Focus on Functional Food - superfoods

There’s no escaping the ‘superfood’. Ever since the European Food Safety Authority clamped down on claims such as ‘probiotic’ back in 2012, functional food suppliers have been keen to leverage the term ‘superfood’ as an alternative way to promote the natural health credentials of the veg, fruits and grains contained in their products.

The impact of this is plain to see on the shelves of the mults. Ingredients like chia seeds and guarana are no longer reserved for trendy, gym-going vegans; they are being embraced by a growing number of mainstream consumers seeking healthier, natural products to complement their daily diets.

As the ‘superfood’ trend continues to flourish, however, some suppliers are becoming concerned the term is being used too liberally. There’s a danger consumer confidence in genuine functional claims (including those backed by Efsa) could be undermined, they warn. So how big is the risk? And what can functional brands do to mitigate it?