The food and beverage industry is constantly evolving, and one area that has gained significant attention in recent years is the incorporation of fiber into products. As consumers become more health conscious, the demand for fiber-rich foods and beverages continues to grow.
Drivers of Food and Beverage Trends
Several factors are driving the increased interest in fiber-rich products. These include a growing awareness of the health benefits associated with fiber consumption, such as improved digestion, weight management, and reduced risk of chronic diseases. Consumers’ increased awareness about the health benefits of fiber is likely caused by consumers’ desire to live healthier, which for 61% of global consumers means following a healthy and nutritious diet. Additionally, the rise of plant-based diets and the desire for clean-label products have contributed to the demand for fiber-rich foods and beverages.
Consumer Insights for Fiber Health Benefits
Consumers are becoming more knowledgeable about different types of fiber and their respective health benefits. Whole food fiber, soluble fiber, and prebiotic fiber are some of the most sought-after categories.
This increased knowledge can be attributed to the fact that 46% of consumers when considering spending priorities, list’ health and wellbeing’ as the top priority. Two main drivers for pursuing a healthier lifestyle are feeling well, according to 40% of consumers, and aging well, according to 37% of consumers.
Innovation in Fiber Trends
Several innovation trends are emerging in the fiber space. One notable trend is that fiber use is growing in subcategories that traditionally do not contain fiber, such as carbonates, which experienced a +138% CAGR over two years, albeit from a small base. Other trends include increased usage of various isolated soluble fibers, such as chicory root fiber and oligofructose, in food and beverage products. These fibers are being incorporated into a wide range of food and beverage products due to their prebiotic properties and ability to improve texture and mouthfeel.
Another trend is the use of food-based fibers, such as vegetable fiber, wheat fiber, and oat fiber. These fibers are derived from plant sources and offer various functional benefits, including water-binding, stabilization, and texturization.
Fiber Innovation across Food and Beverage Categories
Fiber ingredients are being incorporated into numerous food and beverage categories. Some key categories include bakery, dairy, snacks, and beverages. Of these key categories, bakery and cereals accounted for 40% of fiber claims, with over one-third of cereals and cereals bars carrying a fiber claim. In the bakery sector, products like high-fiber bread and muffins are gaining popularity.
In the dairy category, fiber-enriched yogurts and smoothies are becoming more common. Snack products, such as fiber-rich bars and chips, are also on the rise. Lastly, beverages like fiber-infused juices and functional waters are becoming popular options for health-conscious consumers.
As the demand for fiber-rich foods and beverages continues to grow, we can expect to see even more innovation in this space. New sources of fiber, such as algae and insect-based ingredients, may emerge as viable options for product development. Additionally, advances in food technology could lead to the creation of novel fiber ingredients with enhanced functionality and health benefits.
The growing importance of fiber in the food and beverage industry is evident. As consumers continue to prioritize health and wellness, the demand for fiber-rich products is expected to remain strong, driving further innovation and growth in this sector.
This article is based on our global report, “Established and Emerging Fiber in Food and Beverage.”
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