Interest in dairy with omega-3 claims remains despite market share falling

Innova Market Insights
Tuesday, 14 January, 2014


New product launches of dairy products featuring omega-3 claims have risen in the last five years; however, the share of total dairy launches with omega-3 claims has fallen from 2.4% in 2008 to 1.5% in 2013, new research from Innova Market Insights shows.

“While awareness of the potential health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids has risen over the years, recent tightening up of claims legislation has tended to decrease the use of this type of claim in relation to specific benefits,” said Lu Ann Williams, Director of Innovation at Innova Market Insights.

“Terms such as ‘high in omega-3’, ‘contains omega-3’ and ‘rich in omega-3’ have continued to be used, but links to heart health, brain and cognitive health, eye health, etc, have been much less in evidence, with companies relying more on existing consumer knowledge about potential benefits.”

Yellow fats and milks accounted for around 80% of global launches using omega-3 claims or DHA claims, or both in the 12 months to October 2013. While the actual number of launches with omega-3 claims is similar in both categories, Innova says the significance of claims is quite different. Omega-3 claims featured in just over 10% of yellow-fats product launches, compared to just 3% of the milk and milk-drink product launches over the same period.

The positioning of yellow fats with omega-3 claims has changed in recent years, Innova says, with the original claims regarding cholesterol maintenance and heart and circulatory health now starting to give way to more generalised ‘health for all the family’ or ‘active healthy living’ positionings.

The US is seeing rising interest in omega-3-fortified milks, with Innova’s data indicating that nearly 8% of US milk launches in the 12 months to October 2013 featured omega-3 claims, even further ahead of the global figure of 3%.

“Although product activity in omega-3-fortified dairy products has been rather less in evidence in recent years, clearly there is still interest in the sector and potential for further development, particularly considering the wide range of different health benefits associated with it,” said Williams.

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