Multinationals adding more fiber to their food, says Datamonitor

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutrition

New data released today from Datamonitor finds that food manufacturers are increasingly adding fiber to their products, in a move described as going “back to basics”.

The market researcher said fiber has become an ingredient of choice for products targeting health conscious consumers and products designed to help combat obesity.

Based on data from its Product Launch Analytics, which tracks new products entering the global marketplace, Datamonitor said the percentage of new food products launched in the US that claim to be high in fiber hit 6.3 percent in 2008, up from 5.2 percent in 2006.

“Consumers have long known that fiber is ‘good for you.’ Now food makers are redoubling their efforts to increase the fiber content of many popular food products,”​ said Datamonitor.

Companies that have recently launched products touting their fiber content include the multinationals PepsiCo, Kraft, Campbell Soup, Kellogg and Dannon.

New products

Examples of new fiber-containing products highlighted by Datamonitor include:

· Kellogg’s Toaster Pastries, in the firm’s Pop-Tarts brand, which claim to contain 16g of whole grains per serving and 20 percent of the daily value of fiber

· Quaker Fiber & Omega-3 Chewy Oat Granola Bars, from PepsiCo’s Quaker Oats unit, claim to be an “excellent source”​ of fiber and also contain flax-derived omega-3

· Kraft’s Fiber Fit Cookies and Fiber Fit Granola bars, both additions to the firm’s South Beach Living brand

· Kraft’s On The Go Hunger Satisfaction Drink Mix, in its Crystal Light brand, is a powdered drink mix said to contain 5g of fiber and 3g of protein per serving to help satisfy hunger

· Campbell Soup’s Pepperidge Farm Light Style Wheat Bread in an Extra Fiber version, made with whole grains, claims to contain 16 percent more of the daily value of fiber than the leading premium white breads

· Snyder’s of Hanover’s new MultiGrain All Natural Tortilla Chips include whole grains and tout a higher fiber content than regular tortilla chips

· Dannon recently added a With Fiber extension to its Activia Lowfat Yogurt

Consumer interest

Interest in dietary fiber has also been growing with scientific studies linking increased intake to reduced risks of cancers such as colorectal and cardiovascular disease.

Soluble fiber in particular has been researched for its benefits to digestive health, as well as weight management since it can boost satiety.

A 2008 International Food Information Council survey found 77 percent of people are proactively trying to consume additional fiber.

However, despite the rising interest in the ingredient, there is still massive under-consumption in the US. The United States Department of Agriculture says only one in five Americans are getting the recommended daily amount of fiber (25g for women and 38g for men).

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