Increased attention to health and personal well-being has led many food and beverage companies to reformulate their products with functional food ingredients to cash in on the trends, according to the latest FHA Insider Special report, “Healthy trends driving demand for functional food products in Asia.”

Research from Euromonitor International found that increasing incomes across Asia-Pacific is spurring demand for more premium products with food companies developing and pushing products and flavors using healthier ingredients. Aileen Supriyadi, research analyst for Euromonitor notes that fortified ingredients are being incorporated into various product categories such as savory snacks and juices. 

“There’s certainly potential for growth as more people around the world cotton on to the benefits of live cultured foods and the health risks posed by the excess consumption of sugar-loaded soft drinks,” says Emmet Condon, co-founder of Australian kombucha producer Remedy Kombucha. “No matter where you are in the world, people are looking for healthier, tastier options when it comes to fizzy drinks.”

Morinaga, a Japanese dairy products and functional food ingredients manufacturer is banking on increased consumer awareness and developing live culture strains with specific health targets. “The probiotics market in Asia-Pacific has witnessed an increase in the new product development activities wherein novel and specialty strains are incorporated to achieve targeted health benefits,” says Dr Wong Chyn Boon, research associate, international division, Morinaga Milk Industry Co. 

Functional food and drink products are not the only things that are showing up in grocery stores. Across the globe, the culinary world is also venturing into the use of functional food ingredients in menus. Chefs in F&B establishments have begun to be more mindful of the ingredients they purchase and use.

While countries like China and Japan hold a prominent share in the market, the demand for probiotics functional food and dietary supplements in Southeast Asia is expected to remain promising for the next five years, she adds.

Functional food and drink products are not the only things that are showing up in grocery stores. Across the globe, the culinary world is also venturing into the use of functional food ingredients in menus. Chefs in F&B establishments have begun to be more mindful of the ingredients they purchase and use.

“For a long time, food has been thought of as a form of entertainment, and restaurants changed the scene with creative plating techniques and even unique dining experiences,” says Lucas Glanville, executive chef of Grand Hyatt Singapore. “But while food as a form of entertainment is still important, it is very encouraging to see that diners are starting to think more about what they put into their bodies.”

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