The Future of Functional Food and Beverages: Digestive and Immune Health

Functional food and beverages for digestive and immune health are benefitting from widening appeal. This is being driven by rising health attentiveness and a better understanding of the link between diet and health. Consumers are also embracing positive nutrition due prevalent social and demographic trends. Nonetheless, there remains a marked interest/consumption gap.

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Identify the size of the functional digestive and immune health market across 20 countries and growth prospects up until 2015
Evaluate the potential impact on consumer demand of marketing and product development through utilizing consumer, product and market insight
Identify and capitalize on the main consumer trends that are driving rising demand for functional products
Gain an understanding of the main obstacles that brands are encountering and how these can be overcome



Probiotic products continue to represent a significant proportion of the overall functional food and beverage market. The ingredient has benefitted from its flexibility and heavy marketing during the past decade which has led to high consumer awareness of its potential efficacy. However, other ingredients in the market are gaining traction.

There remains a high level of consumer skepticism. In addition to more general consumer distrust, this skepticism stems from a lack of education in regard to the efficacy of digestive and immune health products and the myriad conflicting, often unclear health marketing messages that consumers encounter.

Following a peak in in 2008, the number of new product launches has been on a declining trend since. This declining trend is indicative of a comparatively mature market for digestive and immune products, particularly in the West. The motivation to innovate has also undoubtedly been partially stemmed by a toughening regulatory environment.

Functional foods are defined as any food or food component that can provide health benefits beyond basic nutrition. These types of foods go beyond meeting the minimum daily nutritional requirements of an individual, as they may reduce the risk of disease or promote good health. Functional foods offer health-promoting ingredients or natural components that have been found to have potential benefits in the body. 


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