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It's About The Consumer
The Bottled Water Industry
The Fortified Water Beverage Industry
The Fiber Industry

It's About The Consumer
'Health through diet' -- two thirds of consumers are looking to functional foods and beverages for extra health benefits.

Consumers are searching for new delivery systems and product formats and are transferring their interest and buying habits from condition-specific supplements to functional foods and beverages. This follows the ancient belief; .'food as medicine'.

According to Steve French (2007) two out of five consumers now believe that functional foods and beverages can be used in place of medicines, this is a 54% increase over 2003. Additionally while 49% of consumers use condition specific supplements, 65% report using functional foods and beverages, which is a 40% increase over 1999, and the market just continues to grow. growing. 

Healthy eating and drinking is having a big impact in the hospitality industry as well. 71% of diners report trying to eat healthier. and 31% say that they always look for healthy items on the menu.  (National Restaurant Association 2007)

As consumers increasingly take a more holistic view of their health, they are looking to foods and beverages for prevention, as well as to complement medical treatment.  Effective innovation must center on health.  This is what consumers expect and they will accept nothing less.

Opportunities now exist for industry to target the consumers more specific medicinal needs and wants.  This attitude presents a golden opportunity for functional food and drinks producers.

The Bottled Water Industry
In March 2006, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published guidelines for beverage consumption after reviewing years of research on beverages and health.  The review panel stressed that a healthy diet must include adequate intake of water for metabolism and normal physiological functions.  In fact, they stated, water is the only fluid that the body truly needs.

Wall Street and investment managers are predicting the bottled water market (or, as one enthusiast called it, the "blue gold" market) will keep growing. Water, some financial investment managers say, is the next-best thing to oil or diamonds.

2006 wholesale bottled water sales hit the $50 billion global market. The new research, completed by drinks consultancy Zenith International, predicts that global consumption per person of bottled water is relentlessly moving to overtake carbonated soft drinks as the world's Number 1 beverage.

For the first time in US history, bottled water outsold milk according to Beverage Digest, which recently published US beverage sales results for 2006, a May 4 story in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The Fortified Water Beverage Industry
"The Nike of the enhanced water world could be waiting in the wings"
       - Allen Gibson,

In 2005 Mintel projected that the sale of wellness/functional beverages would grow from a $10 Billion in 2004, to a $12.8 billion industry by 2009.

The fortified water category is leading the industry.  Functional waters are the latest 'must-have' lifestyle products. In fact they are fast making inroads into the beverage's category and reclaiming premium price points.  The market for enhanced waters increased more than twenty-fold between 2000 and 2004, and according to one reporter they have doubled their pace since then.  John Sicher said these products are "at the tip of the intersection of two key trends. One is consumers' continuing love affair with bottled water.  The other is consumers' growing interest in beverages that do more than refresh and taste good.they offer a functional benefit"

Enhanced water may be still considered a niche market now, but that's what experts called plain water 10 years ago. Sales are forecast to double to $5.6 billion by 2010, says Nutrition Business Journal. It is already the fastest-growing market segment according to research by Beverage Marketing Corp. (BMC) in New York.

The Fiber Industry
On The "Oprah" Winfrey show and in their respective books, both diet guru Bob Greene, and world renowned Heart Surgeon Memhet Oz M.D., stress the importance of fiber in one's diet daily

Tanya Zuckerbrot M.S. R.D. Author of the F-Factor Diet who has contributed to "Shape," "Glamour", "Red Book", and serves on the board of Men's Fitness, not to mention appearing on "Today" and on Fox News, asks the question "If you saw a food label that said "May reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, could lower your cholesterol and control your appetite," you would think that it was a scam. Yet that is exactly what fiber does.  Adding fiber to your foods is one of the best things you can do to increase the chance of living a long and healthy life. Fiber is for everyone!  In fact the prestigious Mayo Clinic firmly states that " dietary fiber is an essential part of a healthy diet.  The Harvard School of Public Health recommends that children over age two should consume an amount equal to or greater than their age plus five (5) grams per day.

Consumers realize that their diets are not giving them the nutrition that they need.  Most important is the fact that the general population is becoming ever more aware of their need for fiber.

According to the National Marketing Institute (NMI) Health and Wellness Trends Database in 2002, 30.9% of the population was aware of their need for fiber in their daily diet, where as only 24.9% were aware of their need for daily Vitamin C.

29% of people surveyed ranked high fiber as a characteristic of healthy food.  This is the fourth highest behind fresh food (40%) whole grains (36%) and low fat (30%) Food for Life Monitor, Yankelovich 

In a survey of U.S. adults, 65% agreed that they were trying to include plenty of fiber in their diet, according to data gathered by Simmons Market Research Bureau in a study conducted in 2006. A further survey of attitudes towards functional foods found that the foods most likely to be eaten for a specific health concern included; 63% indicating fiber for heart disease and 59% for reducing cancer.

The United States Government established The National Fiber Council in 2004, whose Mission statement is "to serve as a primary resource for credible information about the benefits of dietary fiber for consumers and health care professionals."  The Council's job is to educate the population on the importance of fiber in relation to reducing the threat of such illnesses as; many forms of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, weight loss and management, and digestive diseases to maintain a healthy digestive tract so as to fight infection and reduce inflammation.

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