Low fat trend continues to grow fat replacer sales, says GIA

By Caroline Scott-Thomas

- Last updated on GMT

Low fat trend continues to grow fat replacer sales, says GIA

Related tags: Nutrition

The US market for fat replacer ingredients continues to grow on the back of consumer health concerns about fatty foods, demand for enhanced flavors and textures, and processing advantages for manufacturers, according to a new report from Global Industry Analysts (GIA).

The report,“Fat Replacers: A US Market Report”, claims that the US market for fat replacers is highly mature, but carbohydrate-based ingredients are likely to continue to lead the market and grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.7% over the next five years to 2017.

“The fat replacers market is poised to exhibit healthy growth over the ensuing years, with majority of the sales to be sourced from mature markets for carbohydrate and protein-based fat replacers,”the market researcher said.“In particular, functional fat replacers have been growing at a healthy pace over the years, triggered by increasing health concerns and demand for food ingredients with enhanced flavor and texture.”

Meanwhile, a growing body of research has suggested that replacing fat with carbohydrates could increase risk of heart disease​, but consumers are still focused on low-fat food and beverage products, according to GIA.

“Consumer trends continue to influence the industry, with low-fat and fat-free products being the current craze,”it said, noting particularly strong demand in the meat and dairy sector, as low calorie and reduced-fat foods such as low-fat ice creams, spreads and meat products gain in popularity.

However, there has been declining demand for zero-fat products, and the fat replacers market has seen competition from alternative sweeteners and other products containing sugar alcohols.

“The impact of rising competition is evident from the heightened levels of product development and burgeoning promotional expenditure,”it said.

The market for protein-based fat replacement ingredients is expected to grow “at a tepid pace” over the next few years, with manufacturers focused on more lucrative sports nutrition products, rather than fat substitute applications, according to the market researcher.

Hydrocolloid-based fat replacers have also seen strong growth over the past few years,“driven by the consumer’s increased awareness and quest to stay fit and healthy.”

The market for fat-based fat replacers has slowed down since health and industry concerns have accompanied the biggest selling fat-based ingredient, olestra, which works by reducing the amount of fat absorbed by the body.

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