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Functional Foods: Key Trends by Product Categories and Benefits

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Functional Foods: Key Trends by Product Categories and Benefits



Consumers turn to functional foods and beverages for a wide range of reasons, but what’s propelling growth in this dynamic market today are three benefits people hope to derive from these products: weight management and satiety, sports nutrition and energy. As a result, important shifts in brand positioning, benefits and product claims are taking place.

Packaged Facts’ new report, Functional Foods: Key Trends by Product Categories and Benefits, provides extensive discussion of the categories, products, benefits, brand positioning and claims associated with market changes taking place related to weight loss and satiety, sports nutrition and energy. In addition to discussing current trends in the marketplace, the report highlights potential opportunities and anticipated direction of future development. Coverage of each of the three areas includes discussion of recent changes in scientific understanding of relevant health and wellness topics, regulatory developments, ingredients and nutritional comparisons among products.

Weight management is a good case study on how functional foods are being repositioned. Although one-third of adults say they are watching their diet to lose weight, consumers don’t like “weight loss” brands and foods. Instead, they’re turning to products promoted as being healthy to help in dieting. This has traditional weight loss brands repositioning as they deemphasize weight loss and dieting and address wellness more generally, with impacts across several product categories.

Sports nutritional products are also being reinvented. Sports beverage brands are attempting to find their right footing in the market without being associated with soft drinks and the negative health associations of excess sugar consumption, including obesity and diabetes. They are also avoiding being grouped with energy beverages, which are under intense scrutiny for posing a health threat from high levels of caffeine. Nutrition bars used by athletes and sports enthusiasts are rapidly evolving from dessert-like sweet foods with added nutrients to more inherently nutritious products, including savory flavor combinations.

To satisfy consumer needs for energy, single minded focus on highly caffeinated drinks is giving way to a wider selection of products that are positioned to offer long lasting energy. Targeting breakfast and snacking, products touting lasting energy benefits span categories including cereal, bars, meat snacks and nuts.

Report Methodology

The information in this report was obtained from both primary and secondary research. Consumer data were derived from a Packaged Facts national online consumer survey conducted in January 2015 with a panel of 2,000 U.S. adults (age 18+) balanced to the national population on the primary demographic measures of gender, age range, ethnicity, geographic region, marital status, presence or absence of children in the household and household income.

Additional consumer data were obtained from the Simmons National Consumer Survey through Summer 2014 from Experian Marketing Services. On an ongoing basis, Experian Marketing Services conducts booklet-based surveys of a large and random sample of consumers (approximately 25,000 for each 12-month survey compilation) who in aggregate represent a statistically accurate cross-section of the U.S. population.

Retail sales figures credited to IRI (Chicago, IL) are based on IRI aggregated multi-outlet (MULO) sales tracking, which represents sales through U.S. supermarkets, drugstores including Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid), mass merchandisers (Wal-Mart, Target, Kmart and Shopko), warehouse clubs (Sam’s Club and BJ’s, but not Costco), dollar stores (excluding Dollar Tree) and military commissaries.

Store visits were made to numerous retailers in Minnesota, New York and Texas in conjunction with this report.

A wide range of secondary sources was also leveraged including industry reports, videos embedded in websites, presentations obtained from seminars, workshops and conferences, trade publications, business newspapers and magazines, consumer blogs, financial blogs, social media, annual reports, 10Ks and press releases.

Who Will Benefit From This Report
  • Food and Beverage Manufacturers
  • Food and Beverage Retailers
  • Ingredient Companies
  • Private Label Marketing Firms
  • Advertising Agencies
  • Investment Banks
Benefits of This Report Include

Consumer research findings related to health and wellness and the role of functional foods

Coverage of multiple functional food markets:
  • Weight management and satiety
  • Sports nutrition
  • Energy
Discussion of major trends related to:
  • Categories
  • Positioning
  • Benefits
  • Claims
Numerous tables and figures providing product composition information and comparisons

Identification of opportunities for food and beverage manufacturers

Prediction of future trends

Consumers turn to functional foods and beverages for a wide range of reasons, but what’s propelling growth in this dynamic market today are three benefits people hope to derive from these products: weight management and satiety, sports nutrition and energy. As a result, important shifts in brand positioning, benefits and product claims are taking place.

Packaged Facts’ new report, Functional Foods: Key Trends by Product Categories and Benefits, provides extensive discussion of the categories, products, benefits, brand positioning and claims associated with market changes taking place related to weight loss and satiety, sports nutrition and energy. In addition to discussing current trends in the marketplace, the report highlights potential opportunities and anticipated direction of future development. Coverage of each of the three areas includes discussion of recent changes in scientific understanding of relevant health and wellness topics, regulatory developments, ingredients and nutritional comparisons among products.

Weight management is a good case study on how functional foods are being repositioned. Although one-third of adults say they are watching their diet to lose weight, consumers don’t like “weight loss” brands and foods. Instead, they’re turning to products promoted as being healthy to help in dieting. This has traditional weight loss brands repositioning as they deemphasize weight loss and dieting and address wellness more generally, with impacts across several product categories.

Sports nutritional products are also being reinvented. Sports beverage brands are attempting to find their right footing in the market without being associated with soft drinks and the negative health associations of excess sugar consumption, including obesity and diabetes. They are also avoiding being grouped with energy beverages, which are under intense scrutiny for posing a health threat from high levels of caffeine. Nutrition bars used by athletes and sports enthusiasts are rapidly evolving from dessert-like sweet foods with added nutrients to more inherently nutritious products, including savory flavor combinations.

To satisfy consumer needs for energy, single minded focus on highly caffeinated drinks is giving way to a wider selection of products that are positioned to offer long lasting energy. Targeting breakfast and snacking, products touting lasting energy benefits span categories including cereal, bars, meat snacks and nuts.

Report Methodology

The information in this report was obtained from both primary and secondary research. Consumer data were derived from a Packaged Facts national online consumer survey conducted in January 2015 with a panel of 2,000 U.S. adults (age 18+) balanced to the national population on the primary demographic measures of gender, age range, ethnicity, geographic region, marital status, presence or absence of children in the household and household income.

Additional consumer data were obtained from the Simmons National Consumer Survey through Summer 2014 from Experian Marketing Services. On an ongoing basis, Experian Marketing Services conducts booklet-based surveys of a large and random sample of consumers (approximately 25,000 for each 12-month survey compilation) who in aggregate represent a statistically accurate cross-section of the U.S. population.

Retail sales figures credited to IRI (Chicago, IL) are based on IRI aggregated multi-outlet (MULO) sales tracking, which represents sales through U.S. supermarkets, drugstores including Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid), mass merchandisers (Wal-Mart, Target, Kmart and Shopko), warehouse clubs (Sam’s Club and BJ’s, but not Costco), dollar stores (excluding Dollar Tree) and military commissaries.

Store visits were made to numerous retailers in Minnesota, New York and Texas in conjunction with this report.

A wide range of secondary sources was also leveraged including industry reports, videos embedded in websites, presentations obtained from seminars, workshops and conferences, trade publications, business newspapers and magazines, consumer blogs, financial blogs, social media, annual reports, 10Ks and press releases.

Who Will Benefit From This Report
  • Food and Beverage Manufacturers
  • Food and Beverage Retailers
  • Ingredient Companies
  • Private Label Marketing Firms
  • Advertising Agencies
  • Investment Banks
Benefits of This Report Include

Consumer research findings related to health and wellness and the role of functional foods

Coverage of multiple functional food markets:
  • Weight management and satiety
  • Sports nutrition
  • Energy
Discussion of major trends related to:
  • Categories
  • Positioning
  • Benefits
  • Claims
Numerous tables and figures providing product composition information and comparisons

Identification of opportunities for food and beverage manufacturers

Prediction of future trends

Consumers turn to functional foods and beverages for a wide range of reasons, but what’s propelling growth in this dynamic market today are three benefits people hope to derive from these products: weight management and satiety, sports nutrition and energy. As a result, important shifts in brand positioning, benefits and product claims are taking place.

Packaged Facts’ new report, Functional Foods: Key Trends by Product Categories and Benefits, provides extensive discussion of the categories, products, benefits, brand positioning and claims associated with market changes taking place related to weight loss and satiety, sports nutrition and energy. In addition to discussing current trends in the marketplace, the report highlights potential opportunities and anticipated direction of future development. Coverage of each of the three areas includes discussion of recent changes in scientific understanding of relevant health and wellness topics, regulatory developments, ingredients and nutritional comparisons among products.

Weight management is a good case study on how functional foods are being repositioned. Although one-third of adults say they are watching their diet to lose weight, consumers don’t like “weight loss” brands and foods. Instead, they’re turning to products promoted as being healthy to help in dieting. This has traditional weight loss brands repositioning as they deemphasize weight loss and dieting and address wellness more generally, with impacts across several product categories.

Sports nutritional products are also being reinvented. Sports beverage brands are attempting to find their right footing in the market without being associated with soft drinks and the negative health associations of excess sugar consumption, including obesity and diabetes. They are also avoiding being grouped with energy beverages, which are under intense scrutiny for posing a health threat from high levels of caffeine. Nutrition bars used by athletes and sports enthusiasts are rapidly evolving from dessert-like sweet foods with added nutrients to more inherently nutritious products, including savory flavor combinations.

To satisfy consumer needs for energy, single minded focus on highly caffeinated drinks is giving way to a wider selection of products that are positioned to offer long lasting energy. Targeting breakfast and snacking, products touting lasting energy benefits span categories including cereal, bars, meat snacks and nuts.

Report Methodology

The information in this report was obtained from both primary and secondary research. Consumer data were derived from a Packaged Facts national online consumer survey conducted in January 2015 with a panel of 2,000 U.S. adults (age 18+) balanced to the national population on the primary demographic measures of gender, age range, ethnicity, geographic region, marital status, presence or absence of children in the household and household income.

Additional consumer data were obtained from the Simmons National Consumer Survey through Summer 2014 from Experian Marketing Services. On an ongoing basis, Experian Marketing Services conducts booklet-based surveys of a large and random sample of consumers (approximately 25,000 for each 12-month survey compilation) who in aggregate represent a statistically accurate cross-section of the U.S. population.

Retail sales figures credited to IRI (Chicago, IL) are based on IRI aggregated multi-outlet (MULO) sales tracking, which represents sales through U.S. supermarkets, drugstores including Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid), mass merchandisers (Wal-Mart, Target, Kmart and Shopko), warehouse clubs (Sam’s Club and BJ’s, but not Costco), dollar stores (excluding Dollar Tree) and military commissaries.

Store visits were made to numerous retailers in Minnesota, New York and Texas in conjunction with this report.

A wide range of secondary sources was also leveraged including industry reports, videos embedded in websites, presentations obtained from seminars, workshops and conferences, trade publications, business newspapers and magazines, consumer blogs, financial blogs, social media, annual reports, 10Ks and press releases.

Who Will Benefit From This Report
  • Food and Beverage Manufacturers
  • Food and Beverage Retailers
  • Ingredient Companies
  • Private Label Marketing Firms
  • Advertising Agencies
  • Investment Banks
Benefits of This Report Include

Consumer research findings related to health and wellness and the role of functional foods

Coverage of multiple functional food markets:
  • Weight management and satiety
  • Sports nutrition
  • Energy
Discussion of major trends related to:
  • Categories
  • Positioning
  • Benefits
  • Claims
Numerous tables and figures providing product composition information and comparisons

Identification of opportunities for food and beverage manufacturers

Prediction of future trends

Consumers turn to functional foods and beverages for a wide range of reasons, but what’s propelling growth in this dynamic market today are three benefits people hope to derive from these products: weight management and satiety, sports nutrition and energy. As a result, important shifts in brand positioning, benefits and product claims are taking place.

Packaged Facts’ new report, Functional Foods: Key Trends by Product Categories and Benefits, provides extensive discussion of the categories, products, benefits, brand positioning and claims associated with market changes taking place related to weight loss and satiety, sports nutrition and energy. In addition to discussing current trends in the marketplace, the report highlights potential opportunities and anticipated direction of future development. Coverage of each of the three areas includes discussion of recent changes in scientific understanding of relevant health and wellness topics, regulatory developments, ingredients and nutritional comparisons among products.

Weight management is a good case study on how functional foods are being repositioned. Although one-third of adults say they are watching their diet to lose weight, consumers don’t like “weight loss” brands and foods. Instead, they’re turning to products promoted as being healthy to help in dieting. This has traditional weight loss brands repositioning as they deemphasize weight loss and dieting and address wellness more generally, with impacts across several product categories.

Sports nutritional products are also being reinvented. Sports beverage brands are attempting to find their right footing in the market without being associated with soft drinks and the negative health associations of excess sugar consumption, including obesity and diabetes. They are also avoiding being grouped with energy beverages, which are under intense scrutiny for posing a health threat from high levels of caffeine. Nutrition bars used by athletes and sports enthusiasts are rapidly evolving from dessert-like sweet foods with added nutrients to more inherently nutritious products, including savory flavor combinations.

To satisfy consumer needs for energy, single minded focus on highly caffeinated drinks is giving way to a wider selection of products that are positioned to offer long lasting energy. Targeting breakfast and snacking, products touting lasting energy benefits span categories including cereal, bars, meat snacks and nuts.

Report Methodology

The information in this report was obtained from both primary and secondary research. Consumer data were derived from a Packaged Facts national online consumer survey conducted in January 2015 with a panel of 2,000 U.S. adults (age 18+) balanced to the national population on the primary demographic measures of gender, age range, ethnicity, geographic region, marital status, presence or absence of children in the household and household income.

Additional consumer data were obtained from the Simmons National Consumer Survey through Summer 2014 from Experian Marketing Services. On an ongoing basis, Experian Marketing Services conducts booklet-based surveys of a large and random sample of consumers (approximately 25,000 for each 12-month survey compilation) who in aggregate represent a statistically accurate cross-section of the U.S. population.

Retail sales figures credited to IRI (Chicago, IL) are based on IRI aggregated multi-outlet (MULO) sales tracking, which represents sales through U.S. supermarkets, drugstores including Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid), mass merchandisers (Wal-Mart, Target, Kmart and Shopko), warehouse clubs (Sam’s Club and BJ’s, but not Costco), dollar stores (excluding Dollar Tree) and military commissaries.

Store visits were made to numerous retailers in Minnesota, New York and Texas in conjunction with this report.

A wide range of secondary sources was also leveraged including industry reports, videos embedded in websites, presentations obtained from seminars, workshops and conferences, trade publications, business newspapers and magazines, consumer blogs, financial blogs, social media, annual reports, 10Ks and press releases.

Who Will Benefit From This Report
  • Food and Beverage Manufacturers
  • Food and Beverage Retailers
  • Ingredient Companies
  • Private Label Marketing Firms
  • Advertising Agencies
  • Investment Banks
Benefits of This Report Include

Consumer research findings related to health and wellness and the role of functional foods

Coverage of multiple functional food markets:
  • Weight management and satiety
  • Sports nutrition
  • Energy
Discussion of major trends related to:
  • Categories
  • Positioning
  • Benefits
  • Claims
Numerous tables and figures providing product composition information and comparisons

Identification of opportunities for food and beverage manufacturers

Prediction of future trends


  • Executive Summary
    • Scope
    • Definitions
    • Report Methodology
    • Key Drivers
      • Time-Strapped, Stressed-Out America
      • More Health-Engaged Consumers
      • Three Squares & Set Meal Times Replaced by All-Day Snacking
      • Overweight and Obese Citizens Still an Enormous Challenge
    • Consumers, Diet and Health
    • Category, Claim and Positioning Trends for Functional Foods & Beverages
      • Weight Loss, Management and Satiety
      • A New Era of Sports Nutrition
      • Energy: Beyond the Buzz
  • Consumers, Diet & Health
    • Introduction
      • Nutrition Facts Panel: Calories, Sugars, Fat, and Sodium Most Important
        • Table Percentage of U.S. Adults Considering Specific Nutrition Facts Panel Information To Be "Very Important," 2015
        • Table Top 5 Nutrition Facts Panel Items Rated "Very Important" by All U.S. Adults, Men and Women, 2015
    • Shoppers Watching Their Diet More Likely to Seek Out Products Targeting Specific Health and Wellness Concerns
      • Table Percentage of Adults Seeking Out Functional Food & Beverages for Top Health & Wellness Concerns, 2015
      • Table Top 10 Health Concerns Motivating Diet Watchers to Seek Out Functional Foods & Beverages, 2015
    • Consumers Seek Whole Grains, High Fiber and No Added Sugar Claims
      • Table Top 10 Label Statements or Claims Sought by All Adults and Those Watching Their Diets to Improve Health, Lose Weight, or For Medical Reasons, 2015
    • Naturally Occurring Nutrients and Whole Foods Seen as Better-For-You
      • Table Percent Agreement with Health and Nutrition-Related Belief, Attitude and Behavior Statements for All Adults and Select Consumer Groups, 2015
  • Weight Loss, Management & Satiety
    • Introduction
    • Consumers and Weight Management
      • Characteristics of Healthy Foods for Weight Loss & Maintenance
        • Table Food Product Characteristics Important to Food Shoppers Watching Their Diet, by Motivation, 2014
    • Diet Is a Four-Letter Word
      • Consumers Watching Their Diet to Improve Health Are More Motivated
      • Top IRI Pacesetters New Product Award Winners Target Weight Management
        • Table 2013 IRI Pacesetters: Top-Selling Products Featuring Weight Management Benefits
    • "Diet" Meals Take a Back Seat to Healthy Meals
      • Nestlé Lean Cuisine Focuses on Being Good Food that's Good For You
      • ConAgra Healthy Choice
        • Table Healthy Choice Simply Café Steamers Health Benefits Promoted by Flavor
      • Weight Watchers – Slimmer than Ever
    • Green Coffee in New Kellogg's Special K Meal Bar to Aid Weight Loss
    • Importance of Breakfast for Weight Loss: Debunking the Myth
    • Cereal Still Big, but Ditched More in Favor of Higher Protein Breakfasts
      • Egg Sandwiches, Scrambles & Bowls Promote Weight Management & Satiety
      • Greek Yogurt's High Protein Content Drives Satiety and Energy
      • Cereal – Healthy Image, Satiety and Energy Benefits for Weight Management
        • Table Weight Watchers Brand R-T-E Cereals Introduced in Fall 2014
      • Cross Promotions Highlight Weight Management & Satiety
    • More, Healthier Snacks for Weight Management
      • Calories Count for Snacks: 100 Still the Magic Number
      • More Protein; More Whole Foods; More Food Combinations
    • Traditional Weight Loss Brands
    • Free Online Tools Intensify Competition for Weight Loss Programs
    • Ingredients for Weight Loss & Weight Maintenance
      • Table Ingredient Rankings by Food Industry Professionals for Formulations Targeting Losing Weight and Maintaining Healthy Weight
      • Ingredients for Satiety
      • Weight Loss and Related Claims Crackdowns: Avoiding Red Flags
  • New Era of Sports Nutrition
    • Introduction
    • Physical Activity and Sports Participation – Individuals Drive Market
    • NSF Certified for Sport(R) May Appeal to Performance Athletes
    • Sports Drinks – A Market in Transition
      • Adult Use of Sports Drinks
      • Sports Drinks: Just a Vector for Adolescent Obesity and Diabetes?
      • Criticisms of Gatorade Lead to New Era of Sports Drinks
      • Reinvented Gatorade Faces Newer, Big and Small Competition
        • Table Gatorade G Series Product Line, Select Nutrients Per Serving
        • Table Benefit Comparison: Gatorade G Series and G Endurance
        • Table Gatorade G Endurance Product Line Nutritional Profile Per Serving
      • Muscle Milk Brand is #1 in RTD Protein Category
        • Table Muscle Milk RTD Product Line Summary of Select Attributes*
        • Table Muscle Milk Protein Bar Offerings Summary*
      • Coconut Water: Nature's Own Sports Drink?
        • Table Nutritional Comparison of Coconut Water Brands for Sports Nutrition
    • Meat Jerky, Savory Bars & Gels: The Future of Sports Nutrition?
      • Nutrition Bar Market Grows, but Getting Less Sweet
      • Nutrition Bars for Athletes: Less Sweet, More Savory
        • Table Select Nutrients in EPIC Bar by Variety
  • Energy: Beyond the Buzz
    • Introduction
    • Adult Energy Drink Consumers
    • Adverse Events, Deaths Linked to Energy Drinks Trigger Scrutiny
    • Adults vs. Adolescents: How Much Caffeine is Too Much?
      • Detecting Signs and Symptoms of Caffeine Overload
      • Caffeine Labelling Getting More Attention
        • Table Caffeine, Sugar and Caloric Content Per Serving and Per Can of Popular Energy Drink Brands, Jan. 2015
    • Adolescent Energy Drink Use Tied to Smoking, Screen Media Use
    • FDA Concerns about Added Caffeine Go Beyond Drinks
    • Caffeine: Not the Only Concern
    • Senate Committee Concludes Energy Drink Makers Fail to Protect Youth
      • Will the FDA Respond to Senate Recommendations?
    • Future of Energy Drinks & Foods: Benefits Without Caffeine
      • Energy Beverage Wins "Best Functional Drink Award"
    • Breakfast and Snacks Drive Long Lasting Energy Market
      • belVita Breakfast Biscuits, Disrupting the Cereal Market?
      • Cereal Companies Defend Their Turf
        • Table Quaker Oats Positioning Highlighting a Morning Energy Benefit
      • Cereals with Energy Positioning Feature Protein, Whole Grains
      • Focusing on Meat for Morning Energy
      • Greek Yogurt's High Protein Content Drives Satiety and Energy
      • Snacks Leverage Energy Positioning with Protein, Savory Ingredients
        • Table Oscar Mayer P3 Portable Protein Pack Varieties, Ingredients, Protein and Calories
      • Energy Bars Undergoing Savory Transformation to be More like Meals

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