‘Healthy fat’ claims growing as consumer awareness rises
Claims and descriptions that focus on highlighting healthy or good fats such as omega-3 fatty acids and fats and oils from nuts, seeds and vegetables are growing at a fast pace in Australia and New Zealand, according to data from Mintel.
According to Laura Jones, global food science analyst at Mintel, good fat – whether it is referred to as ‘good fat’, ‘healthy fat’ or ‘beneficial fat’ – “is definitely a message being called out more on pack.”
Globally, mentions of 'good fats' in product descriptions have shot up in recent years. Indeed of all food and drink launches globally between 2011 and 2015 with 'good fats' in the product description (including related word variations), a considerable 44% were launched in 2015 alone.
The trend is set to continue in to the short-term future at least – with early indications that launches in 2016 are set to increase even further.
“It is still a very niche claim, however global launches of food and drink products talking about healthy fats in 2016, which only includes seven months, have already overtaken the total launch numbers over the whole of 2015,” said Jones.
Jones told NutraIngredients-Asia that the rise in good fat claims is related to the increased focus on sugar and sugar reductions and a greater knowledge of new research that has highlighted the importance of fats – and especially ‘good fats’ – in the diet.
Mintel noted that for many consumers the negative stereotype that “any and all” fat content is ‘evil’ has begun to diminish, and that a rising awareness of the many sources of both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ fats is starting to usher in a paradigm shift for shoppers and manufacturers.
As such brands are increasingly capitalising on increased consumer demand for products with healthy fats, it said.
Jones revealed that the main ingredients that are being used to boost good fats in products are nuts and seeds including: almonds, cashews and peanuts, plus seeds from sunflower, pumpkin, linseed, and chia.
“The healthy, natural fats in butter are also being called out,” said Jones.
“Also some of the expected ingredients being positioned as providing 'good fats' are avocado, coconut anything, olive oil, quinoa and cacao,” the Mintel expert added.