The below article from 30 September 2014 has been provided by Frances Wheelahan & Virginia Burns, Corrs Chambers Westgarth.
Australia’s demand for functional foods is growing rapidly and there are many opportunities for businesses wishing to market these foods in Australia. However, the formulation, advertising and labelling of these foods is heavily regulated and care must be taken to comply with food and therapeutic goods laws.
A “functional food” is generally any food or food component that may provide demonstrated health benefits or functions beyond basic nutritional functions. Examples of functional foods include foods fortified with vitamins and minerals such as juice, bread and pasta, margarine containing plant sterols and yoghurt with specific bacterial strains.
Demand for these types of foods is being driven worldwide by an ageing society, increasing prevalence of lifestyle-related diseases and growing interest among consumers in health and wellbeing.
The functional food market is particularly strong in Asia with growing opportunities for businesses operating in the Australian food industry. Japan, for example, has one of the largest functional food and beverage markets in the world with a reported market size in 2012 of approximately A$20 billion. Key factors driving consumer choice in the Japanese market are product efficacy, strong scientific substantiation for health claims, product safety, and general product awareness.
Click here for five steps for advertising and labelling functional foods in Australia.
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