Bright future predicted for functional foods

Functional foods will be the most successful healthy foods in the coming decade, according to a new report from Reuters Business Insight. RBI?s poll of UK food industry executives revealed functional drinks along with low-calorie and low-fat foods, and those foods aimed at seniors and children, as categories with the most potential.

The report predicted low-carb foods will drop from No. 1 to No. 6 in profit potential by 2009. By then cholesterol-lowering foods will be the No. 1 food category, followed by ?diabetes-friendly? foods. Low-glycaemic foods, probiotics, energy-boosting foods and vitamin and mineral supplements will also perform well, the report predicted.

Asia, particularly Japan, was highlighted as a centre of innovation with highly advanced consumer markets where many lessons could be learned by product developers in the rest of the world.

Anti-ageing foods and supplements will grow in prominence as the population ages, with over-60s increasing from one in 10 people now to one out of five by 2050 and one in three by 2150.

Children will remain a strong area of focus for the food industry. ?The ultimate new product for kids would be healthy, loved by both parents and children, and eaten as much as a chocolate bar or packet of crisps,? the report stated.

It noted: ?Fortified bottled water is the category with the most ?not successful? votes; however, this is still low and a significant 64 per cent of executives polled regard it as having a ?very successful? or ?successful? future.?

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