The unambiguous association between cholesterol levels and cardiovascular risk provides a compelling mandate for the development of cholesterol-lowering foods. This report presents the rationale for the use of plant stanol and sterols in lowering blood cholesterol, examines the current market, considers future growth potential, and identifies specific areas of opportunity.
- Understand the scientific evidence underlying the use of foods enriched with plant stanols and sterols in lowering cholesterol levels.
- Assess the current regulatory environment and the opportunities and barriers to growth presented under different regulatory regimes.
- Analyze the growth of the global market in foods enriched with phytosterols according to product type, bioactive component and geographic location.
- Understand market drivers and barriers to growth over the coming years in the global market in foods enriched with plant stanols and sterols.
- Identify future market opportunities in this market, and understand what is required to take advantage.
- Why are plant stanols and sterols well placed to take advantage of the demand for cholesterol-lowering foods?
- Who is purchasing foods enriched with plant stanols and sterols?
- Where is the market expected to grow most strongly over the next five to 10 years?
- Who are the key players in the market for foods enriched with plant stanols and sterols?
Consumption of foods enriched with plant stanols and sterols has been shown to have a clinically relevant effect on reducing LDL-C, and thus may be used as an alternative or in combination with statin therapy. Statin prescriptions have risen by 17% over the past five years, and the global market in statins is predicted to reach $12.2bn by 2018.
Consumers of phytosterol-enriched foods account for only 3% of all adults, signaling a vast untapped market. The typical existing consumers are a middle-aged couple without young children. Potential new target groups include the busy working parent, the hard-working professional, and individuals with a family history of cardiovascular disease.
Phytosterols are opaque in nature, and therefore cannot currently be added to clear foods and drinks. It is for this reason that all plant stanol- and sterol-enriched drinks are currently opaque, being milk- or yogurt-based or fruit juices. A manufacturer that can overcome this issue will be rewarded by a competitive advantage in the drinks market.