Established in 1989 by Stephen DeFelice, “Foundation for Innovation in Medicine” defined “Nutraceutical”, as a food, dietary suppplement, or medical food that has a medical or health benefit, including the prevention and treatment of disease. Today, it is hard to separate the definition of Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods. In 2002, the Nutraceutical or Functional Food industry had evolved into a lucrative 20.2 billion dollar a year market, and is here to stay.
According to a Business Communications Co, Inc. report, “Functional/Nutraceutical/Wellness Foods and Beverages” (RGA-109R), the Nutraceutical or Functional Food industry could almost double in value by 2007 with sales estimated to be more than 37.7 billion dollars. The reason for this growth:
Increased interest in maintaining better health.
Increased information available regarding the link between diet and health.
Lack of health insurance or limited funds for consumers to spend on health care and prescription medication.
Recent changes in food laws that affect label and product claims.
A growing number of people who are aging and interested in a more healthy lifestyle.
Current health issues also influence the market, consumers are interested in weight loss and weight management, heart disease, bone density, cancer, diabetes, etc., how to prevent or recover from these diseases and lead more nutritious lives.