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Food Formulation Trends: Oils and Fats

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Food Formulation Trends: Oils and Fats

Shifts in consumer preferences and findings of recent nutrition and health studies are transforming the landscape of fats and oils selected for use in processed foods as well as cooking oils and fats turning up on retail shelves. In the absence of agreement among members of the scientific and regulatory communities about the relative healthfulness of traditional oils and fats and the growing array of alternatives positioned as more healthful, consumers are deciding for themselves which are healthy and best serve their needs. These changes are providing opportunities for processed food manufacturers to increase and target the appeal of their products, particularly for Millennials and younger consumers, by re-evaluating and modifying their selection of fats and oils. This report provides a historical context regarding the perceived healthfulness and usage trends for certain, specific fats and oils and focuses on those that occupy this new landscape.


  • Executive Summary
    • Scope
    • Report Methodology
    • Definitions
    • Key Drivers
      • Shifting Blame to Sugar
      • Certain Fats Promote Good Health
      • Not All Saturated Fat Is Bad
      • The Holy Grail: Healthy and Functional Trans Fats Substitutes
      • The Rise of Specialty Plant Oils
      • The New Normal: Clean and Simple Labels
      • Shift to Food-Based Approach to a Healthy Diet
    • New Fats and Oils Landscape
  • Historical Perspective
    • Changes to U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans
    • Role of Fats & Oils in the American Diet
      • The Rise of Low-Fat
      • The Mediterranean Diet–First Crack in the Low-Fat Armor?
      • The Fall of Low-Fat
      • Low Carb Backlash
      • The Rise and Fall of Margarine
      • Butter Benefits from Trans Fat Backlash
      • Low-Fat Legacy Persists
    • Fat Phobia Ending: Consumers Embrace Fat as Healthful
      • Fat Not Taboo for Today's Diet Ideologies
      • Animal Fats Demonized for Too Long
      • "Smart Fat" Boosts Weight Loss, Fights Disease, &Slows Aging
      • Eat Fat to Lose Weight
      • Health Benefits Drive Omega-3 Fats
      • Omega-6: The Next Fat to Demonize?
  • Consumer Paradigm Shift
    • Attitudes About the Healthfulness of Specific Fats and Oils
    • Consumers Feel Less Guilty About Eating Fattening Foods
    • Fats & Oils Consumed and Avoided
      • Table Percentage of U.S. Adults Avoiding Particular Types of Fats & Oils, 2017
    • Fats and Oils Used for Cooking and Food Preparation
      • Table Percentage of U.S. Adults Using Various Fats & Oils for Cooking & Food Preparation in Last 30 Days, 2017
    • Fats and Oils Consumers Look for in Processed Foods
      • Table Percentage of U.S. Adults Seeking Processed Foods With Particular Fats and Oils, 2017
    • Changes in Consumer Use & Attitudes of Fats and Oils Over Time
      • Table Percentage of U.S. Adult Consumers Using Butter and Various Plant-Based Oils, 2016 vs. 2008 (% change)
      • Table Corn Oil Use & Agreement with Select Nutrition, Health, &Ingredient-Oriented Statements, 2016 vs. 2008 (% change)
    • Consumer Uses of Plant-Based Oils
  • Perspectives of Health Authorities
    • 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans
      • Overarching Recommendations
      • Composition of Common Fats & Oils
        • Table Select Nutrients in Commonly Consumed Fats and Oils (amount per tablespoon)
    • American Heart Association Position on Fats
      • Heart-Check Program
  • New Fats & Oils Landscape
    • Traditional Ancestral and Native Fats More Trendy
    • Butter & Dairy Fat
      • Table Estimated U.S. Conventional and Organic Milk Product Sales Percentage of Total Fluid Milk Products Sold and % Change, 2016 vs. 2015
      • Butter
      • Full-Fat Yogurt
    • Olive Oil
      • Consumers & Olive Oil
      • Authenticity Challenges–A Threat to Olive Oil's Popularity?
      • Olive Oil at Retail
      • Dressings & Mayonnaise with Olive Oil
      • Salty Snacks
      • Crackers
    • Coconut Oil
      • Consumer Confusion & Ongoing Debate
      • More Retail Shelf Space for Coconut Oil
      • Coconut Oil Goodness in Snack Chips
      • Beverages Promote Benefits of Added Coconut Fat
    • Specialty Fats & Oils
      • Animal Cooking Oils
      • Ghee
      • Avocado Oil
      • New Fat Blends
    • Improved Commodity Oils
      • Non-GMO Project Verified Oils
      • Promising Replacement for Partially Hydrogenated Oils (Trans Fats)

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