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Healthy and clean edible oils.jpg

Healthy and clean edible oils

Edible oils must navigate how to differentiate, as consumers balance desire for healthy halos with less discretionary spending.

Clean label is one of the hottest topics in the food industry, alongside functional food and sustainability. These trends are driving strategic themes, identified by Euromonitor International in the chart below, that will shape and influence food innovation over the next three to five years.

Selected strategic themes in food and nutrition

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Industry activity surrounding these themes is expected to accelerate across all food categories, but which positioning is the most lucrative for edible oils? Are manufacturers placing greater focus on improving functional benefits, or are consumers seeking minimally processed edible oils? Will an organic certification have a dual benefit of positioning the product as healthy and ethical?

According to Euromonitor International, the global market for edible oils surpassed US$100 billion in 2019, primarily driven by Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, due to the shift from unbranded (e.g., oil in plastic bags) to packaged and branded edible oils. As demand for packaged edible oil rises, the introduction of certified organic and fortified variants with key functional ingredients has been comparatively slow. Naturally healthy olive oil is also maturing across the board, as consumers switching to packaged oils still view olive oil as a premium ingredient. Furthermore, in emerging markets, olive oil is commonly used for local dishes and recipes.

A key challenge ahead lies in possible recessionary factors causing price sensitivity to suppress consumer spending. Products that are certified organic, as well as artisanal brands with a niche positioning, tend to have higher unit prices compared to mass and standard products, which points to the need for affordable pricing despite consumer preference for value-added variants.

To read the rest of this article—which includes information on various types of oils, as well as more market data, claim strategies and trends—download the Innovating with healthy fats and oils – digital magazine.

Emil Fazira is a consultant at Euromonitor International, specializing in the food and nutrition industries. She has a global focus on cooking ingredients and meals, particularly in food technology and the future of the meal. Fazira has conducted market research across a range of industries, from commodities and FMCG to services, and has been with Euromonitor since 2014.

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