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The Growing Functional Foods Market to Fuel the Global Demand for Protein Ingredients

   February 28, 2021

Since the early 21st century, society has witnessed a continuous increase in life expectancy and greater attention to quality. Consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about their health and are paying more attention to their lifestyles and dietary habits. Nowadays, countries worldwide are going through a nutritional transition and are now facing the dual burden of nutritional problems. According to the WHO, undernutrition and specific nutrient deficiencies continue to remain major challenges, with imbalanced diets and chronic diseases simultaneously becoming alarmingly common. Also, with rising obesity rates, an aging population, an increase in sedentary lifestyles, and increased consumer interest in health and nutrition, the demand for functional foods is increasing across developing countries. For instance, the functional foods market in South America looks promising, with a high demand for weight management products due to the popularity of innovative ingredients such as protein. In Brazil, functional foods are expected to remain the largest category in the health and wellness space over the next few years.

In recent years, consumer awareness regarding health, nutritional enrichment, calorie reduction, and food safety has grown, especially in developed countries and high-income groups in developing countries, which is expected to transform the food & beverage sector and boost the growth of the protein ingredients market. Also, factors such as government initiatives to educate the rural population on nutrition, increasing proportion of working women, and the availability of limited time for food preparation have increased the demand for functional foods. The growing understanding of the importance of a proper diet and the young generation’s growing inclination towards fitness are also factors that drive the demand for functional foods. Simultaneously, the increasing population in Asian countries, introduction of new food categories, exposure to western products, and rising number of nuclear families boost the demand for functional foods. These factors are projected to increase the demand for protein ingredients among manufacturers of functional foods, as protein-rich products have high nutritional value and provide optimal nutrition.

Moreover, the growing demand for healthy beverages worldwide is expected to create opportunities for players operating in the functional foods market. The rising health-conscious population has boosted the demand for nutritional bars and beverages, thus increasing the sales of functional foods. Also, consumers are increasingly spending on value-added food categories to maintain healthier lifestyles, boosting the sales of functional foods. The COVID-19 pandemic is also anticipated to boost the demand for protein ingredients. The coronavirus disease has had an overwhelming impact on people with underlying health conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. An increase in awareness among people regarding strengthening their immunity to prevent the risk of infection has compelled the need to maintain healthy lifestyles and adopt proper dietary habits. A protein-rich diet can help reduce the effects of the virus on at-risk people due to the abundance of macronutrients, micronutrients, and antioxidants.

Hence, with the growing need to meet the nutritional requirements of the growing population, manufacturers of functional foods are increasingly incorporating proteins into their products, thereby driving the growth of the protein ingredients market.

Meticulous Research® in its latest publication on the ‘Protein Ingredients Market,’ states that the protein ingredients market is expected to reach $73.09 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 7.8% during the forecast period 2020–2027.


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