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LONDON - Baby Boomers who are concerned with their health are fueling a sharp rise in demand for functional foods or "nutraceuticals," according to a report published today by market research firm Datamonitor.
Datamonitor said it had identified 204 new nutraceutical launches in major markets in the past 18 months. The biggest single category comprised "probiotic" products that contain beneficial bacteria, like Yakult Honsha Co Ltd of Japan's fermented milk drink and Actimel from French food group Danone.
Baby boomers are the most important consumers to the industry, as one of the highest risk age groups for many diseases and illnesses, according to Datamonitor. In addition, they are open-minded about a link between diet and health.
Datamonitor predicts that vitamin supplements will start to decline in significance as consumers turn increasingly to products that promise cures and prevention of specific ailments.