The global market for omega-3s is expected to reach $7.32 billion by 2020, according to a new study by Grand View Research Inc.
What’s driving the growth? Growing consumer awareness about the health benefits of omegas, according to the report. However, recent research by the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s (GOED) found that 77 percent of adults are unaware that low omega-3 levels can be harmful to health, underscoring how much further education is needed.
The Grand View Research report finds that the rising prevalence of heart disease is another growth driver. The growing demand from new applications, like infant formulas and pharma, will also help the market over the next six years, according to a release about the report. Infant formulas and pharmaceuticals are expected to have a combined market of over $2.7 billion by 2020, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 16.9 percent and 17.5 percent, respectively, from 2014 to 2020.
Globally, functional foods made up the biggest segment of omega-3 ingredients in 2013, accounting for more than 55 percent of the global demand.
In spite of the growth, consumer perception of icky fish smell related to the omegas remains a key challenge, along with the lack of standardization in terms of labeling and registration. Meanwhile, companies are busy perfecting new ways consumers can get their omegas, like EPA-enriched beef and vegetarian EPA-rich omega-3 made from microalgae.