U.S. Fat and Oil Products Market “Healthy,” says Packaged Facts

U.S. retail sales of fats and oils will exceed $9 billion this year and are expected to see annual growth rates of 2% in 2012 to 4% by 2016.

U.S. retail sales of fats and oils will exceed $9 billion this year and are expected to see annual growth rates of 2% in 2012 to 4% by 2016, taking the category to $11 billion, according to a new Packaged Facts report. The report, “Fats and Salad/Cooking Oils in the U.S.: Butter, Margarine, Olive Oil, and Beyond,” also covers products like mayonnaise, cooking sprays, shortening, and popcorn oil.

In a press release, Packaged Facts says that as studies have shown that fats like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids can lower disease risk, consumers are learning that “not all fats are bad for you, and, in fact, some are important to good health.” In fact, consumers who may have tended toward low-fat diets may now be seeking diets with “better-for-you” fat sources.

“Increased consumer demand has prompted manufacturers to bring new foods and beverages to market touting healthy fats and oils content,” said David Sprinkle, publisher of Packaged Fats, in the press release. “And these products have sold well enough, even in tough times, that they’ve emerged as relatively recession-proof compared to other food categories. Some may point out that many fats and oils such as butter, margarine, and cooking oils are household staples that consumers will always buy, but make no mistake, this newfound health perspective is driving sales.”