Omega-3 Food and Beverage Market in U.S. Slated to Grow 40% by 2015

The market researcher attributes potential growth to novel production technologies that are enabling the addition of omega-3s to an expanding range of food and beverages.

The U.S. omega-3 fatty acid ingredient market will grow 40% between 2010 and 2015, to reach $7 billion, according to Packaged Facts’ new “Omega-3 Foods and Beverages in the U.S., 3rd Edition” report. The market researcher attributes potential growth to novel production technologies that are enabling the addition of omega-3s to an expanding range of food and beverages, without causing unpleasant fishy odor or taste.

“Omega-3 oils are in demand, and the attention is helping to fuel growth in the still-maturing industry,” says Packaged Facts.

In 2010, U.S. retail sales of food and beverage products touting “high omega-3” or “high DHA [docosahexaenoic acid]” claims grew 11%, approaching $4 billion.

“When the first omega-3-enriched foods entered the market in 2003, some predicted that there would be a flood of products within a couple of years. But the challenges of finding ways to get the fatty acids into foods and beverages, making the resulting product palatable and achieving a reasonable shelf life, were more daunting than expected,” said Don Montuori, publisher of Packaged Facts. “Now that many of these technology hurdles have been overcome, more categories of products have become viable candidates for fortification with omega fatty acids.”

“Several industry experts we interviewed believe that the biggest trend in the next five to ten years will be food and beverage companies seeking to fortify their products with omegas,” he added.