A new report by the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s (GOED) has forecast a 2% volume growth for omega-3 ingredient use, Nutritional Outlook wrote.

The GOED’s annual ingredient marketing report published earlier this year, covers omega-3 use across a range of products including supplements, infant formulas, functional foods, pharmaceuticals, pet food and others. It estimated omega-3 use in 2021 at 115,031 tonnes.

The forecast market value of the sector increased 5.5% to US$1.53bn, with dietary supplement oils accounting for US$769.2M of that total, and US consumers representing 29% of demand, according to the GOED report.

“Omega-3s, like many supplement categories, benefited in 2020 from a COVID-19 boost —and 2021 was another solid year for sales,” GOED’s executive director Ellen Schutt was quoted as saying.

However, while omega-3 demand has been positive, the supply side of the sector has faced problems.

“Delays in shipping and soft gel production availability, labour issues, and higher prices both for omega-3 oils and necessary manufacturing components all play a part,” Schutt said.

Against a backdrop of the ongoing war in Ukraine and general inflation, she said there was “definite concern about a drop in short-term sales”.

Consumption of omega-3s in supplements remains strong, according to the GOED.

“Despite the issues – and the fact that omega-3s are a mature category rather than the latest fad – the market remains robust,” Schutt added. “GOED members report higher-than-expected demand for omega-3 oils, capacity expansions are in the works, and the long-term forecast for EPA and DHA omega-3s is strong.”

GOED represents the global eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) omega-3 industry.