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Functional food to reach $215.36 bn by 2033
Saturday, 30 December, 2023, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Sumel Ashique
The functional food ingredients market is valued at $112.60 billion in 2023 and is projected to reach $215.36 billion by 2033, exhibiting a CAGR of 6.7% over the forecast period. Increasing demand for clean-label goods, evolving regulations in the food and beverage business, and increasing customer consciousness are all factors driving market expansion.

Preference for functional food escalating among consumers
The preference for functional food ingredients is skyrocketing among consumers, resulting in market enlargement. Growing medical conditions and expanding health complications such as obesity, diabetes, and gastrointestinal abnormalities are expected to drive market expansion in the future years. Significant demand for functional ingredients in the food and beverage sector has come from new developments and the launch of novel products by leading businesses. Rising income and urbanisation are also linked to a way of life that offers more calorie-dense food options but requires less daily exercise.

In addition, the prevalence of chronic non-communicable diseases such as type II diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease have increased, generating concerns about rising healthcare costs and a decline in life quality. Contemporary lifestyles have also been associated with a variety of psychological issues such as depression, poor attentiveness, and cognitive impairment.

Therefore, individuals are focusing on the intake of healthy and nutritionally-rich goods to prevent such diseases, which is likely to generate the enormous potential for the global market. Functional ingredients are those that offer disease-prevention, energy-boosting, and wellness properties. The components that will be added to the finished product are intended to be an extract of the bioactive compound from a natural substance.

In addition, individuals are preferring fortified convenient nutritious meals and beverages with high nutritional value. Rising income levels, along with a boost in the number of urban individuals, are thrusting the demand for functional foods. Moreover, the millennial generation is becoming more conscious of the necessity of including healthy foods in their diets. The advantages of functional additives in the management of obesity are being reaped by consumers worldwide. As a result, rising demand for nutritional food items among the health-conscious community, as well as a trend toward clean label or organic food components to lessen environmental impact are the driving forces propelling functional food ingredients market sales growth.

They are widely used as a protective coating in pharmaceutical applications due to their good hydrophilic nature, high actual content, and low viscosity.

Companies wishing to enter the South East Asian market should seek to develop products offering taste and nutrition in a convenient format. We talked to Michael Hughes, from FMCG Gurus, who details some of the results of their regional market surveys. It's important to note that the success of functional foods in the South East Region will depend on factors such as cultural acceptance, affordability, education, and marketing strategies. The industry's evolution will likely be influenced by a combination of scientific advancements, consumer trends, regulatory frameworks, and economic developments.

Future factors contributing to growth of market in South East Asia:
• Rising Health Awareness: Consumers were becoming more health-conscious and seeking out products that could help them achieve their wellness goals.

• Urbanisation and Lifestyle Changes: Rapid urbanisation and changing lifestyles were leading to increased demand for convenient and health-promoting food options.

• Aging Population: The aging population in countries like Japan, South Korea and Singapore was driving demand for functional foods targeting age-related health concerns.

• Functional Beverages: Functional beverages like fortified juices, herbal teas, and probiotic drinks were gaining popularity due to their convenience and perceived health benefits.

• Innovations in Ingredients: Companies were introducing new ingredients like superfoods, plant-based proteins, and natural extracts into their products to cater to evolving consumer preferences.

• Regulatory Support: Regulatory bodies in South East Asian countries were becoming more open to approving and regulating functional food products, providing a conducive environment for market growth.

• E-Commerce and Digital Marketing: The rise of e-commerce platforms and digital marketing allowed functional food companies to reach a broader audience and promote their products effectively.

• Cultural Influences: Traditional Asian ingredients with perceived health benefits were being incorporated into functional foods, appealing to both local and global consumers.

Indeed, multiple benefits including the reutilisation of industry by-products to create value-added products have led to surges in the production of various functional foods and supplements. The functional food market of the Asia Pacific itself is projected to reach $71 billion in the year 2025.

(The author is assistant professor, Pandaveswar School of Pharmacy, Pandaveswar, West Bengal. He can be reached at
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