NEW YORK — The market for edible fats and oils is thriving as the result of new product introductions and consumer knowledge that not all fats are bad for you and some are even beneficial to one’s health, according to market researcher Packaged Facts.

“Increased consumer demand has prompted manufacturers to bring new foods and beverages to market touting healthy fats and oils content,” said David Sprinkle, publisher of Packaged Facts. “And these products have sold well enough even in tough times that they’ve emerged as relatively recession-proof compared to other food categories. Some may point out that many fats and oils such as butter, margarine and cooking oils are household staples that consumers will always buy, but make no mistake — this newfound health perspective is driving sales.”

According to the new report, “Fats and Salad/Cooking Oils in the U.S.: Butter, Margarine, Olive Oil and Beyond,” recent studies that have shown some fats may lower disease risk, and as a result consumers who once stuck to low-fat diets are re-entering the market for better-for-you fats.

Packaged Facts said U.S. retail sales of fats and oils exceeded $9 billion in 2011 and are projected to reach $11 billion by 2016 with annual growth increasing from 2% in 2012 to 4% in 2016.