Weight management ingredients market set to soar

Obesity rates, which have been steadily rising in Europe and the United States, are now increasing in Asian nations as well, according to new analysis from Frost & Sullivan. As a result, the weight management ingredients market offers significant prospects worldwide.

In its Opportunities in Global Weight Management Ingredients report, the market research firm reveals that the industry made £5 million (€6m) in 2008 and estimates this to reach £9.3 million (€11.2m) by 2015.

“Greater economic activity and rising disposable income levels of working professionals in Asian nations such as China and India are resulting in a consumer shift away from traditionally produced food toward a convenience-based western diet that is further exacerbated by more sedentary lifestyles,” according to Frost & Sullivan. “The resultant rise in obesity rates is spurring consumer interest in active health management, fuelling market growth.”

Tackling and managing obesity is an enormous challenge, both for governments and for the food industry, because the associated health burden affects other industry sectors as well. Weight management ingredients are the food and beverage industry’s answer to this spreading global predicament and their popularity is growing globally thanks to an extensive range of food, beverage and supplement products.

However, issues regarding the placement of herbal medicines on the market, together with the length of time it takes for novel foods to be approved for human consumption in Europe, are the major problems for food manufacturers, restricting manufacturer innovation and causing hesitancy in the market. Additionally, raising awareness among consumers represents a primary challenge for food and beverage manufacturers globally, though this can be facilitated with successful product legislation.

“Creating products that are both functional and palatable is another challenge, with several of the accepted weight management ingredients having an undesirable taste profile,” explains the report. “Taste is a key area of concern for food and beverage manufacturers in relation to the finished product’s efficacy and desirability, making functionality and taste equally important.”

To succeed in the global weight management ingredients market, Frost & Sullivan recommends that manufacturers find innovative ways to prolong ingredient lifespan, work toward securing favourable legislation, and introduce new ingredients into this market.

“Manufacturers should focus on building brand equity, by utilising co-branding,” concludes the report. “Furthermore, they should provide technical documentation and a clear illustration of the benefits and safety associated with each individual weight management ingredient, in order to facilitate effective marketing messages from food and drink manufacturers.”

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