So Chic: A fashion for fibre boosts chicory root sales

By Nikki Hancocks

- Last updated on GMT

Getty | EKramar
Getty | EKramar

Related tags Fibre Gut health Cereal Market market analysis

The consumer buzz for boosting 'good' gut bacteria will see Europe's prebiotics market value exceed $3.5 Billion by 2026, according to new market research.

Prebiotic fibers were first brought to light in 1995, described as non-digestible ingredients that could provide beneficial effects to the host, by stimulating the activity and growth of one of more types of bacteria in the colon.

The newly released market forecast from business research firm Graphical Research​, reveals that these ingredients - a relatively new concept to most consumers - are now being touted as the next super-ingredient for gastrointestinal health and the global prebiotics industry size may record a compound annual growth rate of 9.5% till 2026.

“Rising public awareness, particularly in the Europe region, regarding the significance of fiber and high-quality protein consumption, in order to maintain ideal nutritional levels is expected to spur the growth of the prebiotics industry," ​says Saloni Walimbe, Graphical Research content writer.

"In fact, according to estimates from credible sources, the Europe prebiotics market​ is anticipated to surpass a valuation of nearly $3.5 billion by 2026.”

The prebiotics ingredients in the European market are categorised into fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS), galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS), mannan oligosaccharide (MOS), and inulin, most of which are naturally occurring substances in a variety of foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains, pulses, etc.

Of these, inulin prebiotics, extracted from chicory root fibre, are gaining tremendous prominence across various applications, most notably food and nutrition. The product is gaining widespread acceptance in food applications across the globe, especially Europe.

Given that the food and drink industry in Europe, depicted a turnover of around €1.1 trillion​, with €230 billion in value added, the projected demand for inulin is expected to be rather high.

Walimbe adds: “Estimates suggest that Europe's prebiotics industry size from the inulin segment is poised to record a growth rate of nearly 9% through 2026. This growth is attributed largely to the prominent role of the product as a key source of sugar reduction and fat substitute, as well as its widespread usage across a vast array of health products.”

The firm predicts that the UK infant formulations market demand from dietary supplement application may surpass USD 4.5 million by 2026 as consumers look for ingredients that help balance of bacteria in baby's microbiome.

Europe prebiotics market size from dietary supplement application may surpass $420 million by 2026.

comes hot on the heels of news that Beneo has invested €50 million in a prebiotic production expansion and Kellogg's has launched another prebiotic boosted granola.

Inulin and FOS are primarily used in supplemental formulations because of their ability to control blood sugar levels, improve digestive health and contribute to healthy cellular growth, thus augmenting the market growth.

Alongside several other health advantages. Chicory root inulin helps improve the texture of foods and impart a slightly sweet flavor, which is why it is used extensively in food and nutrition applications.

Tapping into the trend

The Germany-based functional ingredients supplier BENEO announced this week it is investing €50 million in the expansion of its chicory root fibre production facility in order to meet the market demand increase.

The expansion of the Chilean facility will ensure a 20% rise in global volume of chicory inulin production by 2022 following a rising demand for BENEO’s chicory root fibres, inulin and oligofructose, which the firm says is due to growing consumer interest in digestive health.

The firm has developed a new organic-grade inulin product, dubbed Orafti BIO. This inulin prebiotic is obtained via hot water extraction of agave plants. It has myriad advantageous qualities including approximately 70% solubility, and slightly sweet and pleasant taste, which makes it an ideal for fiber enrichment and sugar reduction in a multitude of applications including breakfast cereals, lower sugar yogurt recipes, chocolate, and more. The product is an organically sourced ingredient and complies with both US and EU legislative standards.

Meanwhile, UK-based health drink company Güt Health has developed what is hailed as the first prebiotic sparkling soft drink in Europe​. These prebiotic drinks, available in a variety of flavors, are different from existing probiotic drinks containing live bacteria, in that they are designed to feed good bacteria in the stomach, ensuring high activity of the microorganisms and subsequently enhancing digestive health.

As the demand for prebiotic supplements continues to depict an upsurge, major vendors, across the Europe prebiotics market and the global landscape, are anticipated to implement major strategies to ensure that the best prebiotic products are brought to the mainstream.

Just last week, the multinational food manufacturer Kellogg’s launched an All-Bran cereal with natural prebiotic chicory root fibre and wheat bran fibre named Kellogg’s All-Bran Prebiotic Oaty Clusters.

Catriona Campbell-Voegt, Nutritionist and Kellogg’s Wellbeing Lead in the UK said: “It’s clear that having a healthy gut can have a massive impact on our overall wellbeing. 70% of our immune cells are found in our gut, and its directly linked with our brain, so how we fuel it is so important. We’re excited to now offer two more delicious cereals which support good gut health to help everyone eat more fibre and feel at their best every day.”

This year, Kellogg’s is planning to double their investment in its high fibre brands, and focus on raising awareness and informing the nation on the benefits of high fibre foods and good gut health. The launch of All-Bran Prebiotic Oaty Clusters follows Kellogg’s ‘Happy Guts’ campaign from February 2019, which saw All-Bran, Fruit ’n Fibre and Bran Flakes reposition to help encourage awareness of the importance of a healthy gut.

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