“Modified foods” were traditionally developed to be eaten by those who had special dietary requirements, usually for medical reasons. Over the past five years an upsurge in consumer interest in “healthy eating” has encouraged food manufacturers and retailers to introduce “healthier” product versions to their existing ranges. There are a number of opportunities for dairy companies within this growing food sector. They can build on already established markets for foods whose ingredients aid specific bodily functions. They can also target new consumer groups who are either seeking apparently “healthier” products, or who perceive that they have specific nutritional needs. Some European food processors have already successfully used this specialized target sector to increase their market share, and there is scope for other businesses to do likewise. However, gives a cautionary note, stressing that the majority of consumers will not sacrifice aspects such as taste, texture and convenience while in pursuit of a healthier lifestyle.
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