Health & Wellness analyst Diana Cowland, who provided a market update for FoodNavigator-USA as part of our heart healthy foods special edition, says the US accounts for 38% of global value sales in the category.
“The category in the US is dominated by soup, but sauces, dressings and condiments, canned preserved food excluding ready meals and oils and fats have all performed well.”
And while reduced fat and lower sodium products still dominate the heart health category, consumers are moving towards products making more positive claims about functional ingredients backed with solid science, from whole grains to chia, nuts, oats, and omega-3s, she says.
CocoaVia took a 1% share of US cardiovascular health positioned packaged food market in 2012
While less familiar ingredients such as cocoa flavanols are also gaining momentum, their share of the market still remains small, however, adds Cowland.
“CocoaVia from Mars for example has just a 1% share of cardiovascular health positioned packaged food in 2012.”
Senior US analyst Virginia Lee says that plant sterols, fish oils, chia seeds, and oats are prominent in new product launches focusing on heart health, citing Mamma chia’s new Chia Squeeze vitality snacks; Boulder Brands’ new Smart Balance Blended Butter Sticks with omega-3s from fish oils and plant sterols ‘to help block the cholesterol in the butter’; and General Mills’ Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch with whole grain oats, which are marketed on a healthy cholesterol platform.
Meanwhile, some firms are trying to reposition products that have been around for years on a cardio health platform by building on new research, or highlighting their natural assets, she says.
“While Mazola Corn Oil has been available for decades, ACH Food Companies has introduced an ad campaign that claims that 'Corn oils, such as Mazola Corn Oil, contain more cholesterol-blocking plant sterols than any other cooking oil – four times more than olive oil and 40% more than canola oil’.”
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