Omega-3 Foods and Beverages in the U.S., 3rd Edition

Date: June 22, 2011
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Omega-3 fatty acids are emerging as some of the most widely beneficial compounds in human health. The three omega-3 fatty acids commonly recognized in the scientific literature as having health benefits are docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and to a lesser extent, alpha linolenic acid (ALA). These omega-3s are derived mostly from marine and plant sources, typically fish, algae or flax.

First touted it contributions to cardiovascular health, omega-3 is now associated with the prevention of disorders ranging from eye disease to depression, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children to muscle degeneration in the elderly. Even as medical research is uncovering new health benefits to consumption of omega-3, novel production technologies are allowing for the addition of omega-3 oils to an expanding number of food and beverage products and product categories.

Marketers really did not start touting the omega-3 enhanced foods until late 2004, after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a qualified health claim for omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) after reviewing the clinical data that illustrated their cardiovascular benefits. This ruling legitimized and propelled the market. In 2007, the FDA published a proposed rule on the nutrient content claims of EPA and DHA. A final ruling has not yet been made, but industry participants believe that when the Institute of Medicine (IOM) establishes a daily reference intake (DRI) for long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, a final ruling from the FDA will follow shortly.

Although some expected high-omega foods and product sales to begin leveling off by 2009, in the wake of a wave of market activity, retail sales have continued to post significant growth. Moreover, three factors indicate that another boom phase for omega-3-enhanced products is on the horizon: 1) an ongoing release of scientific studies supporting the health benefits of consuming omega-3, 2) innovative product introductions, and 3) strong consumer awareness and demand. Omega-3 remains one of the most successful and promising functional ingredients in the food and beverage industry.

In addition to an increasingly educated and enthusiastic consumer base, several other drivers are propelling this market. These include innovative formulations and technology advancements that are expanding the products amenable to enhancement with omega-3. Also, methods of stabilizing omega-containing products to inhibit oxidation (which causes the fishy smell associated with fish-oil-based omega-3) have resulted in improved taste as well as extended shelf life. More than 20,000 scientific papers have been published that support the health contributions provided by omega fatty acids, and more papers were published on this topic in 2010 than in any previous year. New regulations in Europe and elsewhere are removing some of the variables for food companies incorporating omegas into their products. As a result, there has been a resurgence in new product launches from these markets. Success in omega-3-enhanced foods relates strongly to differentiation among the growing number of products on the market.
CHAPTER 1: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Overview

Scope of Report

Fish Products, Supplements, and Infant Formulas Are Excluded from Scope of Report

Report Methodology

Omega-3 Fatty Acids—A Key to Human Health

FDA Cites ALA as the Only Truly “Essential” Fatty Acid

EPA, DHA and ALA Are Used to Enhance Foods and Beverages

Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Foods

Table 1-1: Primary Sources of Omega-3, Omega-6 and Omega-9 Fatty Acids in Foods

Amounts of EPA/DHA in Omega-3 Sources

Essential Fatty Acid Deficiency Very Common

Imbalance of Omega-3 to Omega-6 Intake Linked to Many Diseases

Studies Support a Growing List of Health Benefits Related to Intake of Omega-3s

Table 1-2: Health Benefits Reported from Adequate Consumption of Omega-3

Fatty Acids

Inflammation Is Key to Many Disorders and Diseases Improved by Consumption of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Table 1-3: Selected Conditions and Diseases With an Inflammatory Component

Is it Possible to Consume Too Much Omega-3?

From Supplements to Foods and Beverages

Recommended Daily Intake of DHA and EPA

The Saturation Point for Omega-3 Is Far From Reached

Regulatory Environment

Encouraging Regulatory Events in the European Union Bode Well for Omega-3 Food and Beverage Market

The United States Lags Behind the European Union in Regulations Relating to Omega-3

The FDA Issues Qualified Health Claim for Omega-3s

The U.S. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Supports Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Department of Health and Human Services Guidelines Fail to Address Benefits of EPA/DHA

Dietary Recommendations for Consuming Omega-3s

Efforts to Establish Recommended Daily Allowances for EPA/DHA

Products and Ingredients

“High Omega-3” and “High DHA” Products Represent 12.9% of New Product Introductions

Table 1-4: U.S. Food and Beverage Product Introductions Carrying a “High Omega-3” or “High DHA” Content Reference, 2005-2010

Omega-3s Used to Enhance Foods and Beverages

Table 1-5: Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Nomenclature, Structure and Food Source

Formulations of Omega-3 Used in Foods and Beverages

Sources of Omega-3 Used as Ingredients in Enhanced Foods and Beverages

The Market

High Omega-3/Omega-Enhanced Food and Beverage Products Approach $4 Billion in U.S. Retail Sales in 2010

Table 1-6: U.S. Retail Sales of Food and Beverage Products (excluding fish) With “High Omega-3” or “High DHA” Claims, 2006-2010 (in millions of dollars)

Sales Projected to Exceed $6.7 Billion by 2015

Figure 1-1: Projected U.S. Retail Sales of Food and Beverage Products (excluding fish) With “High Omega-3” or “High DHA” Claims, 2011-2015 (in millions of dollars)

U.S. Omega-3 Ingredient Market to Grow 40% Over 5-Year Period.

The Suppliers

Leading Suppliers of Omega-3

Table 1-7: Selected North American Suppliers of Omega-3 Ingredients

Collaborating with Suppliers Decreases Development Time and Improves Products

The Marketers

More Than 100 Companies in the United States Market High-Omega 3/ Omega-Enhanced Foods

Top U.S. Marketers of Non-fish High Omega Foods or Beverages

Table 1-8: Leading U.S. Marketers by New Product Introductions of High Omega-3 or High DHA Foods and Beverages, 2010

The Retail Market

Product Channels

Traditional Supermarkets Account for Half of All Sales

Figure 1-2: Estimated Dollar Sales of Food and Beverage Products (excluding fish) Claiming High Omega-3 or High DHA Content: By Retail Channel, 2011

The Consumer

Reasons for the Increase in Consumer Interest in Fortified Foods

Rising Use of Fish Oil Supplements

Table 1-9: Usage Rates for Fish Oil Supplements, 2005-2010 (U.S. adults)

Majority of Americans Seek Healthy Lifestyles

Figure 1-3: Consumer Psychographics: Physical Health and Fitness, March 2011 (percent of U.S. grocery shoppers)

Groceries and Consumer Health Goals

Figure 1-4: Consumer Psychographics: Healthy Eating and Dieting, March 2011 (percent of U.S. grocery shoppers)

9% of Grocery Shoppers Buy Foods or Beverages With High Omega Claims

Figure 1-5: Purchasing of Food and Beverage Products by Selected Package Labels/Claims, March 2011 (percent of U.S. grocery shoppers)

Trends and Opportunities

GOED Holds First International Conference

Each Year, More Categories Contain Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Growing Evidence of the Many Benefits of DHA and EPA

Getting Fish (Oil) Into Kids and Vegetarians

Potential Untapped Consumers

New Achievements in Formulation Expand Product Horizon

Innovative Formulations Make Increasing Numbers of Food and Beverage Products Amenable to Omega-3 Enhancement

Concerns About Continued Sourcing from Fish

High Global Demand for EPA and DHA Omega-3 Oils

Contamination Concerns Diminish with Improved Technology

Research Into New Sources of Omegas

CHAPTER 2: OVERVIEW

Key Points

Scope of Report

Fish Products, Supplements, and Infant Formulas Are Excluded from Scope of Report

Report Methodology

Omega-3 Fatty Acids—A Key to Human Health

How Fatty Acids Vary in Their Impact on Health

The Skinny on Fats

The Essential Fatty Acids

Long-chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Are Synthesized in the Body from Omega-3 and Omega-6

FDA Cites ALA as the Only Truly “Essential” Fatty Acid

EPA, DHA and ALA Are Used to Enhance Foods and Beverages

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Are Categorized by Structure and Nutritional Function

ALA Appears to Have No Specific Function Other Than as a Precursor to EPA and DHA

The Fourth Important Omega-3—Stearidonic Acid

Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Foods

Table 2-1: Primary Sources of Omega-3, Omega-6 and Omega-9 Fatty Acids in Foods

Amounts of EPA/DHA in Omega-3 Sources

Fish Oil as a Source of Omega-3s

Other Marine Animal Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Non-fish Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Flaxseed Oil as a Source of Omega-3s

Algal Oil as a Source of Omega-3s

Getting the Right Amount and Balance of DHA and EPA from Algal Sources

Other Plant Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Essential Fatty Acid Deficiency Very Common

Imbalance of Omega-3 to Omega-6 Intake Linked to Many Diseases

Studies Support a Growing List of Health Benefits Related to Intake of Omega-3s

The Roles of DHA and EPA in Human Health

Table 2-2: Health Benefits Reported from Adequate Consumption of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 Benefits Mother and Fetus During Pregnancy

Neurologic Benefits of Omega-3s Begin Before Birth

Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Preventing or Improving Cardiovascular Disease

The Link Between Omega-3 Deficiency and Metabolic Syndrome

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Have FDA Approval for Benefits in Hyperlipidemia

Digestive Problems May Be Related to Omega-3 Deficiency

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Are Essential to Cell Membrane Health

Omega-3 Deficiency Linked to Gluten Intolerance

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Beneficial to Neuropsychiatric Problems

Omega-3 Crucial to Cognitive Functioning in Adults

Omega-3 Benefits Patients with Anxiety

Growing Evidence for Benefits of Omega-3 for Depression

Omega-3s Benefit Children Suffering from ADHD

Omega-3 Improves Well-Being and Functioning of Children with Asperger Syndrome

Beneficial Effects of Omega-3s on Vision and Hearing

Omega-3 Decreases Muscle Loss Associated with Aging

Omega-3 Deficiency Linked to Cancer and Inflammation

Inflammation Is Key to Many Disorders and Diseases Improved by Consumption of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Table 2-3: Selected Conditions and Diseases With an Inflammatory Component

Relationship Between Pathological Inflammation and Disease

Depression May Have an Inflammatory Component

Research Continues Into the Role of Omega-3 in the Treatment of Atherosclerosis, an Inflammatory Cardiovascular Disorder

Research Reveals the Mechanism by Which Omega-3 Fatty Acids Influence Inflammation

Is it Possible to Consume Too Much Omega-3?

From Supplements to Foods and Beverages

American Dietetic Association Advises That Food Is Better than Supplements as a Delivery System for Omega-3

Recommended Daily Intake of DHA and EPA

The Advantages of Fortifying Foods and Beverages with Omega-3

Fatty Acids Compared to Consumption of Supplements

Knowledge About Omega-3 Fatty Acids Advances Quickly

Increasing Use of Omega-3 in Foods and Beverages

The Saturation Point for Omega-3 Is Far From Reached

CHAPTER 3: REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT

Key Points

Encouraging Regulatory Events in the European Union Bode Well for Omega-3 Food and Beverage Market

European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Adopts Opinion on Labeling Reference Intake Values for Omega-3 Fatty Acids

European Food Safety Authority Dietary Reference Values Adopted

Nutrition Claims Set by the EFSA

European Union Omega-3 Labeling Regulations Lead to Consumer Confidence and Establish the Foundation for Increased Product Launches

Scientists Criticize European Labeling Regulation

Codex Committee on Fats and Oils Adopts Swiss Proposal to Develop Fish Oil Standard

History of the U.S. Regulatory Situation Relating to Foods and Beverages

The U.S. Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994

Adding Beneficial Nutrients to Conventional Foods

Table 3-1: Permitted Nutrient Content Claims for Omega-3s in the United States

The United States Lags Behind the European Union in Regulations Relating to Omega-3

The FDA Issues Qualified Health Claim for Omega-3s

Structure/Function Claims

Table 3-2: Structure/Function Claims on Selected Omega-3-Fortified Foods and Beverages

Nutrient Content Claims

Table 3-3: Nutrient Content Claims on Selected Omega-3-Fortified Foods and Beverages

The U.S. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Supports Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Department of Health and Human Services Guidelines Fail to Address Benefits of EPA/DHA

Dietary Recommendations for Consuming Omega-3s

Efforts to Establish Recommended Daily Allowances for EPA/DHA

Standardizing the Percentage of DHA and EPA in Fish Oil

CHAPTER 4: PRODUCTS AND INGREDIENTS

Key Points

Products With “High Omega-3” and “High DHA” Product Claims Introduced Between 2005 and 2010 Represent 12.9% of All New Product Introductions

Table 4-1: U.S. Food and Beverage Product Introductions Carrying a “High Omega-3” or “High DHA” Content Reference, 2005-2010

Table 4-2: U.S. Food and Beverage Product Introductions Carrying a “High Omega-3” or “High DHA” Content Reference: By Top Product Categories, 2005-2010

Ingredients

Omega-3s Used to Enhance Foods and Beverages

Alpha Linolenic Acid

DHA and EPA

Table 4-3: Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Nomenclature, Structure and Food Source

Formulations of Omega-3 Used in Foods and Beverages

Techniques Used to Prevent Oxidation

Use of Preservatives

Sources of Omega-3 Used as Ingredients in Enhanced Foods and Beverages

Fish Oil Is the Leading Source of Omega-3 Oils Used in Foods and Beverages

Growing Concerns About Depletion of Sources for Fish Oil

Algal Oil Is a Sustainable Source of DHA

Plant Oils

Choosing the Best Oil

Fish versus Algae versus Flax

The Basics on Flaxseed

Walnuts a Good Source of ALA

New Seed Oil Sources of ALA

Omega-3 Fortification Capabilities and Formulation Strategies

Omega-3 Fortification in Organic Foods and Beverages

Omega-3 Suppliers

CHAPTER 5: THE MARKET

Key Points

Market Definition

Accelerating Roll-out of High Omega Foods and Beverages

Need for Restraint in Making Claims About Products Containing Omega-3

Annual Number U.S. High Omega-3/Omega-enhanced Product Introductions Vacillates from 2005 to 2010

Table 5-1: U.S. Food and Beverage Product Introductions with “High Omega-3” or “High DHA” Claim, 2005-2010

Table 5-2: U.S. Food and Beverage Product Introductions with “High Omega-3” Claim, 2005-2010

Table 5-3 :U.S. Food and Beverage Product Introductions with “High Omega-3” Claim by Product Category as Percent of Total High-Omega Product Introductions, 2006 versus 2010

“High DHA” Claim Refines the “High Omega-3” U.S. Food and Beverage Market

Table 5-4: U.S. Food and Beverage Product Introductions with “High DHA” Claim, 2005-2010

Food and Beverage Products with “High Omega-3” or “High DHA” Claims Approach $4 Billion in U.S. Retail Sales

Table 5-5: U.S. Retail Sales of Food and Beverage Products (excluding fish) With “High Omega-3” or “High DHA” Claims, 2006-2010 (in millions of dollars)

Sales Projected to Exceed $6.7 Billion by 2015

Table 5-6 :U.S. Retail Sales of Food and Beverage Products (excluding fish) With “High Omega-3” or “High DHA” Claims, 2006-2015 (in millions of dollars)

Table 5-7: Projected U.S. Retail Sales of Food and Beverage Products (excluding fish) With “High Omega-3” or “High DHA” Claims, 2011-2015 (in millions of dollars)

Figure 5-1: Projected U.S. Retail Sales of Food and Beverage Products (excluding fish) With “High Omega-3” or “High DHA” Claims, 2011-2015 (in millions of dollars)

U.S. Omega-3 Ingredient Market to Grow 40% Over 5-Year Period

Sales of Omega-3 Supplements

Pharmaceutical-grade Omega-3 Supplements Enter the Market

Other Omega-3 Pharmaceutical Products Are in Development

AMR101 is in Phase III Trials at Amarin Corporation

CHAPTER 6: THE SUPPLIERS

Key Points

Leading Suppliers of Omega-3

Table 6-1: Selected North American Suppliers of Omega-3 Ingredients

Collaborating with Suppliers Decreases Development Time and Improves Products

Selected North American Suppliers of ALA

Selected North American Suppliers of DHA/EPA

Leading North American Suppliers of Marine-sourced Omega-3 Fish Oils

Leading North American Suppliers of Algal-sourced Omega-3 Oils

Leading Suppliers of Plant-sourced Omega-3 Oils

Omega-3 Ingredient Options

Competitive Profile: AHD International, LLC, Atlanta, GA

Company Overview

Omega-3 Products

Competitive Profile: Arista Industries, Inc., Wilton, CT

Company Overview

Omega Oil Products

Competitive Profile: Aurora Algae, Alameda, CA

Company Overview

Omega-3 Products

Company Strategy

Competitive Profile: Glanbia Nutritionals Inc., Carlsbad, CA

Company Overview

Technology Highlights

Omega-3 Products

Competitive Profile: Hormel Foods Specialty Products, Austin, MN

Company Overview

Omega-3 Products

Competitive Profile: Jedwards International, Inc., Quincy, MA

Company Overview

Omega-3 Products

Business Strategy

Competitive Profile: Martek Biosciences, Columbia, MD

Company Overview

Financial Information

Martek Moves into Markets Beyond Infant Formula

New Algal Oil Omega-3 “Vegetarian” Fish Oil Product

Business Strategy

Martek Has Exclusivity Arrangements with Major Marketers

Competitive Profile: Ocean Nutrition Canada Ltd., Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada

Company Overview

Omega-3 Products

ONC Offers Unique Double-Shell Protection in its MEG-3 Products

Business Strategy

Competitive Profile: Omega Protein Corporation Inc., Houston, TX

Company Overview

Financial Information

Omega-3 Products

Table 6-2: Potential Applications for OmegaPure Menhaden-Derived Fish Oil

Competitive Profile: Zymes LLC, Hasbrouck Heights, NJ

Company Overview

Technology Advancements

CHAPTER 7: THE MARKETERS

Key Points

More Than 100 Companies in the U.S. Market High-Omega Foods

Leading U.S. Marketers of High-Omega Foods and Beverages in 2010

Table 7-1: Leading U.S. Marketers by New Product Introductions of High Omega-3 or High DHA Foods and Beverages, 2010

Competitive Profile: Aurora Products, Stratford, CT

Company Overview

Omega-3 Products

Competitor Profile: GOOD Hemp Products, Barnstaple, North Devon, UK

Company Overview

Omega-3 Products

Competitive Profile: GFA Brands, Inc., Cresskill, NJ

Company Overview

Omega-3 Products

Competitive Profile: The Hain Celestial Group, Inc., Melville, NY

Company Overview

Financial Information

Omega-3 Products

Competitive Profile: HappyBaby, New York, NY

Company Overview

DHA- and Omega-3 Products

Competitive Profile: Lancaster Colony Corporation, Columbus, OH

Company Overview

Financial Information

Omega-3 Products

Competitive Profile: Prairie Orchard Farms, Manitoba, Canada

Company Overview Omega-3 Products

Omega-3 Products

Company Strategy

Competitive Profile: Stonyfield Farm, Inc., Londonderry, NH

Company Overview

Financial Information

Omega-3 Products

Business Strategy

CHAPTER 8: THE RETAIL MARKET

Key Points

Traditional Grocery Venues for Omega-3 Products

Non-Traditional Grocery Venues Offer High-Omega Products

Traditional Supermarkets Account for Half of High-Omega Food and Beverage Product Sales

Table 8-1: Share of Dollar Sales of Food and Beverage Products (excluding fish) Claiming High Omega-3 or High DHA Content: By Retail Channel, 2011

Figure 8-1: Share of Dollar Sales of Food and Beverage Products (excluding fish) Claiming High Omega-3 or High DHA Content: By Retail Channel, 2011

Store Brand Functional Food and Beverage Offerings Expand

Omegas in the Mail

CHAPTER 9: THE CONSUMER

Key Points

Functional/Fortified Foods, Beverages and Supplements Show Steady Growth in the U.S

Table 9-1: U.S. Sales of Foods, Beverages and Supplements by Functional Category, 2008-2014 (in millions of dollars)

Consumer Awareness of the Need for Omega-3 Increases from 2005 to 2009

Table 9-2: Awareness and Consumption of Omega-3s for Certain Health Benefits, 2009

Reasons for the Increase in Consumer Interest in Fortified Foods

Rising Use of Fish Oil Supplements

Table 9-3: Usage Rates for Nutritional Supplements, 2005-2010 (U.S. adults)

Table 9-4: Usage Rates for Fish Oil Supplements, 2005-2010 (U.S. adults)

Majority of Americans Seek Healthy Lifestyles

Figure 9-1: Consumer Psychographics: Physical Health and Fitness, March 2011 (percent of U.S. grocery shoppers)

Groceries and Consumer Health Goals

Figure 9-2: Consumer Psychographics: Healthy Eating and Dieting, March 2011 (percent of U.S. grocery shoppers)

9% Purchase Foods or Beverages With Omega Claims

Figure 9-3: Purchasing of Food and Beverage Products, by Selected Package Labels/Claims, March 2011 (percent of U.S. grocery shoppers)

CHAPTER 10: TRENDS AND OPPORTUNITIES

Key Points

GOED Holds First International Conference

Each Year, More Categories Contain Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Development Trends

Growing Evidence of the Many Benefits of DHA and EPA

Breakfast Cereals and Soft Drinks—the New Frontier for Omega-3 Enhancement

A Growing Number and Variety of Beverages Contain Omega-3

Getting Fish (Oil) Into Kids and Vegetarians

Potential Untapped Consumers

New Achievements in Formulation Expand Product Horizon

Innovative Formulations Make Increasing Numbers of Food and Beverage Products Amenable to Omega-3 Enhancement

Microencapsulation Offers Formulation Advantages

Clear Marine Oil Omega-3 Products Target the Beverage Market

New Formulations and Delivery Vehicles for Marine Oils Emerge

Krill Oil Enters the Omega-3 Market

Algal and Plant Sources of Omega-3 Ingredients Gain Ground

SDA Omega-3 Soybean Oil Introduction Expected in 2012

Algal Oil Suppliers

Chia Is a Great Alternative to Fish and Flax Omega-3s

Omega-3-Enriched Beef, Pork and Chicken

Functional Chicken Joins Beef and Pork on the American Dinner Table

Omega-3 Levels in Chicken Increase with Feed Containing SDA

Regulations Inhibit the Rollout of Omega-3 Enhanced Meat

Concerns About Continued Sourcing from Fish

Challenges of Formulation and Scarcity of Fish Sources

Contamination Concerns Diminish with Improved Technology

Research Into New Sources of Omegas

New Solid Emulsified Gel Formulation Boosts the Bioavailability of EPA and DHA in Supplements

Researchers Discover the Molecular Mechanism Involved in Omega-3 Fatty Acids’ Role in Inflammation and Insulin Resistance

Appendix I: Suppliers

Appendix II: Marketers

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