DIGESTIVE WELLNESS



We’re in the era of lifestyle personalization.
People’s ideas about food and health have become an increasingly large and complex menu from which they feel they can select and then modify their choices, or completely change them as new information becomes available.

We believe consumers don’t go shopping with a list that says “yogurt, bananas, apples, functional foods.” ,people have shown they want regular food that confers some health benefit, seems natural, is easy to understand, and relates to their own needs.

That’s why probiotic yogurt was the only real winner from the “functional foods” frenzy of 1998-2007;

People want to feel empowered and confident to create their own diet and health choices. The roots of this change lie in technology and in changing dietary advice.

It isn’t surprising that consumers think dietary advice often flips 180 degrees. Today eggs are promoted for their protein and other nutrients, but 20 years ago they were demonized by dietitians for their cholesterol content. Butter was demonized for 50 years, but now we know that in moderation it poses no risk to cardiovascular health; it is also “more natural” and less processed than the margarines we were told to eat in its place.

The Internet has beaten the experts; almost three times as many people would turn to the Internet for information as any other source

Digestive Wellness one the core areas of focus for Goodlife Nutrition

Consumers’ quest for digestive wellness remains a big driver of new opportunities for businesses large and small. The rise of probiotic dairy, gluten-free and lactose-free dairy, and plant milk is all driven by people looking to avoid digestive upsets.

Like every other area, digestive health is fragmenting, with people willing to consider more ingredients, more types of avoidance, and more product categories.

Prebiotics should be one of the stars of the digestive market. They are science-based and have secured a rare regulator-approved health claim in Europe.Like every other area, digestive health is fragmenting, with people willing to consider more ingredients, more types of avoidance, and more product categories.

Prebiotics should be one of the stars of the digestive market. They are science-based and have secured a rare regulator-approved health claim in Europe.

But the word “prebiotic” is largely unknown to consumers, and they often confuse it with probiotic. Savvy companies tend to use the prebiotic ingredient for the effect, but add another ingredient, such as kiwifruit, fig or beetroot, that signifies digestive wellness to the consumer. A good example can be found in Portugal, where juice market leader Compal uses kiwifruit, with its strong digestive health association in people’s minds, as the “star” ingredient for its digestive health juice shot, with added inulin for digestive claims.

Probiotics continue to be a selling point in dairy, but the opportunity has pivoted to other product types, driven by the buzz online and in the media about fermented foods. Rising consumer interest in fermented foods is partly driven by the fact that we are all food explorers now, open to trying new foods, drinks, tastes and cuisines that would have been unknown to our grandparents or even our parents.

The emergence of a few successful probiotic drinks indicates consumers are becoming more open to probiotic benefits from non-dairy sources. One example is the Kevita brand, acquired for its growth potential by PepsiCo, which markets a westernized version of kombucha and has sales approaching $100 million.

Entrepreneurs have been expanding the reach of probiotics into cultured sauerkraut and other fermented products, and plant-based dairy alternatives. The potential for plant-based probiotic yogurt has prompted Chr Hansen to launch a range of starter cultures specifically for plant-based products, both containing Bifidobacterium BB12. “This is still a very niche market … but it’s where we see growth. This will eventually be really significant,” a Chr Hansen spokesperson said.

Fermented food is a growing area that aligns with interest by the leading-edge lifestyle consumers understanding of the gut microbiota trend. Its rationale is based on “traditional practice,” but it lacks human clinical evidence to support claims. However, any fermented product that relies on bacteria to create taste, texture and other properties makes sense as a carrier for science-based bacteria.