Usage of fortified beverages is high, says the PURAC America, Inc- (Lincolnshire, Ill.) commissioned study; 69.7% have consumed such products. Of these, 23.3% consume a fortified beverage once a day or more, and 23.7% consume a fortified beverage from one to six times a week. Some 34.1% are concerned about the taste of beverages with added calcium, whereas 41.4% express concern about the taste of beverages fortified with other minerals. If minerals could be added to beverages without affecting the taste, 51.8% would be interested. PURAC's minerals make it possible to fortify a wide variety of foods and beverages without sacrificing taste.
Two-thirds of consumers see themselves as deficient in calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc and/or potassium (See chart “What's Missing”), while 69.5% consider calcium one of the most important ingredients in fortified beverages and necessary for maintaining a healthy lifestyle (See chart “Needful Things”). Iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc also are perceived as important, with 69.7% recognizing the link between iron and anemia, 29.3% aware of the relationship between potassium and overall cardiovascular/heart health, and 29.2% conscious of the immune-related benefits of zinc. Though non-calcium minerals are lower in importance, 62.8% are willing to learn more about their benefits.
Opportunities abound for manufacturers delivering a clear message regarding product functionality. Bone-, heart- and immune system-related benefits are just a few functions that can be positioned to address an existing ailment or as a preventative measure. This broader approach to fortification allows manufacturers to target a wider range of individuals, rather than focusing on a single demographic. Currently, 29.5% drink fortified beverages because they do not always eat right, and 35.3% are looking for a specific health benefit from a fortified beverage.
The general population rates the claim “Good Source of Calcium” as most important when consuming fortified beverages. More than half (52.6%) are interested in a calcium source that is better absorbed by the body. Consumers are increasingly understanding the connection between diet and health (84%). Many are reading labels more often, providing manufacturers with the opportunity to directly educate consumers on the benefits of value-added ingredients, such as mineral bioavailability. Studies by TNO (Delft, The Netherlands) show PURAC's calcium lactate and calcium lactate gluconate are as bioavailable as milk.
Some 43.4% of consumers would rather drink mineral-fortified beverages than take nutritional supplements/pills; 30.2% believe such beverages are vital to health.
Of mineral-fortified products, orange juice is consumed most often (52.1%), followed by milk (47.5%), fruit juices--non-orange (33.3%), sports drinks (31.3%), meal replacement beverages (24.7%) and powdered drink mixes (20.0%). The survey found consumers most interested in the addition of calcium to orange juice (46%), with calcium-fortified milk a close second (40.5%), then fruit juice--non-orange (31.4%).
For more information:
PURAC America, Inc, Sharon Rokosh, sr. market development specialist
+1-847-634-6330, ext. 227, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.purac.com