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Opportunities to Target the Ageing through Functional Food and Drink

November 2013

Helping to bridge the seven year gap between life expectancy and healthy life expectancy, the report highlights the opportunities to target the health concerns of the ageing population, subject to regional demand. It explores how the utilisation of a range of functional ingredients could provide a means to return growth to certain health positionings, the performance of which has levelled off in recent years, including cardiovascular health, bone and joint health, brain health and vision health.

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The seven year gap between healthy life expectancy and life expectancy needs closing

There is a difference of at least seven years across all regions between life expectancy and healthy life expectancy. To help revitalise fortified/functional products, manufacturers should target the ageing and close this gap. There are plenty of opportunities in cardiovascular health, bone and joint health, brain healthy and memory and vision health.

Criteria 1: Investment

Greater investment from multinationals in research and development, as well as through mergers and acquisitions, has resulted in increased functional product launches in age-related prime positionings. Brain health and memory has been a particular focus of leading health and wellness players.

Criteria 2: Efficacy

Products using functional ingredients that offer a health benefit within a short period of time gain consumer trust more quickly. The benefits of plant sterols pertaining to cardiovascular health highlight the advantages of such ingredients.

Criteria 3: Education

To further fuel the movement towards prevention, manufacturers need to reinforce their efforts to communicate the benefits of functional food and drink. For more niche positionings, eg vision health, manufacturers should learn from the success of plant sterols and utilise strong claims. These products can hold greater consumer trust and be more price resilient.

Criteria 4: Regulation

Functional products should exploit regulation, as this enables the use of strong claims. This has the potential to re-invigorate positionings, eg bone and joint health, which at present are heavily reliant on a limited number of vitamins and minerals.

Fortified/functional curve

Mapping out the readiness for functional food and drink for the ageing in each region, the fortified/functional curve highlights North America, Australasia and Western Europe for higher spending on health prevention within conventional food and drink.

What this report includes

  • Top-level strategic analysis of how major consumer trends will influence global markets
  • Consumer insight
  • Impact across all relevant consumer markets
  • Unique graphics and case studies
  • Key market snapshots
  • Accompanying presentation to synthesise main findings

Why buy this report

  • Identify factors driving change now and in the future
  • Understand motivation
  • Forward-looking outlook
  • Briefings and presentation should provoke lively discussion at senior level
  • Take a step back from micro trends
  • Get up to date estimates and comment


Objectives of global briefing
Key findings

Four Criteria Key to the Success of Functional Products

Consumer demand high for functional food and drink products
Four criteria key to grow demand for functional food and drink
The four criteria: Utilise to succeed

The Ageing Demographic

The world is getting older and richer
Life expectancy and healthy life expectancy: A seven year gap
Key concerns for the ageing: Heart, bone, brain and vision health
Healthy ageing fits with the move to prevention over treatment
HW products and VDS outperform OTC remedies
Ageing-related positionings at US$22 billion but need reinvigorating
Target the ageing functional consumer
Food and drink for the ageing needs a boost
Focus on the older populations with high FF food consumption

Cardiovascular Health

The rise of cardiovascular disease prevention through food
Explore FF ingredients for ageing to revitalise demand
Case study: The success of Unilever's Flora/ Becel Pro Activ
Price resilience of plant sterols upholds growth in Western Europe
Plant sterols highlight a path other functional ingredients will follow
Competitors see opportunities in emerging markets
Learning from plant sterols (through the prism of the four criteria)
Efficacy within a short time period required for success
Utilise the near 30 ingredients linked with cardiovascular health
Soy protein – the next ingredient for cardiovascular health?
Is soy protein the ultimate ingredient for the ageing?

Bone and Joint Health

Dairy remains dominant in bone and joint health despite a decline
North America leads but it seeing a steady decline
Companies targeting bone health outside of dairy turn to juice
Minute Maid with calcium is the leading bone and joint brand
Tropicana's Essentials offers functional products at no extra cost
Focus on the four criteria to re-invigorate bone healthy juice
A plethora of ingredients can offer bone and joint health benefits
Product development to target the ageing
Opportunities for collagen in a wide range of food and drink

Brain Health and Memory

Brain health heavily reliant on dairy but scepticism keeps sales low
Asia Pacific grows its lead as North America sees a substantial fall
Case study: Leading HW players enter brain health
Danone targets brain health with a focus on Alzheimer's
Souvenaid applies four criteria key to success of functional ageing
Brain health products must focus on efficacy to reverse decline
Nestlé Health Science (NHSc) invests in the ageing
Focus on marketing the benefits of brain health to the ageing
Important to show tangible efficacy when utilising claims

Vision Health

Vision health sales driven through beverages but remains niche
Asia Pacific is vision health's primary market
Vision health positioned Fitné shows growth in a niche market
Fitné coffee utilises vitamins to grow vision health
Fitné has targeted vision health but manufacturers could go further
Vision health remains niche but ingredients hold potential
Limited product innovation in North America and Western Europe


Greater returns from regions further up the fortified/functional curve
Strategies to improve the healthy life expectancy for the ageing


Report terminology
Report parameters: 54 health and wellness countries covered
Health and wellness category definitions
Health and wellness product coverage
Claims approved under Article 13.1: Cardiovascular health (1)
Claims approved under Article 13.1: Cardiovascular health (2)
Claims approved under Article 13.1: Bone and joint health
Claims approved under Article 13.1: Brain health and memory (1)
Claims approved under Article 13.1: Brain health and memory (2)
Claims approved under Article 13.1: Vision health


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