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By: Ewa Hudson

Euromonitor’s Head of Global Health and Wellness Research, Ewa Hudson, discusses the current health and wellness trends in food and beverages, with a focus on heart healthy products. Hudson states that 4.3 million people die every year in Europe alone due to cardiovascular diseases. However, the main issue of heart healthy products is that they offer no instant gratification to consumers. Consumers, therefore, need to trust heart-healthy products to offer them long-term benefits.

Plant Sterols and Omega-3 are the two main ingredients of heart healthy products. Recently, the European Food Safety Authority approved the health claims of these two ingredients. However, these ingredients are new to consumers. The average person doesn’t understand the benefits of these ingredients and manufactures are being faced with the challenge of educating consumers.

EFSA recently stated that consuming plant sterols can help decrease cholesterol in the body, and the American Heart Association recommends Omega-3 for heart health. Manufacturers would be keen to include these recommendations when promoting new heart-healthy products.

Spreadable oils and fats make up the majority of heart-healthy foods, with yoghurt trailing in second place. However, sales of heart-healthy yoghurt are growing steadily. Heart-healthy yoghurt grew by 230% between 2005-2009, and is the largest growing category of health and wellness yoghurt.

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