Manufacturers provide ways to drink more fiber

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Dive Brief:

  • As consumers want new sources of fiber, manufacturers are adding its soluable form to beverages like juice, smoothies and nutritional and performance drinks, according to Food Business News.
  • Recent surveys found that 87% of consumers consider fiber to be healthy, and roughly 60% of Americans are looking to consume more. However, many say they are still not getting enough roughage due to a lack of products with fiber on the market.
  • Beverages with added fiber meet consumer demand for convenience and portability, while also helping them meet their goal of increasing consumption.

Dive Insight:

As consumers trend toward simpler and better-for-you ingredients, many also are looking to increase the amount of fiber they consume. Many popular CPGs with added bulk, like Fiber One, have a laundry list of ingredients that might not fit with consumers’ interest in clean labels. However, a juice or smoothie with added soluble fiber could meet both demands for simple ingredients and added roughage.

In addition, consumers want more of their food, drinks and snacks to be portable. On-the-go breakfast products alone brought in more than $1 billion in 2015. A fiber-rich breakfast drink could easily meet consumer demand for the morning.

Fiber is an important part of a well-rounded diet, and many consumers are actively trying to add more of it to meals. Dietary fiber, found mainly in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes, is best known for its ability to prevent or relieve constipation. However, fiber-rich foods can also help with weight maintenance and lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

There are multiple applications for adding soluble fiber to beverages. Promitor is a soluble corn fiber which can be easily added to beverages, as is PromOat, a soluble fiber made from non-bioengineered Swedish oats. 

Fibersol, another corn-based soluble fiber, is popular as an addition to health-focused beverages, like juices and meal-replacement beverages. A prototype of spiced cold brew coffee with Fibersol was introduced at the Institute of Food Technologists’ annual meeting and food exposition in Las Vegas in June. If the added fiber doesn’t affect the taste of the coffee, this combination could be a gold mine for manufacturers.

Some may consider fiber to be comparable to protein in terms of becoming a fad ingredient. Fiber is getting newfound attention from a younger demographic, but that doesn’t mean consumers will grow weary of it in a few years. If they experience the health benefits of a fiber-rich diet, they may be inclined to stick to it.

The addition of fiber to popular beverages, like cold brew coffee, is a good value-add for the drink. The major caveat is that it can’t alter the taste or texture of the product. Consumers have made it clear they want more easy sources of fiber, but they likely won’t be willing to sacrifice the flavor of their morning coffee to get it.

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