in developed markets, consumers are looking to prevent the onset or progression of obesity-related diseases through the likes of heart healthy products.
  • This switch to longer-term solutions rather than quick fixes in more developed markets is also driving demand for more natural and less-conventional solutions, such as the natural, high-intensity sweetener, stevia.
  • Core consumers: Ages 25-65

3. Probiotics: The year of US, China and Brazil

4. Preventative ageing

  • As the global population gets older, consumers continue to look for ways to reduce the signs of ageing. As such, they are increasingly prescribing to those products which offer the appeal of retaining their youth, such as beauty from within products.
  • Dominated by Asia Pacific this trend is now spreading to Latin America and more developed markets. Constant value growth will remain small for 2013, at just US$37 million, but interest is certainly on the rise.
  • Core consumers: Ages 40-70

5. Heart healthy emerging markets

  • Heart health is increasingly a global concern due in part to rising obesity levels. Growth of cardiovascular disease-related food and drink products in 2013 is set to be dominated by Brazil.
  • While reduced fat and reduced salt products dominate heart health, consumers are starting to move to those products with more specific functional ingredients which, for example, lower cholesterol.
  • Core consumers: Ages 45-75

Functional health and wellness products continue to be in strong demand across the world as they deliver tangible benefits that consumers are happy to pay a premium for. As education about the efficacy of functional ingredients strengthens, so too does the demand for these products, yet regulation is becoming more stringent.

Mean Age of Populations Across the World 2006-2011


Mean Age of Populations Across the World 2006-2011
Source: Euromonitor International

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