Digestive health movement going strong

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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LONDON — Americans are more aware of digestive health issues than ever before, thanks to the marketing efforts of products such as Activia, according to Datamonitor. As a result, this is only the beginning of the digestive health movement.

"U.S. consumers are now more knowledgeable regarding the relationship between fiber and digestive health and are seeking out more ways of safeguarding their health with functional foods," said Mark Whalley, consumer markets analyst for Datamonitor.

These products are becoming widely accepted and trusted with only 14% of consumers saying they firmly disbelieved the claims these products make. The digestive health movement only recently has become mainstream in the United States, but in countries such as Japan, the idea of drinking a daily Yakult is a more normal and accepted part of life. This cultural idea is expected to expand to Europe and North America.

"The real success of these products has been the way in which consumers have adopted them for a ‘daily dosing’ routine," Mr. Whalley said. "The daily consumption of a probiotic yogurt allows people to feel they are combining a healthy boost with a delicious treat. However, the industry faces a tough challenge justifying prices at a time with consumers are looking to save pennies."

Probiotics are even showing up in foods people eat every day such as ice cream and ketchup.

"People find these products appealing, and more importantly, they like how they taste," Mr. Whalley said. "Digestive health has strong links with immunity health, which means consumers feel better after eating their probiotic yogurts. This is what keeps them coming back for more. It’s therefore likely that, looking forward, digestive health products will go from strength to strength."

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