Omega-3 represents one of the fastest growing segments in the food ingredients industry, both in the finished food product area and supplement industry. As marketing and promotion drives consumer sales, the ingredient suppliers are also doing there bit to maintain the dynamism of this sector, continuing to shape the finished product industry.
Since the start of 2009 a number of dossiers have been backed in Europe by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) linking omega-3 with various health benefits. For example, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) backed a dossier linking infant eye health and DHA consumption submitted by Mead Johnson Nutritionals in France.
More recently, on July 16th Martek announced that it had received approval from the Standing Committee On The Food Chain and Animal Health (SCFCAH) of the European Union for additional novel food approval of life’sDHA™ in Europe. Martek’s life’sDHA™usage is now expanded to include bakery products, cereal bars, and beverages, including milk-based and milk analogue drinks. Since 2003, the product has been approved for marketing in breakfast cereals, spreadable fat and dressings, dairy products (excluding milk-based and milk analogue drinks) and food supplements. Martek stated that there “are currently more than 30 food, beverage and supplement products that include life’sDHA™ available in the EU”.
Martek had a strong start to 2009, announcing an increase in sales on Q1 2008 of 7%, with product sales at $84.0 million. A trend continuing into the second quarter; with revenues increasing by 2% to $92.4 million compared to $90.7 million in Q2 2008. Despite, significant downturn in the economy food ingredient companies are bucking the trend with continuation of growth into 2009.
The omega-3 market remains one to watch as companies continue to work to gain approvals for usage within an increasing variety of finished products, expanding the categories where their products can be used and developing new products to address different health issues.