The growing popularity of functional foods and clean eating reflects the fact that today’s consumers aren’t content with simply meeting their nutritional needs through eating a balanced diet or taking multivitamins. The rise of functional foods began in Japan, which accounted for more than 40 percent of the niche market in 2013. In 2016, however, the U.S. is now poised to pass Japan, and American retailers are in a perfect position to cash in on the trend.
What Defines a Functional Food?
A functional food has more than just a positive effect on health – it goes above and beyond simply meeting the body’s basic nutritional requirements. They may offer grand-scale benefits like showing promise in preventing harmful diseases, or the benefits may be more subtle, like helping aid digestion. These benefits may be naturally occurring or some may be added through natural additives. Functional foods are typically minimally or not processed at all. Examples of trending functional foods include quinoa, whole grains, nuts, chia, acai berries and coconut water.
How Retailers Can Capitalize on the Functional Food Trend
Given the frequent introduction of new functional food products from some of the biggest names in the food and beverage industry, it’s easy for both supermarkets and small retailers to reap the benefits of this health trend. Supermarkets and health food stores can appeal to health-oriented consumers by offering bulk ingredients such as seeds, nuts, healthy grains and snack mixes, as well as grab-and-go style containers. Smaller retailers may be in an even better position to capitalize on the trend through the growing snack food market. They can do so by providing a variety of single-serve, functional snack products that complement the busy lifestyles of people who are likely to replace either breakfast or lunch with a snack that they believe will boost their energy and is not loaded down with sugar and empty calories.
Truly Good Foods Helps Retailers Maximize Functional Food Potential
Truly Good Foods offers a variety of snacks, in single-serve and bulk sizes, that meet the growing demand for functional foods by offering products focused on both healthy mindfulness and exceptional quality. Specializing in raw and freshly roasted nuts, dried fruit, snack mixes, grains, spices and seeds we provide a wide range of products to food service operations and food retailers.