In recent years, function foods, which are deemed to be enhanced with nutrients and other health-beneficial components, have seen a tremendous growth. However, consumers are now choosing natural or naturally nutritious beverages and foods. These are mainly the traditional foods that for many years have been considered to be delicious and beneficial. This finding was reported by a senior director of culinary insights for a consumer research firm (The Harman Group), Melissa Abbott. Americans are increasingly opting for fresh nutrient-rich foods. This means that they are on the lookout for portable and convenient food options that belong to naturally nutritious categories. Examples of such choices include consumption of ginger beer, pre-boiled or pre-peeled eggs, nori sheets (edible seaweed), as well as pu-erh tea, which helps in metabolism.
Consumers are no longer interested in functional foods. They are instead choosing snacks that can give them a higher nutritional profile. Other additional food products that are preferred by American consumers include nuts, as well as foods made with whole flour instead of white-wheat flour. The foods that contain real or good fat are also preferred. According to Abbott, cultured foods such as lacto-fermented, fermented, cured, brewed and pickled beverages and foods are also healthy. Consumers view such food products as naturally beneficial foods. Foods containing probiotics are also likely to grow in the next few years. Probiotics can be defined as the dietary supplements linked to digestive or intestinal benefits. Probiotics are mostly used in the preparation of fermented dairy products like yogurt. In the year 2011, beverages and food accounted for approximately 85 percent of the total market. Dairy products containing probiotics accounted for about 80 percent of the total food or beverages estimates. It is therefore evident that consumers are gradually inclining towards nutrient-rich food products.