Industry Outlook: New Generation of Natural and Functional Bone Broths

Rethinking Natural Bone Broth

Natural and nutritional food is, more than ever before, a key concern for consumers. Driven by the ongoing health and wellness megatrend and the search for authenticity, consumers are focusing on foods and beverages made with simple and natural ingredients to serve a functional purpose. Consumers also want great tasting products that provide an attractive nutritional profile and align with their lifestyles. In terms of demand for clean label, bone broth (or stock as most would call it), there’s no exception. Claimed to be the natural superfood of the new millennium, broth as an ingredient and an end-product has gained considerable attraction in the recent years and, looking ahead, the future is predicted to be highly lucrative for clean label bone broth.

So why does the future look so bright for natural and organic broths?

Even though stock has been commonly used in restaurant kitchens across the globe for as long as restaurants have existed, it has recently risen to a whole other level in the consumer minds who are constantly looking for ways to eat a healthier and more natural diet without losing out on taste.

Consumers have also communicated the wish to prepare high-quality dishes while exploring celebrity chef-inspired recipes in their kitchens, but that doesn't mean they need to make everything from scratch. To prepare great-tasting meals, they’re seeking professionally prepared, natural ingredients to replace the food components that contain less-desirable artificial and unfamiliar ingredients, such as stock cubes, added monosodium glutamate (MSG) and hydrogenated fats, to name a few additives which are perceived negatively among consumers.

The key components that make stock and broth so attractive: 
Natural Taste    No additives, no colorants, no preservatives
Mouthfeel Silky texture consistent even after heat treatment
Nutritious High protein (up to 10%), low fat (<0,1%), low salt requirement
Versatile Use to add taste or texture, to serve as a base, or simply as is


Unrivalled potential of natural bone broth - Blurring the boundaries between food and supplements

Bone broth and stock have been a staple ingredient for top chefs around the world because it allows the creation of deep, long-lasting flavours and simultaneously adds a velvety texture to any product it is used in. In addition to basic cooking stock, a number of savoury derivatives can be created from stock itself such as demi-glace, concentrated stocks, powders, ethnic and spiced flavour soups and ready sauces for the retail, foodservice and food industry segments. 

But its benefits do not stop at texture and taste. It also carries potential health benefits considering the gelatine that stems from the hydrolization of collagen found in animal bones. This gelatine is also a protein in itself which can further elevate its appeal for more functional purposes, expanding its range of uses. 

As the line between food and supplements begins to blur, more consumers are looking for functional meals and beverages as a way to reach their proactive health and wellness goals. There would not be better timing for current brands and new entrants for finding success in natural broth-based innovations and fuelling demand across multiple segments in the food supplements, sports and performance nutrition. The nutraceuticals industry is ripe for a new innovation. Today, especially within the US and Australian health and fitness industry, chicken and beef broth or stock are recognized as an excellent source of beneficial nutrients and natural collagen that promote strong bones, healthy skin, gut and joint health and recovery. In addition to traditional bone broth and concentrates, these popular broth-based supplements are making an appearance in meal replacements, sports nutrition and performance drinks both in liquid and powdered form. A few examples include protein-rich takeaway beverages, wellness shots, healthy broth smoothies, snacks and protein capsules. It’s no doubt that this product is exploding in popularity across the US and Australia; new product launches will be introduced in the  somewhat undeveloped European wellness, fitness and nutraceuticals markets too.

When it comes to healthy and natural baby food and infant nutrition, natural broth used as an ingredient in beverages, clear soups and baby purees, offers tremendous opportunities in food innovation as this nutrient-dense ingredient delivers essential functionalities to baby and toddlers healing food applications.

Interestingly, growing success is undoubtedly going in pet food segment, as human grade bone broth rich in naturally occurring collagen has resonated very strongly in the pet food formulation and applications, and it’s quickly becoming a favourite food to give to dogs and cats, and with good reason.

Below, we explore the versatility of bone broth as an ingredient and an end-product for different market segments. As you will see, applications and branding possibilities are practically endless.

Products Retail: 

Products Foodservice:

Products Food industry: 

Products Petfood:

Find out more: To see the tables in the full-size, including insights about some attractive bone broth producers and their products embracing the natural bone broth and stock market segments in categories mentioned above, download our industry outlook report

Emerging markets for Natural and Functional Bone Broths

For emerging markets, there is plenty of opportunity for investment in natural and functional bone broth industry. Looking at the situation of the global market and its forecast for the next 5 years, North America, Asia Pacific, Australia, Eastern and Western Europe and Russia regions are the most attractive markets for bone broth products as consumption of meat and protein is increasing and consumers are becoming more and more health conscious. A closer look at the market in Europe for natural stock and functional applications shows that Spain,  UK, Germany, Italy, France, Eastern European and Nordic countries are the most lucrative markets to open new avenues for bone broth applications serving the retail, industrial, foodservice, nutraceuticals and pet food markets. 

According to market potential estimates and analyses published by Statista in 2016, the estimated revenue in the soup and broth segments worldwide amounts to 13,5 billion euros. In global comparison, most revenue in soup and broth segment is generated in North America (€ 5billion), followed by Europe (€4 billion) and Asia & Australia (€3 billion).

Recognizing the opportunities for natural stock ingredient in the ready sauce segment (without ketchup), the potential market worldwide in this segment is expected to amount to €67 billion, in which Asia & Australia is expected to account for the largest share of the market (€25 billion), followed by North America (€24 billion) and Europe (€16 billion).

What’s more - the cherry on top of the cake – ready meal and meat product brands that take advantage of bone broth as an end-product or ingredient to create clean label products, are developing a number of different product combinations and marketing approaches which in turn spore new categories currently inexistent in the market and support their efforts  to capture market share. The ready-meals market, for which natural stock has a great potential to become a key ingredient, is estimated to be worth €170 billion worldwide, in which North America is expected to account for the largest share of the market (€65 billion), followed by Asia & Australia (€60 billion) and Europe (€41 billion).

For more on the topic of natural bone broth, its industry outlook, and see some of those great brands tapping into natural broths and supplements space, download a report "New Generation of Natural and Functional Bone Broths”. 

Coctio, Mikko Rovamaa September 23, 2018

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