Functional Foods on the Up


Functional candy and chewing gum, those that are actually good for your health, are the perfect marriage between herbalism and technology. This niche segment is still modest, but it is experiencing vivacious growth. According to the most recent data, they even represent 8% of the total market for these products, reaching a value of 11 billion USD, and rising 38% between 2006 and 2012.

Chewing gum is the real motor, with a market share of 90%. Consumers in the US, UK and Germany are those more open to purchasing functional chewing gum and related products. But Japan remains in pole position for innovation, with a market valuing 1 billion dollars in itself.

Generally, the spread of functional food products and ingredients is on the rise in categories such as dairy, beverages, some pastas and bakery products, not to mention dietary supplements for athletes and people with special needs. These products, under the aegis of “Functional Foods” show all the potential to reach the mainstream. Nonetheless, regulatory policy in many countries struggles to keep the pace of research, causing serious delays in the launch of new products on the market.