Gut health is an emerging trend in the healthy living space. Functional dairy snacks with gut-friendly live cultures meet the demand of health-driven consumers. However, probiotics also expand from traditional dairy categories into snacking where consumers see indulgence merge with health benefits. Pioneering markets such as the US and Japan are ahead of the competition in terms of gut health. Prebiotics that feed good bacteria in the gut will lead the way in the future.
Gut health receives more and more interest from the food and drinks industry as well as consumers. The main focus is on digestive health, but it goes beyond and impacts not only consumers’ physical health, but also mental wellbeing due to the gut-brain axis.
With health issues rising as a result of an ageing society, consumers increasingly opt for a preventative approach to remain healthy. The trend shifts towards functional food rather than supplements which ties in with consumers’ demand for naturally better-for-you products.
Many consumers now discover the health benefits of fermented products such as kefir and kombucha. Sales of such products have exploded in markets such as the US, Australia and the UK and are expected to debut in other markets.
Probiotics are now increasingly found in non-dairy snacking categories with new products being launched in traditional snacking categories such as snack bars, ice cream and savoury snacks. In the eyes of consumers, these products allow them to indulge while having healthy properties.
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