Omega 3 PUFA ingredients are used as an ingredient in food, infant formula, pharmaceuticals and nutritional supplements. Developed countries such as the U.S., U.K., France and Germany are witnessing growth in number of individuals choosing vegan lifestyle; the U.S. alone has a population of approximately 10 million vegans. In 2014, around 5% of the U.S. population were following the vegetarian diet; whereas in Western Europe, the percentage was higher. Consumer choosing vegan options is expected to increase in the coming years owing to the increasing concern on health associated with the excessive meat consumption. Furthermore, recognizing the vegan trend in food and nutrition industry, F&B manufacturers have been focussing on replacing meat and milk based ingredients with vegan additives.
Food industry and retail chains have been successful in tapping the rising potential of this segment by attracting the consumers with innovative tailored products coupled with their wide spread market presence. Vegan consumers are looking for alternatives to nutrients that are available from meat products such as protein, omega-3 and so on. Vegans have been actively seeking products that contain plant based omega 3 to address the nutritional deficiency. Moreover, the marketing campaigns by the manufacturers and publications by the vegan societies have increased the awareness about these products.
The dietary supplements market in these developed nations has witnessed considerable number of product launches which are based on plant and algal based omega 3 fatty acids in the recent years. Furthermore, key companies such as Nordic Naturals and Opti3 Omega have been expanding their presence in this market by launching various versions of omega 3 supplements in different forms and compositions. The innovation at the supply end is robustly supported by advancements in biotechnology, which has been facilitating platforms for low-scale to large-scale production of omega 3 PUFA ingredients from both plant sources like nuts, seeds and micro-organisms. Driven by the increasing product launches, heightened awareness and rising vegan population, the market for plant and algal based omega 3 supplements is set to witness notable growth in the coming years.