Heart health is a primary health concern for seniors. In fact, a significantly higher proportion of people ages 65 and older require medication to address heart health related issues. Even so, the market for new heart health foods and beverages still remains niche, with the number of heart health positioned product launches representing less than 1% of total launches tracked by Innova Market Insights during 2015.

Like so many areas of the functional foods and nutraceuticals space, supplements dominate for the delivery of heart health ingredients. Based on the number of global supplement product launches tracked by Innova Market Insights in 2015, 14% of supplements had a heart health positioning, with some of these being positioned on multiple health platforms, not just heart health. Growth continues for heart health supplements, with an 8% increase in global supplements product launches tracked by Innova Market Insights with a heart health positioning in 2014 from 2015.

In regard to food and beverages, the snacks category is a key growth area for heart health claims, increasing by 64% in 2015 from 2014. This growth is predominantly from the snacks nuts and seeds sub-category, with popular claims pertaining to nuts and seeds being “a good source of dietary fiber” and/or “contains omega 3 fatty acids.”

Other trending heart health ingredients include beta glucan for lowering blood cholesterol; potassium for the maintenance of normal blood pressure; omega 3 DHA for normal cardiac function; and cocoa flavanols to help maintain the elasticity of blood vessels, which contributes to normal blood flow.

No matter what, the food and beverage market does have a pulse. For starters, this past August saw J&J Snack Foods Corp. acquire Corazonas HEARTBAR Oatmeal Squares (heartbrandfoods.com). Each bar contains a mix of heart health ingredients including plant sterols, which help lower cholesterol.

This fall also brought new snack mix and snacking chocolate offerings, respectively, from John B. Sanfilippo & Son, Inc., Elgin, Ill., and Theo Chocolate, Seattle.

John B. Sanfilippo & Son expanded its fruit-and-nut mix multi-pack line (eight, 1oz pouches) with two new varieties: an Omega-3 Mix and Antioxidant Mix. Officials note the Omega-3 Mix provides an excellent source of Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) Omega-3 with 55% of the 1.6g Daily Value of ALA in a delicious blend of walnuts, dried sweetened cranberries, almonds and pistachios.

For its part, Theo Chocolate says it combines crispy quinoa, toasted coconut, dark chocolate and a minimum of 50mg of cocoa flavanols per serving in new Theo Chocolate Clusters. Varieties include Salted Almond, Turmeric Coconut and Lemon Hemp.  

2017 Ingredients for Health Guide Categories:


Antioxidants for Health

Bone, Joint & Cosmetic Health

Cardiovascular Health

Cognitive Health

Diabetes & Blood Glucose Control

Digestive Health

Eye Health

Sports & Energy

Weight Management

Originally appeared in the December, 2016 issue of Prepared Foods as Heart of the Matter.