Functional products constitute a very varied set of offers that appear in virtually all food sectors and are of increasing importance in the global market, although it is extremely difficult to provide adjusted figures on their dimensions. In general, and inevitably imprecise, it can be assumed that just over a third of total sales of food products are of healthy varieties that bring some additional benefit to consumers’ health, even though during the crisis period. Our country has registered a decrease of two percentage points in sales of this type of offer. Within the European Union, the market for nutrition and prevention of health is around € 15 billion, of which 66% is for functional and dietary foods, 24% for food supplements and the remaining 10% for products of cosmetics. A particularly important segment is the food without allergens, especially against food intolerances to gluten and lactose. Gluten-free food can mean annual sales of 11,720 tonnes and around 78.4 million euros in the modern distribution, while in the case of lactose-free milk, sales reach 141 million liters, for a value of 150 million euros. The penetration of healthy varieties by categories is very diverse, but may have its greatest importance in some dairy products. Thus, in the case of fresh yoghurt, bifidus accounts for 20% of all sales in volume and 24% in value. Lactobacillus + health, with respective quotas of 15.5% and 25.3%, skimmed (14% and 11%), 100% soybeans (1.2% and 1.7%), And those without lactose (0.3% and 0.4%). In the case of spreads, 25.5% of all sales in volume and 21.2% in value are the percentages of light presentations. Among the biscuits, the integral and dietary foods account for 37.5% of the total in volume and 48% in value.

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Montse Gonzalez