Worldwide, the awareness about good health and lifestyle changes to maintain good health is gaining momentum, says Persistence Market Research. According to Persistence Market Research, the global low-calorie food market is expected to reach a valuation of US$10.4 bn by 2019. Observed and practiced more among the urban populace due to their fast-paced and hectic lifestyle, the aspiration to stay fit requires nutritious food and physical activity requirements. A study published by an independent food research company in the U.K. states that the proportion of respondents that follow a healthy diet has increased from 70% in 2004 to 80% in 2012.
Nevertheless, the rising incidence of chronic conditions such as obesity, of which food is a major cause, is driving the sales of low-calorie food. As per statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2012, more than 40 million children below the age of five years were overweight across the world.
Prevalence of Obesity Boosts Sales of Low-calorie Foods
The prevalence of obesity is higher in developed nations of the world; for instance, the U.S. records 36.5% of its total population as obese, the U.K. has a 24.8% obese population, and in the Asia Pacific, Australia leads with a 28.3% obese population. Because obesity has high chances of causing diabetes and cardiovascular diseases in the long run, individuals are consuming low-calorie foods as a precautionary measure.
Asia Pacific is emerging as a strong market for low-calorie foods due to the increasing population with obesity and diabetes, the increasing aging population, and generally rising health awareness. In China, the increasing incidence of obesity due to the large-scale change in eating habits from the traditional fare to fast foods is one of the major reasons cited for the rising demand for low-calorie food. In the emerging economies of India and Brazil, growing preference for processed foods and the increasing prevalence of a sedentary lifestyle are the reasons for obesity and diabetes to be on the rise. This has increased sales of low-calories food for remedial and precautionary reasons.
Consumer Confidence in Naturally Sourced Foods Drives Sales of Stevia
Healthcare, beverages, food, tabletop, and others are the application segments of the low-calorie food market. In the food and beverage industry, low-calorie variants are available across a range of foods such as dairy products, confectionery, baked products, and dietary beverages. The food and beverages industry registers the highest demand for low-calorie sweeteners to cater to the food needs of individuals that suffer from diabetes, obesity, or similar chronic conditions and need to refrain from regular food.
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Aspartame, stevia, cyclamate, sucralose, and saccharin are the major product types in the low-calorie food market. While aspartame is one of the most widely used artificial sweeteners, the growing preference for all-natural sweeteners has created a surging demand for stevia. Consumers have a growing confidence in naturally sourced foods such as stevia that claim to be 100% natural in composition.