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Super Growth for 'Super' Foods: New Product Development Shoots Up 202% Globally Over the Past Five Years
Superfoods, they are frequently marketed as the answer to our health woes and now new research from Mintel highlights the popularity of these nutrient packed foods. Mintel GNPD (Global New Products Database) reveals that between 2011 and 2015 there was a phenomenal 202% increase globally in the number of new food and drink products launched containing the terms “superfood”, “superfruit” or “supergrain”.
And it seems there is no end to the popularity of these so called wonder foods, as in 2015 alone there was a 36% rise in the number of food and drink products launched globally featuring the terms “superfood”, “superfruit” or “supergrain”. In 2015, the US played host to the most “super” food and drink launches (30%), followed by Australia (10%), Germany (7%), the UK (6%) and Canada (6%).
The surge in launches comes as a result of strong consumer demand for highly nutritious products. Today, over seven in 10 consumers in France (72%), Germany (71%), Italy (73%) and Spain (72%) agree that health-promoting benefits of natural foods, for instance fruit and vegetables, are preferable to the added benefits of functional foods.
What is more, the research reveals that the superfood sensation has spread beyond food and drink. Indeed, while 43% of products launched with the words “superfood”, “superfruit” or “supergrain” in the product description were in the food category between 2011 and 2015 and 11% fell under the drink category, as many as three in 10 (30%) were found in beauty and personal care, while 12% were in the health and hygiene category and 4% were in the pet category.
Stephanie Mattucci, Global Food Science Analyst at Mintel, said:
“The popularity of 'super' products is clear as food and drink manufacturers globally are tapping into a demand for these nutritionally dense ingredients. But superfoods are not only limited to food and drink, they are regularly springing up in the beauty, health and hygiene and pet food aisles as a result of today's consumers becoming much more aware of what they are putting into and onto their bodies.”
In particular, the trend towards a wheat-free diet has resulted in a growing number of products containing the “supergrains” ancient grains. And whilst quinoa and buckwheat have all become household names in recent years, it's chia which has seen the biggest rise in usage. Between 2014 and 2015, there was a 70% increase in the percentage of food and drink products launched containing chia, whilst the percentage of food and drink products containing teff rose by 31%. Meanwhile, the percentage of food and drink products containing quinoa rose by 27%.
“Desire for healthier, less refined alternatives to wheat has fueled the rediscovery of ancient grains. Flavorful and nutrient-dense ancient grains have begun to change the negative perception of some carbohydrates by leveraging their nutritional profile and rich heritage. Ancient grains offer an alternative to wheat but also come bundled with functional and nutritional components, and provide new flavours and textures. They are a great way for free-from products to talk about health.” Stephanie continues.
Alongside the hype in launch activity, there is also strong consumer interest in ancient grains as 30% of UK pasta consumers say that pasta made with ancient grains, for instance quinoa, is healthier than regular pasta. What's more, usage of these heritage grains is high, as two in five (41%) US consumers have eaten ancient grain-based cereals.
“Whilst the number of products containing ancient grains have been rising, next we could see the popularity of sprouting ancient grains. The ancient, accidental process of sprouting, where whole grains are soaked and left to germinate has largely been eliminated by modern processing techniques. There has been a return to this ancient practice, with controlled 'sprouting' practices being introduced, as the nutritive advantage of sprouted grains is being recognised. The ancient grain quinoa is leading the comeback of sprouted grains.” Stephanie continues.
And whilst ancient grains have been in the spotlight over the past year, with the UN announcing 2016 the year of the pulse, pulses too have been receiving added attention. Over the past two years, the percentage of food and drink products launched with green split pea has grown by 126%, whilst the percentage of food and drink products containing coral lentils has grown by 62% and the percentage of food and drink products containing yellow split peas has increased by 21%.
“Pulses can be used to add a range of natural health benefits to food and drink products. Additionally, healthy pulses are staples in many ethnic cuisines, offering manufacturers a pathway for product innovation for convenience-seeking ethnic food explorers.” Stephanie continues.
Mintel research reveals that super seeds have also seen an uptick in usage. Over the past two years, the percentage of food and drink products containing chia seeds has risen by 70%, whilst the percentage containing pumpkin seeds has grown by 27% and the percentage of food and drink products containing sunflower seeds has grown by 22%.
“Some seeds, including chia and pumpkin seeds, offer complete protein, with all nine essential amino acids in the correct ratios. However, a lot of protein from seeds is incomplete. Blending seeds can help improve the quality of protein.” Stephanie adds.
Going forward, it seems that turmeric known for its anti-inflammatory benefits and moringa, said to have beauty and anti-aging properties, could be the superfoods to watch.
“Turmeric has potential as an ingredient in supplements and functional food and drink products, particularly within products aimed at the growing senior population. Additionally, moringa could be used in anti-ageing beauty food products. Whilst currently the ingredient is used in many beauty launches, the leaves are nutritional powerhouses.” Stephanie concludes.
The latest grocery share figures from Kantar Worldpanel for the 12 weeks ending 24 April show all the major supermarkets posting a decline in their rate of growth as supermarket sales increased by only 0.1% on this time last year.
This is a slowdown from the 1.1% reported in April, which was boosted by an early Easter.
Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, explains: “Consumers are enjoying a golden period of cheaper groceries with like-for-like prices falling every month since September 2014. Nearly two years of falling prices mean the average household is spending £78.10 a week in the supermarket, so consumers have annually saved more than £400 than if prices had risen at the same rate as the last decade.
“Yet lower prices are not the result of more groceries being bought on promotion. In fact promotional levels fell in the last year – in the past 12 weeks 38.5% of spend was on promoted goods, a decline from the 39.8% last April. Retailers are aiming for simplicity in their pricing and only a quarter of promotional spend is now through multibuy deals – a 24% drop on last year. This change has been evident across every grocer but most notably in Sainsbury’s, where only 7% of deals are now multibuys. Straight price cut deals tend to offer greater discounts so shoppers will see these as a welcome benefit across the market.”
The overall market volume growth of 1% is in line with Britain’s increased population. Fraser McKevitt continues: “Individual households have stopped increasing the amount of groceries they buy and while it is tempting to correlate lower volumes with the uncertainty surrounding the EU referendum there is no evidence that supermarket purchasing has any significant link with consumer confidence.”
Against the difficult market backdrop the Co-operative’s renaissance continues, growing sales by 3.3% year-on-year. Its market share has risen to 6.2% as refurbished stores and an improvement in range has meant shoppers are visiting more frequently and spending more per trip.
Waitrose also gained market share this period, up by 0.1 percentage points to 5.2% on the back of 1.5% sales growth. It was a different picture for the biggest retailers, as Fraser McKevitt notes: “Sainsbury’s was the best performing, though sales fell back by 0.4% – the first time the retailer has dipped into decline since July last year, though it retained its 16.5% share of the market. This marks the first time that each of the big four has simultaneously witnessed a drop in sales since April 2015.”
Morrisons is still feeling the impact of having less store space than last year – this period sales were down by 2.6%. Sales were also down at Tesco, by 1.3%, and at Asda, which now commands a 16% share of the market thanks to a sales fall of 5.1%.
The discounters have maintained the record share high of 10.4% which they first reached last month. Lidl was the fastest growing with sales up by 15.4% as shopper numbers increased by 648,000. At Aldi sales were up by 12.5% as the discounter added an additional 732,000 shoppers in the last 12 weeks – more than any other retailer.
Grocery inflation now stands at -1.5%* for the 12 week period ending 24 April 2016. This means shoppers are now paying less for a representative basket of groceries than they did in 2015. This is the 21st consecutive period of grocery price deflation. Falling prices reflect the impact of Aldi and Lidl and the market’s competitive response, as well as deflation in some major categories such as fresh and processed pork, butter, and crisps.
*This figure is based on over 75,000 identical products compared year-on-year in the proportions purchased by shoppers and therefore represents the most authoritative figure currently available. It is a ‘pure’ inflation measure in that shopping behaviour is held constant between the two comparison periods – shoppers are likely to achieve a lower personal inflation rate if they trade down or seek out more offers.
Ready meals are sold pre-cooked to a certain extent, and serve as easy alternatives to food prepared at home. They are promoted and presented by vendors as quick and time-saving alternatives, which requires just heating before consumption. These packaged meals are available in frozen, chilled, canned, or dried forms and for single or two servings.
The analysts forecast the global ready meals market to grow at a CAGR of 4.57% during the period 2016-2020.
The report covers the present scenario and the growth prospects of the global ready meals market for 2016-2020. To calculate the market size, the report considered the revenue generated from retail sales of the following ready meals products:
The report, Global Ready Meals Market 2016-2020, has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. The report covers the market landscape and its growth prospects over the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of the key vendors operating in this market.