girl drinking beverage

Opportunities in Fortifying Functional Food and Beverage in Europe

Functional and fortified foods and beverages are growing across Europe. For brands to tap into this growth, it's essential to understand recent changes in consumers’ health and wellness priorities. Market trends and consumer research reveal key fortification opportunities—both in products and ingredients.

Market Overview

Europe’s estimated €30 billion functional/fortified food and beverage market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 2.9% between 2020 and 2025.1 While food accounts for 64% of this market, higher growth is expected for beverages (at 5.1%) than foods (at 1.6%).

The UK leads in sales of functional/fortified foods and beverages with a 23% market share, followed by Germany (16%), France (12%), Spain (10%), and Italy (9%).3 While the UK represents the largest European market for functional/fortified packaged foods, Germany is the largest for beverages.4 Functional/fortified beverages are growing the fastest in Sweden (CAGR 8.9% from 2020 to 2025) and the UK (CAGR 7.1%).5See how newer categories like functional RTD coffees, teas, and waters are driving growth.

Breakfast and Energy Categories Lead in Fortified/Functional Market

The top companies in Europe’s functional/fortified food market are major players in the breakfast category, especially in yogurt and cereal. Danone leads with a 15% market share, followed by Kellogg with 5%, and Nestle and Mars each with 3%.6 For functional/fortified beverages, energy and soft drink companies dominate, with Red Bull claiming a 23% market share, Monster 10%, and 8% each for Coca-Cola and Suntory.7

Three Key Trends Supporting Fortification

While fortified products make up an important part of Europe’s total food and beverage market (for example, through breakfast and energy products), some key trends are emerging that point to new opportunities in fortification:

1. COVID Driving Interest in Healthier Lifestyles

The COVID-19 pandemic has been impacting Europe’s food and beverage market as more consumers look for products to help support their health. FMCG Gurus reports 41% of consumers in Europe have researched how to eat and drink more healthily as a result of COVID-19, while another 41% have sought out functional products with health-boosting ingredients more often.8 

woman in grocery store

2. Consumers Looking for Energy Boosts

A lack of energy is also something many European consumers are facing due to stress and lifestyle changes from the pandemic. Half say they don’t have enough energy to get through the day, and two-thirds are interested in products that can keep them energized throughout the day.9 Brands that consider energy-supporting ingredients as part of their fortification strategy can meet this new need.  

3. Fortified Products Aligned with Other Food and Beverage Trends

Another trend supporting product fortification can be seen from recent new product launches in Europe. New foods and beverages with vitamin and mineral fortified claims are increasingly likely to feature other in-demand claims. In 2020, one in four vitamin and mineral fortified new product launches also made a no additives/preservatives claim, while more than one in five made a vegan/vegetarian claim.10 This illustrates how fortified products are becoming aligned with other key healthy food trends.

Top Fortification Opportunities

Recent new product launches also provide insights into which product categories have a high potential for added fortifications. One is the meat alternatives category. From 2019 to 2020, new product launches of meat substitutes in Europe featuring vitamin and mineral fortified claims grew by 105%.11 Another category to watch is growing up milks, which saw a 31% increase in new launches with vitamin and mineral fortified claims in 2020.12

meatballs

Brands also need to consider which ingredients to prioritize for product fortification. Over the last five years, B vitamins, which consumers associate with energy, were the most commonly added fortifying ingredient in fortified new product launches in Europe (present in over 60% of these new products).13 Vitamin C, known for its role in immunity support, was the next most frequently used (found in over 40%).14 Calcium and vitamin D, both linked to strong bones, were the next most popular in fortified product launches.15

Looking Ahead

Consumers’ growing interest in foods and beverages that can support a healthy lifestyle, combined with a heightened need for energy and immunity support options, is creating new opportunities in fortification for food and beverage companies. Products that are health-focused (like growing up milks) or have a health halo (like plant-based meats) are key focus areas for nutrient fortifications since health-minded consumers are already looking to these products to boost health.

Contact us to explore using our custom nutrient premix solutions to create a nutrient blend that’s perfect for your product and addresses the needs of today's consumers. Download our guide to learn more.

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References

1-7. Euromonitor, Western Europe, Fortified/Functional Packaged Foods & Beverages, February 2021.
8-9. FMCG Gurus, Ingredients – What’s Hot for 2021, November 2020.
10-15. Mintel, Global New Product Database, all European launches with vitamin and mineral fortified claim, 2021.

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