These sales increased by 10 percent between 2008 and 2009, according to Euromonitor, with raw quantities increasing from 12,054 tons in 2008 to 13,218 tons in 2009.
The global volume increased fifty-fold between 2004 and 2009.
In the US, volumes grew 22 percent behind the Asia-Pacific region, which grew 30 percent, but with a volume of just 850 tons. Approximately half of the world’s omega-3 fatty acids used in food are consumed in Europe, with the United States having a larger market for dietary supplements.
Euromonitor noted that advances in technology have supported the omega-3 food market as the oxidation-prone fatty acids are easier to formulate in food matrices. Previously, food manufacturers had opted for other fats that were more recipe-friendly.
“This trend was also reflected in animal husbandry. To maximize efficiency gains in meat and milk production, animal feeding protocols have changed over the years, resulting in a reduction in omega-3 fatty acids in human food supplies, ”said Euromonitor.
“For example, the move away from pasture feeding of cattle (grass is rich in omega-3) and towards grain feed (low in omega-3) led to a decrease in the omega-3 content in the milk and meat of the animals. In addition, the increasing affordability of meat has had a negative impact on the consumption of sea fish, which is considered one of the most important food sources for omega-3s. “
Euromonitor forecast global growth of 24 percent between 2009 and 2014 with a high of 16,332. The emerging markets will see the greatest growth, with Saudi Arabia growing 182 percent; India (170%), Mexico (126%) and China (98%).
The US will grow 43 percent, the UK 32 percent and New Zealand 27 percent, Euromonitor said.