People are gravitating towards Omega-3 foods as opposed to dietary supplements, reveals a recent report. (Photo: Stock File)
Omega-3 market grows steadily
Wednesday, July 21, 2010, 16:20 (GMT + 9)
The European marine and algae Oil Omega-3 ingredients market made revenues of USD 323.0 million in 2008 and estimates this to reach USD 525.6 million in 2013, according to a report from Frost & Sullivan.
Many omega-3 fatty acids (EPA/DHA) manufacturers are branding their ingredients on consumer food and beverage products. In the meantime, industry organisation the Global Organization of EPA & DHA Omega-3 has established Purdue University in the US to found the Omega-3 Learning Consortium for Health and Medicine to offer credible data on omega-3 fatty acids to consumers, health professionals and the media.
"Industry associations have been successfully formed to protect their interests and voice their opinions to government agencies charged with regulating food ingredients," says Frost & Sullivan Research Consultant Christopher Shanahan. "These associations play a critical role in addressing crucial legislative challenges facing the industry and in providing opportunities that benefit the overall growth of the market."
The estimated 10 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2008 to 2013 may set off vital condition-specific health markets such as cognitive health, joint health and immune health. But at the same time, the omega-3 industry is challenged by an increasingly complex set of technological, environmental and regulatory changes.
"On February 12, 2010, the European Parliament approved nutrition claims for omega-3s allowing food products to claim they are either a 'source of omega-3 fatty acids' or that they contain 'high omega-3 fatty acids'," notes Shanahan. "This is a positive development because it will enhance both consumer awareness and usage across Europe, in countries where consumers already understand the value of omega-3s."
According to the consultant, a larger number of consumers consider food products an alternative means to prevent many diseases and adverse health conditions such as cardiovascular disease (CVD).
"The demand for omega-3 ingredients is directly related to the escalating incidence of CVD in developed countries and it significantly hikes the unit consumption," adds Shanahan.
But the European Union (EU) has not yet finalised a Dietary Reference Value for omega-3s.
Consumers, Frost said were ever more intrigued by obtaining their omega-3s in the form of foods instead of supplements, although omega-3 food sales are currently tiny in comparison to global supplement sales.
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By Natalia Real