With consumers’ renewed focus on maintaining wellness, demand is growing for functional ingredients, particularly those that can support digestive health, which is now a concern for 71% of global consumers. Because immune health is rooted in maintaining a healthy balance in the gut microbiome, supporting digestive health has benefits for immunity too. Digestive health begins in the gut microbiome–the microorganisms (microbiota) living in our intestines that play a role in gut health and management of several gastrointestinal disorders. Providing probiotic ingredients for food service options can help meet consumers’ growing demand for health benefits in the products they consume on-the-go.
We are just beginning to understand the connection between digestive health, immune health, and overall well-being. Research has demonstrated links between digestive health and the immune system, mood, mental health, heart health, and even oral health. Food service industry trends show an increasing interest in functional foods and beverages, spurred by consumers’ growing awareness of the connection between sustenance and overall health, and underscoring the call for benefit-driven products. Along with this awareness comes consumers’ deepening understanding of the role of probiotics in maintaining digestive health, highlighting the innovation opportunities with probiotic ingredients for foods and beverages.
Consumer trends shaping the future of food service
Globally, 45% of consumers now try to find the healthiest food options when they eat out. This figure is even higher in Latin America (54%) and the Asia-Pacific region (51%). However, most consumers do not feel that the food service industry is doing enough to offer healthy options. Although 79% of people are trying to dine out more healthily than they were a year ago, 58% say it is difficult to do so. This apparent dichotomy opens up opportunity for manufacturers in the food service industry to provide healthier options for consumers.
Consumers are demanding healthy options
Across the world, consumers are increasingly demanding higher food quality, as well as cleaner, healthier options. In a new report on the food service industry, a key trend emerged — the blurring of the boundaries between food, functional food and supplements. The report found that:
- This shift in perception remains a powerful influence on purchasing decisions. A 2019 survey of consumers in Brazil, for example, found that 88% had bought healthy products in the past six months.
- In many cases, legislators are encouraging the shift. In the UK, for instance, the government is applying pressure on the food industry to reduce the calorie content of products by 20% by 2024.
- A key element of the increasing focus on healthfulness is demand for products with functional health benefits. Worldwide, almost seven in ten (69%) consumers have purchased, or would consider purchasing, fortified/functional food and beverages, while over half (52%) have purchased products containing beneficial bacteria.
These trends illustrate the value of offering everyday products that contain well-recognized and trusted strains of probiotics, such as GanedenBC30 (Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086), a hardy, spore-forming probiotic strain that is much more resistant to extremes of pH, heat, cold, and pressure than vegetative cells, making it a better fit for fortification of everyday foods and beverages with probiotics for the food service industry.
We are driven by our commitment to provide product manufacturers and consumers with safe, efficacious probiotic ingredients that survive the extremes of manufacturing—especially in the food service industry, where consumers demand a variety of products that can help support their health goals. GanedenBC30 is backed by over 25 published, clinical, pre-clinical and biomarker research papers confirming its effectiveness.
Get more unique food service industry insights. Download our latest White Paper, “Opportunities for Formulating With Probiotic Ingredients in Food Service”.