Soy market slumps, Mintel reports

CHICAGO — Despite soy's reputation as a good-for-you superfood, the soy market has declined 16% from 2008 to 2010, according to Mintel.

The research firm said that the decline — which could be attributed to customers cutting back on premium-priced soy items, competition from other foods and beverages that provide similar benefits and perhaps better taste — also could factor into the drop in soy sales.

Looking ahead, Mintel projected that the market for soy food and beverages will decline an additional 17% during 2010 to 2012, primarily due to several factors, including competitive non-soy-based product threats, higher ingredient prices passed on to consumers, soy burnout and soy allergies.

"Aside from the depressed economy, consumers are experiencing soy burnout," Mintel senior analyst David Browne said. "Not too long ago, American consumers were told soy is a superfood that they can't get enough of, but now they're hearing that they may be getting too much. With soy aversion now a relevant concern, there are tons of competitive products available that have made it easy to switch to something new."

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