Global market for omega-3 enhanced food and beverage products grows by a third

Posted by Isobel Drake on 14th January 2009

A unique “healthy halo” is driving the flourishing global market for food and beverage products enhanced with omega fatty acids, according to new research, published overnight.

The ‘halo’ is characterised by enhanced public awareness of omega fatty acid compounds, their proven scientific and health benefits, consumer willingness to purchase products that contain them, and positive media exposure. In the report, Omega Fatty Acids: Trends in the Worldwide Food and Beverage Markets, 2nd Edition, market research publisher Packaged Facts estimates that the global market grew 36% between 2007 and 2008.

The market for specifically omega-3 fatty acids, the type most familiar to consumers along with omega-6 and omega-9 and commonly found naturally in seafood, grew from an estimated $3 billion in 2006 to almost $5 billion in 2008. Packaged Facts projects that the retail market for omega-3 enhanced foods will approach $8 billion by 2012. The projection reflects a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 32% between 2003 and 2012.

And the best could be yet to come as new developments continue to annually increase the number of omega fatty acid infused food and beverage products introduced into the market. More than 1,300 enhanced food and beverage products were introduced globally in 2008, compared to 739 in 2006.

“The upsurge of products enriched with omega fatty acids began in earnest in 2006 and the market is believed to be many years away from saturation,” Tatjana Meerman, Publisher of Packaged Facts, said. “Marketers didn’t really start touting the omega-3 content of enhanced foods until late 2004, and even once products entered the retail scene it wasn’t until early 2006 that such products appeared in mainstream supermarkets.”