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Western diets drive Asian functional foods development

By Shane Starling , 18-Aug-2011

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Asia Pacific markets are ripe for functional foods development as a response to the increasing prevalence of western diets, says Katrina Diamonon, consumer analyst at market researcher, Datamonitor.

More and more Asian consumers are understanding and investing in their potential to deliver healthy payloads like boosted energy and healthier appearance, but the nascent sector has a lot of educating to do still.

It is also facing threats from opportunistic food makers employing misleading claims with little scientific backing, while taste and flavor perceptions present other challenges.

“When you see things like the prevalence of diabetes increasing we know that these conventionally healthy foods are just not doing the job so consumers are looking elsewhere for foods that will benefit their health,” she said.

“So that is why functional foods are a good opportunity for manufacturers.”

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