They're hungry. They're old. And they want their functional foods.
Euromonitor International has a few suggestions on how to feed them.
The aging population remains underserved in terms of functional food and drink products, according to research company. Their recent report, “Opportunities to Target the Ageing Through Functional Food and Drink” points to areas and ingredients that could address the growing demand for products that help improve the quality of life for the growing population that's living longer.
With its heart-health claims, “soy protein is set to benefit from the growing aging population,” writes Diana Cowland, Euromonitor Senior Analyst, Health and Wellness, in a blog about the new report. More than 30 different ingredients associated with cardiovascular health – from omega-3 to vitamin C - should continue to be a boon to manufacturers. There's still a need for innovation, however, like the German company Edeka, who worked with researchers to create a technique that enables sausage varieties to contain DHA and EPA (smart links!).
When focusing on the growing demand for brain-health products, attention should be paid to short-term tangible benefits, such as promoting improved memory and concentration, to remove skepticism (also, consumers will then be better able to remember the name of your product). “Once consumers gain trust in these products manufacturers can look to extend their range of products catering for long-term brain health and innovate in rapidly growing categories such as bakery and juice,” writes Cowland.
Bone health is set to be the biggest opportunity, as far as functional food and beverages for seniors, according to the report. While products promote their vitamin D and calcium content, there's scope to develop products with other ingredients linked to bone health, such as protein and collagen.