People want to get more of their nutrients from the foods and beverages they consume rather than from supplements.

This is according to the top 10 functional food trends of 2012, published in the April issue of “Food Technology.”

Core supplement users are switching to nutritional super foods because they have doubts about the bioavailability and effects of long-term use of supplements, according to research cited in the article.

This trend is labeled “Real Food Nutrition.”

The other trends include:

Mini-Managers

Making small changes such as eating brown rice instead of white rice

Buying into Bioavailability

Focusing on the bioavailability of single nutrients and nutrients in fortified foods

Protein Power

Protein is the next super nutrient

Plant-base Diets

More people are interested in eating a high quality plant-based diet and are keenly interested in claims about whole grain/high fiber content

Gourmet Nutrition

People are looking for healthy food that is fresh and tastes good

Risk Awareness on the Rise

Americans are looking for foods that claim to reduce the risk of health problems, such as heart disease and cognitive decline, and risk factors for disease, such as high blood pressure

First Aid

Consumers are using functional foods/beverages in place of medications to deal with some health problems, such a gastrointestinal problems and colds

Kids, Dads, and Grandparents

Mothers looking for healthy foods for their kids, men, and older adults represent opportunities for functional food marketers

Liquidation

Look for more new functional beverages on the market as producers respond to consumer interest in beverages for gut health, heart health, immunity, sports, energy/alertness, and weight control.