Rising healthcare costs, a growing population of geriatric adults, and a shift among consumers toward healthy lifestyles are projected to drive the global market for “functional” foods to $255.10 billion by 2024, according to a new market forecast by Grand View Research Inc.
Functional foods are products made with substances known to offer health benefits or aid in hindering the progression of diseases, like fish oil containing long-chain omega-3 fatty acids that help reduce cholesterol and assist in the reduction of cardiovascular diseases, the firm said in a Jan. 10 press release announcing the report’s debut.
The researchers said that soy products are expected to see the highest amount of growth during the next 8 years, expanding by 9.2%, because of the crop’s high protein content. Products to aid digestive health is projected to grow by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.6% through 2024.
Asia-Pacific held 40% of the global market in 2015 and Grand View said the region will remain in the lead market share positon through the forecast period. China and India’s population growth and urbanization will propel the market in the region, according to the report.
While demand is growing for products in this category, Grand View’s report posits that “functional foods” often rely on promotion of their “credence attributes” – claims of health benefits that are unverified – and that the lack of clarity will “critically affect the global industry” through 2024.
“Labeling on a product might claim that it constitutes an extra dosage of calcium, which helps in preventing osteoporosis disease. However, consumers are unable to evaluate such claims,” the company explained in its release, adding that “consumers need to wait for a particular period to validate the credence claims.”
Companies identified as key leaders in the market through 2024 are BASF, Cargill, Nurti-Nation, Coca-Cola Company, GFR Pharma, and General Mills.