Consumer demand may push fiber to be ‘rock stars for the food industry’: Danisco

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Food

US consumers rank ‘high fiber’ among the top 3 most important benefits they look for when purchasing foods, according to results of a survey by Danisco.

The consumers lacked knowledge on the different types of fiber, however, with soluble fibers in particular, not well recognized.

The survey – conducted by Lindberg International and including 500 US consumers – revealed that almost all of the consumers questioned associated eating fiber-containing foods with positive health benefits, such as improved digestive health, weight management and satiety.

In addition, it showed that consumers use front of packaging information more frequently than nutrition facts or ingredient lists when selecting food products.

“These results validate that fiber is still important,”​ Peggy Steele, Danisco global business director, told NutraIngredients-USA at the recent SupplySide West show in Las Vegas.

“The results show that people do not know what the recommendations for fiber are, but they know they are not getting enough,”​ she added.

Fiber intakes

The data supports a 2008 International Food Information Council survey, which found 77% of people are proactively trying to consume additional fiber.

Despite such good intentions, however, many Americans only achieve about 50% of their recommended amount of 25 to 30 grams of fiber daily.

Packaged Facts estimates​ that in 2004, 91% of all fiber food ingredient sales were of conventional, insoluble-type fibers, which contains cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin and cannot be dissolved in water.

The remaining 9% share was split evenly between conventional, soluble-type fibers and emerging, novel fibers. The market researcher projects that insoluble fibers will decrease to 53.3% by 2014, while the share for the mostly new or newly refined conventional, soluble-type fibers will decrease slightly to 7.4%.

The optimism of the predictions is matched by Steele: “Fiber has the potential to be rock stars for the food industry,”​ she said.

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