Sales of superfoods have exploded in recent years as Americans look for easy ways to make their daily diet more healthy.
“Consumers are increasingly looking for healthful nutrients from foods rather than from supplements,” says Bob Jones, a principal at Scientia Advisors.
Superfoods are touted for their high nutrient content and disease-fighting properties. However, the health effects of these foods are controversial. While there is no set definition for superfoods, the term is often used for marketing purposes and there is little research on their health benefits.
What’s happening, Jones explains, is consumers are increasingly looking for functionality in natural ways by eating yogurt instead of taking probiotics in capsules and eating fish instead of taking fish oil in capsules.
Superfoods, which come in the form of whole foods or drinks and juices, can provide affordable and convenient health and wellness options. Some, however, can be quite expensive.
"We are what we eat," says Elisabetta Poletti, director of nutrition at Duke Diet and Fitness Center in Durham, North Carolina. "There's an association between eating food that is wholesome and nutritious in our health."
Whole Foods tells CNBC it has seen a "renaissance" movement where customers are increasingly moving toward more healthy, less-processed foods.
Here's a look at top-selling superfoods grown in the U.S., based on retail sales data from the Perishables Group, a fresh food industry consulting firm.
By Julia La Roche
Posted 23 May 2011