Many factors can impact a person’s gut health, including genetics, medications and diet. As more consumers increasingly become aware of the effects of what they put into their body, they are turning to functional beverages to improve overall health. The demand for beverages containing fiber, probiotics and prebiotics continues to rise as consumers “go with their gut” to improve health and well-being.
Taylor Halstead, product manager for specialty carbohydrates at Minneapolis-based Cargill, notes that consumer’s understanding of fiber is changing and that’s sparking renewed interest in the nutrient. For instance, the Netherlands-based Innova Market Insights called out fiber as a key trend for 2019, noting that 44 percent of U.S. consumers were increasing their fiber consumption, Halstead explains, citing a Jan. 14 article from Nutrition Insight. Consumer research from the International Food Information Council’s 2018 Food & Health Survey notes that 83 percent of consumers view fiber as healthy, he adds.