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‘Super’ foods prove to be a hit with consumers

07 May 2016

Turmeric may be the next superfood to watch.
Turmeric may be the next superfood to watch.

Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD) reveals that between 2011 and 2015 there was a 202% increase globally in the number of new food and drink products launched containing the terms ‘superfood’, ‘superfruit’ or ‘supergrain.’ 

In 2015 alone there was a 36% rise in the number of food and drink products launched globally featuring these terms. US topped the tables for the most ‘super’ food and drink launches (30%), followed by Australia (10%), Germany (7%), the UK (6%) and Canada (6%).

Today, over seven-in-10 consumers in France (72%), Germany (71%), Italy (73%) and Spain (72%) agree that health-promoting benefits of natural foods, for instance fruit and vegetables, are preferable to the added benefits of functional foods.

The research also shows that while 43% of products launched with the words superfood, superfruit or supergrain in the product description were in the food category between 2011 and 2015 with 11% falling into the drink category, up to 30% were found in beauty and personal care, while 12% were in the health and hygiene category and 4% were in the pet category.

In particular, the trend towards a wheat-free diet has resulted in a growing number of products containing the ‘supergrains’ ancient grains. While quinoa and buckwheat have all become household names in recent years, it is chia which has seen the biggest rise in usage. Between 2014 and 2015, there was a 70% increase in the percentage of food and drink products launched containing chia, while the percentage of food and drink products containing teff rose by 31%. Meanwhile, the percentage of food and drink products containing quinoa rose by 27%.

Alongside the hype in launch activity, there is also strong consumer interest in ancient grains as 30% of UK pasta consumers say that pasta made with ancient grains, for instance quinoa, is healthier than regular pasta. What’s more, usage of these heritage grains is high, as two in five (41%) US consumers have eaten ancient grain-based cereals.

Pulses have also been receiving attention. Over the past two years, the percentage of food and drink products launched with green split pea has grown by 126%, while the percentage of food and drink products containing coral lentils has grown by 62% and the percentage of food and drink products containing yellow split peas has increased by 21%.

Over the past two years, the percentage of food and drink products containing chia seeds has risen by 70%, while the percentage containing pumpkin seeds has grown by 27% and the percentage of food and drink products containing sunflower seeds has grown by 22%.

According to Mintel, turmeric and moringa are the next ‘superfoods’ to watch. Turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory benefits and moringa is said to have beauty and anti-aging properties. Turmeric has potential as an ingredient in supplements and functional food and drink products, particularly within products aimed at the growing senior population. Moringa could be used in anti-ageing beauty food products.


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