Energy Goes Edible


Through its Global New Products Database, Chicago-based Mintel has seen ingredients like ginseng, guarana and taurine, formerly privy to energy drinks, migrating into foods. The database found that 70 new foods touting “energy” in the product description hit U.S. shelves between Jan. 1 and May 5, 2008. Snacks accounted for 42 of those launches, confectionery items for 16 and breakfast cereals for 7.

“We expect the concept of ‘energy’—both physical and mental—to greatly influence food product development,” says Krista Faron, senior new product analyst, Mintel.

Caffeine is also finding its way into foods like energy bars and even cereals like instant oatmeal. High-antioxidant superfruits, like blueberries and noni, are also added to foods promising mental and physical performance boosts.

“Energy is poised to take food in a new direction, giving consumers who need a boost many different ways to get it,” says Faron. “From natural energizers, like omega-3s or antioxidants, to foods that are fortified with energizing ingredients, we are seeing ‘energy’ emerge as a core benefit in new food products.”

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