Fiber’s raised expectations

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Percent, Immune system, Nutrition

Tate & Lyle research has found more than half of Americans want more than regularity from their fiber intake – they want higher levels and better taste.

The company said fiber was benefiting from the broader health and wellness movement that means 65 percent of Americans are looking for healthier food options to improve weight control, immunity and digestion.

Fiber was prevalent in all these areas.

The company’s findings included:

  • 34 percent of consumers say they are most interested in purchasing fruit juice with an “excellent source of fiber”​ label claim
  • 36 percent of consumers are most interested in purchasing fiber-enhanced cookies with an “excellent source of fiber”​ statement on the label
  • 37 percent of consumers say they are most interested in purchasing pre-made pudding containing an “excellent source of fiber”​ label claim

“Boosting fiber content in foods and beverages can help companies meet consumer demand for healthy foods and beverages,”​ said Tate & Lyle director of marketing of the Americas, Harvey Chimoff.

“Tate & Lyle’s new consumer research provides important insights on how to communicate with consumers and market the benefits of fiber across thirty-three product segments.”

Fiber lack

The findings come amid a climate of under-consumption of fiber but rising interest in the ingredient and in label contents in general.

The United States Department of Agriculture says only 1 in 5 Americans are getting the recommended daily amount of fiber.

At the same time, a 2008 International Food Information Council survey found 77 percent of people are proactively trying to consume additional fiber.

The company said more than 60 percent of consumers rely on labels for clues to determine if a product is healthy, but only 45 percent trust on-pack information. Half agree they read labels when looking to add a particular nutrient to their diet.

Favored statements included:

  • 55 percent of consumers find the statement “supports a healthy immune system”​ appealing on labels for bottled water
  • More than 60 percent of consumers find an “excellent source of fiber”​ on yogurt labels appealing and nearly 80 percent believe “promotes healthy digestion”​ on yogurt labels is appealing
  • More than 50 percent of consumers find powdered soft drink labels with “an excellent source of fiber” ​appealing and nearly 70 percent believe “helps manage your weight”​ on powdered soft drink labels is appealing

Nearly 70 percent of parents surveyed believe fiber is an important component in a child’s diet.

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