Continued research into their potential health benefits and disease prevention abilities is significantly boosting awareness and usage of functional foods within the Asia Pacific (APAC) region.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (technicalinsights.frost.com), Functional Foods in Asia Pacific--Technology Benchmarking and Stakeholder Analysis, finds that within Asia Pacific, foods with health benefits have a long history of consumption, with several functional food types forming a staple part of Asian diets. This is now translating into a rising trend of academic research and clinical studies to validate the safety and efficacy of these functional ingredients.
"Previously, the consumption of functional foods was predominantly accepted by a small range of consumers, such as elderly people or those with poor health," notes Frost & Sullivan Research Associate Radhika Puri. "Currently, however, there are various types of functional foods and beverages available to cater to a diverse range of age groups and health issues."
While there is tremendous potential for revenue growth, issues related to taste, texture, and performance continue to challenge market participants. The absence of procedures to identify and validate relevant benefits or risk markers also threatens market prospects. The view that functional foods prevent rather than cure ailments is further dampening market potential.
"There has been substantial negative focus on the effects and benefits of functional foods," explains Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Jonie Lim. "Moreover, functional foods are known to be less appealing than other foods on account of their taste and texture."
The lack of standard risk markers makes it difficult for consumers to comprehend the effectiveness of certain functional foods. They are also uncertain about health claims made by product manufacturers.
Functional food manufacturers should standardize identification and validation techniques to help consumers better understand the benefits and risks inherent in their products. They should also undertake research to improve the taste and texture of their products
"Many countries have, or are in the process of establishing, special regulations and laws for functional food production," states Puri. "Consumers are more likely to trust products that comply with these regulations."
In addition, market participants should conduct information dissemination campaigns to explain the benefits and importance of functional foods. This would give the public greater insight into the benefits of functional foods.
If you are interested in more information on this study, please send an email to Donna Jeremiah, Corporate Communications, at djeremiah[.]frost.com and/or Carrie Low carrie.low[.]frost.com, with your full name, company name, title, telephone number, company email address, company website, city, state, and country.
Functional Foods in Asia Pacific--Technology Benchmarking and Stakeholder Analysis, a part of the Technical Insights subscription, provides detailed analysis of the following: functional foods, their research and developmental trends, key market stakeholders and industrial initiatives, along with other information on the functional foods market within the Asia Pacific region. Further, this research service includes detailed technology analysis and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
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