Demand for additives and sweeteners

Although the US food and beverage industry is relatively mature, additive producers continue to build market value through the introduction of new additives and improved versions of existing products, designed to improve finished product quality and control costs,  according to The Freedonia Group Inc.  

China has become an increasingly popular source for additives, accounting for a large share of many products, including acidulants, enzymes, and vitamins and minerals, putting pressure on pricing and driving some competitors out of business, but safety of those products is being questioned by consumers.  

U.S. demand for food and beverage additives is projected to increase 4.4 percent annually to $8.6 billion in 2012. Additives in dairy products are expected to post above average growth as a result of the increasing use of probiotic ingredients in yogurt and other products. 

Nutraceuticals, including vitamins, minerals, herbal extracts and probiotics, will register strong gains as they expand their presence beyond traditional applications like breakfast cereals, milk, bread and juices. Recent introductions include soft drinks, snack foods, desserts and candy fortified with vitamins and minerals, water containing vitamins and herbal extracts, and a variety of foods containing probiotics. 

Alternative sweeteners are finding greater use in many food and beverage products. The quest for the elusive “perfect sweetener” -- a clean sweet taste, no caloric value and no negative health effects -- continues unabated, as exhibited by efforts to commercialize stevia and other alternatives to traditional sweeteners. But the sluggishness of the soft drink market will suppress overall gains for alternative sweeteners, as will medical studies suggesting that diet soft drink consumption may contribute to obesity.