Discussing this year’s upcoming consumer trends at the recent FiE 2019 event in Paris, Myriam Snaet, head of market intelligence and consumer insights at Beneo, told FoodNavigator that people are looking for the “benefits of sports products but in real foods”.
“They look for protein but also healthy energy in normal products which help them to feel energised and reach their goals… an interesting ingredient there is Palatinose.”
Palatinose (the generic name is isomaltulose) provides the body with the same amount of carbohydrate energy as sucrose, according to Beneo. But thanks to its unique glucose-fructose binding, the energy is released slower and not all at once.
Snaet said the ingredient is proving popular with both traditional endurance athletes such as runners and cyclists and ‘indoor, online’ athletes.
“It appeals in products for E sports or gamers,” she said. “They have a need to stay focused and need mental support.”
Transparency, less sugar and products that support digestive wellness
Meanwhile, the increased demand for cleaner labels among consumers has kicked on, with shoppers now demanding more transparency in the nutritional value of products.
“They want to know how the products have been produced, where the ingredients come from and lately, we also see more interest in the nutritional value of products.”
This is also being driven by governments, she added, illustrated by Germany’s recent move to follow France and Belgium and introduce the much-debated Nutri-score labelling scheme.
Sneat added that heightened consumer awareness about gut health continues to significantly influence product development and reformulation.
Beneo’s Orafti inulin and oligofructose, both derived from chicory root, are functional fibres that tap into the strong consumer desire for cleaner labels, transparency, less sugar, for more protein and for products that support digestive wellness, claimed Snaet.
“Studies show more and more the link between the gut and the brain and consumers are aware of this. They know that digestive health improves your overall health,” she stated.
She added that digestive health is greatly linked with mental health, so products that can potentially help with peoples’ mental wellbeing will also flourish in 2020.