“Belief in ‘magic foods’ (health ingredients and supplements) strengthens with age,” said its report Health and Nutrition Strategist – Food Ingredients: What’s hot. “The 18 to 44-year old segment believes its health is bullet proof compared with the 45+ age segments who seek out magic bullets for improved health.”
Nearly one half of the 16,392 US adults surveyed said they frequently consumed foods fortified with vitamins and minerals. Interest was similar across all age groups.
Although fewer said they planned to take nutritional supplements than in previous years, interest remained high in the 45+ age group and particularly those of more than 65 years of age.
Antioxidants and omega-3s
Americans prefer foods labeled as rich in healthy ingredients, such as antioxidants and omega-3s, rather than foods with these ingredients added.
Four in 10 consumers often consume antioxidant-rich foods compared with one quarter of consumers who regularly eat anti-oxidant fortified foods.
The report goes on to describe omega-3 fatty acids as gaining “rock star” popularity since the previous survey conducted in 2006. Following the attention it has received in marketing and medical arenas, omega-3 popularity increases with age particularly among the 45+ age segments, presumably, said the report for its “heart benefits.”
The report’s authors note: “Consumers, particularly those in older age segments, are demanding more from their foods as they seek proactive ways to manage their health. If given a choice, these consumers may opt for the product that is rich in or fortified with a key ingredient, not only because it provides a “health boost,” but also because it provides the psychological satisfaction of positive lifestyle management.”
The ingredients identified by the report as “magic food super stars,” which have exhibited the largest growth include: Pomegranate juice, dark chocolate, berries, walnuts, almonds, ginger, and cinnamon.
One half of consumers surveyed believe they get additional health benefits from blueberries compared with about four in 10 for almonds, dark chocolate and walnuts.