The hunger for superfoods is growing globally with consumers driving a demand for nutrient-rich products offering perceived health benefits
Superfoods. Few food terms have caused quite so much craze and controversy but there’s certainly no denying its impact. Originally coined as far back as the 1940s, the term superfood has increasingly been used by marketeers to describe food products that are packed with a high amount of nutrients and have various health benefits. And though the exact science of superfoods is still hotly debated, its effect on consumer habits has been profound.
In a 2014 health survey by BUPA in the UK, 61% of people reported buying foods because they were supposed superfoods. This trend has remained over the past few years and looks set to continue well into the future. In fact, according to the Global Superfoods Market report for 2018-2022, the superfood market is set to grow by 15.7% in the coming years.
A major trend in the current market is new product launches. As perceived superfoods have grown in popularity, so too has the launch in new products containing a superfood, supergrain or superfruit label. Manufacturers have therefore been keen to expand the market size and demand for these products, developing nutrient-packed food and drink products that are high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Popular superfood ingredients include kale, blueberries, quinoa and strawberries, while, according to Nielsen, chia seeds are leading the pack. In their 2017 study of superfood ingredients within supermarket products, chia seeds were found in 23% of categories across the whole store, growing from 21% the previous year.
The superfood trend has coincided with a number of other major consumer trends, including transparency due to greater access to information through technology, and a hunger for healthier snacks and permissible treats as part of a balanced on-the-go lifestyle.
Examples of this include a growing interest in food labels and ingredients, meaning consumers are seeking products formulated with natural and nutritional ingredients, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds, herbs and other plant-based ingredients. And when it comes to healthy snacks, we’re seeing a rise in the number of portion-controlled indulgent treats that can address both a consumer’s nutritional and emotional needs.
To help brands meet the growing demand for superfood-rich products, SIG offers a solution called drinksplus. It enables beverage products to contain real food pieces, such as fruit, vegetables or cereal grains, supporting the development of new product categories that are in line with consumer trends for health and wellness, on-the-go products and premium choices.
“Our drinksplus solution enables customers to create products with added value and benefits,” says Julia Trebels, Market Insight & Category Manager at SIG. “Consumers can actually taste and experience more due to the chewy or crunchy textures of the food particulates inside the drink.”
“And with drinksplus, the natural credibility and authenticity of a product can be increased as it has the potential to contain superseeds or superfruits with an added nutritional profile.”
This unique particulate filling technology of drinksplus not only supports the creation of new and innovative products with nutrient-dense superfoods. Crucially, it can help manufacturers stand out in a competitive market.