Gut health brings bakery out of the low-carb shadow


Bakers are facing one of the best opportunities to capture a bigger share of consumer shopping baskets since low-carb diets pulled the rug from under their sales. A growing awareness that good gut health means more than digestive comfort has the potential to drive bakery innovation to a higher level of sophistication.

Market intelligence agency Mintel summed it up in a recent special report, noting that consumers have begun treating their bodies like an ecosystem. This is prompting their search for functional food products that complement their personal health needs.

So, where does that leave the bakery industry? In a melting pot of development possibilities, where many of the ingredients that bakers already use can be reframed in new nutritional concepts that use gut health as a starting point.

Signe Causse, innovation marketing leader at ingredient company IFF, believes the continuing rise in bread product launches with a digestive health claim is finally bringing the category out from the long shadow of the low-carb trend.

“Although many consumers continue to limit the bread in their diet due to the carbohydrate content, bread remains one of the best targets for dietary fibre addition,” ​said Causse.

“Apart from supporting a well-functioning digestive system, fibres may help to maintain and develop the beneficial gut microflora that contribute to other aspects of health and wellness.”

Digestive health on the rise

The Mintel Global New Products Database gives a good indication of where bakery growth is heading.

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