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Further Challenges Ahead For Functional Food Ingredients Market

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Further Challenges Ahead For Functional Food Ingredients Market

Further Challenges Ahead For Functional Food Ingredients Market
December 10
15:51 2010

2011 is set to be another year of challenges for the functional food ingredients market, predicts Beneo, the food ingredients specialist, which is part of Sudzucker Group. “With 80% of 2010’s health claims refused by EFSA, the major challenge for 2011 and beyond will be how will manufacturers differentiate their products to stand out from the crowd? Manufacturers will have to rethink their products to a certain extent, if they don’t want to fall into the commodity trap,” says Tim Van der Schraelen, marketing & communication manager at Beneo.

2011 will see the functional ingredients industry responding to the challenges of EFSA’s existing rulings. “I can see a move from benefit led marketing towards ingredients led communication, as the industry continues to find its feet in this new, challenging environment; to give an example we will see more ‘with bifidus bacteria’ and less ‘increases natural defences’ in the near future,” he adds.

While items with EFSA approval will have a competitive advantage in 2011,. those without are likely to move towards the clever reformulation of products to promote nutrient content claims. “Combined with consumer demand for weight management products, there will be an increased focus on the caloric value and physiological properties of food and drink products in 2011 and this will mean the rise of sugar replacers and dietary fibres,” explains Anke Sentko, vice president of regulatory affairs and nutrition communication at Beneo: “This will be further driven by the increasing tension between whether we, as an industry, should be countering obesity or catering for it and the fact that those who have ingredients such as sugar replacers, that can do both, will be increasingly sought after in the coming year. In addition, fibre could make a comeback in popularity, as consumers continue to link this with feeling fuller for longer.”

Beneo predicts that 2011 will see new categories appearing in the energy and performance drinks sector as consumers demand more natural products. “Red Bull and similar shot drinks have their place, but consumers are looking for different ways to get longer-term energy boosts,” remarks Tim Van der Schraelen. “Combine this with the trend of an ageing workforce and more people looking for that boost to ‘get them through the day’ and I predict that we will see a sharp increase in energy and performance drinks not only with innovative carbohydrates but also combining fruit and dairy-alternative carriers.”

The Beneo product portfolio consists of functional ingredients with nutritional and technical advantages, derived from chicory roots, beet sugar, rice and wheat. Beneo employs almost 900 people and has production units in Belgium, Chile, Germany and Italy.

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