Black foods predicted to boom in Europe

Black foods — such as black soy beans, black vinegar and black rice — are set to take off in Europe, according to market researcher, Euromonitor International.

Highly popular in Japan — black foods are valued for their cholesterol-lowering and weight-control benefits.

"There is great potential for black food products in Europe as they address two of European consumers' top concerns, namely weight control and cholesterol," said Euromonitor health and wellness analyst Simone Baroke. "They also have a novelty value, as very few European foods are black in colour, plus products such as black rice and black sesame biscuits are good-tasting, appealing to consumers on both health and taste grounds."

Black foods and foods with dark colour tend to have higher levels of anthocyanins, isoflavones and minerals than lighter tinted foods.

The Japanese black foods market was worth $500 million, according to New York-based Japanese market analyst, Yamaguchi and Associates.

"These really fit into that ying-yang philosophy, and are typically protein-rich, strongly flavoured and suited to winter consumption," said Mintel analyst, David Jago.

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