The global omega-3 market is estimated to be valued at USD 4.1 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 8.5 billion by 2025, recording a CAGR of 13.1%. Omega-3 is a polyunsaturated fatty acid that cannot be synthesized by the human body and is hence required to be consumed from plants and animal sources. Globally, a high degree of disparity can be noticed in the food habits of populations in different regions. The population in Nordic countries consumes more solid fat and has swapped margarine for butter. The people in Mediterranean countries are consumers of liquid fats such as vegetable fats and olive oil. The North American diet is low in fish & seafood, leading to a “nutrition gap” of omega-3 fatty acids.
Consumer Awareness Regarding the Health Benefits of Omega-3
According to the Global Organization for EPA and DHA (GOED), omega-3 is the most researched nutrients in the world, with over 8,000 clinical trials conducted over the last decade. In 2016, the American Heart Association released scientific studies about the benefits of omega-3 in cardiovascular diseases (CVD) prevention and maintenance of heart health. According to the WHO, every year, an estimated 17 million people die of CVD globally, particularly as a result of heart attacks and strokes. It is also estimated that by 2030, the number of people who will die from CVD will reach 23.3 million. CVD has become the leading cause of death in developing countries as well as developed ones.
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Mother & Infant Nutrition Products Demand
The demand for EPA and DHA is growing for mother and infant nutrition products due to their role in the brain development of infants. According to the Magazine of DHA, it has been the most researched ingredient in the past 25 years for infant and mother nutrition. Accumulation of DHA in neural tissue for brain development is significant in the third trimester to two years of a baby’s life. Due to this reason, the demand for DHA and EPA in mother and infant nutrition products is increasing.
According to a study published by National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) in 2017, infants’ brains grow about 260% in the last trimester, and it continues to grow in the first year of life for about 175%. The consumption of DHA supports this development by reducing the chances of Down’s syndrome.
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Pet Food And Feed To Drive The Growth In Near Future
Omega-3 in pet nutrition is also emerging due to its therapeutic ability to improve immunity and prevent degenerative conditions such as arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease in cats and dogs. Omega-3 is used to fortify animal feeds, treats, and supplements and can be fed to fish and production animals, thereby enriching the meat, eggs, and milk they produce. Manufacturers are investing in products such as treats and supplements or pets.
Flaxseed is an omega-3-rich source used as a nutrient in animal feed. A new regulation in Europe (Regulation 767/2009 of the European Parliament and the Council on the market placement and use of feed) requires substantial evidence that an ingredient imparts health benefits as it claims. Omega-3 is one such ingredient with significant benefits. Therefore, there is an increase in the incorporation of omega-3 in pet food. The pet food industry is expected to grow in the future as pet owners continue to demand health & wellness products for their pets.