Functional ingredients address wellness trend in consumers

Functional ingredients like probiotics can help the food service industry respond to growing consumer focus on wellness, according to a new report.

The global food service industry has had to adapt quickly to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Many outlets have shifted to ‘less contact’ models, or have started offering on-the-go and takeaway options to comply with social distancing rules.

The industry will also need to find new ways to respond to the growing consumer focus on wellness, according to the probiotic brand GanedenBC30, a Kerry ingredient.

The new report, “Opportunities for Formulating With Probiotic Ingredients in Food Service?”, demonstrates that wellness, including immune health, was a growing priority for food service consumers even before the current crisis. Globally, 45% try to find the healthiest option when they eat out while 78% want restaurants to offer more options containing functional ingredients.

The report highlights the particular potential of probiotics, given the high levels of awareness they command. Research shows that over half (54%) of consumers worldwide are aware that probiotics can promote good digestive health, while 46% know they offer immune system support.

The survey also indicates demand for probiotics in a wide range of food and beverage categories. Nearly half (48%) of consumers would be interested in yogurt containing probiotics, with 38% saying they would like to see them in juices.

John Quilter, VP & General Manager for GanedenBC30, said: “These are tough times for the food service industry, but it has done a great job of adapting. The sector will bounce back but when it does, it will need to meet the demands of a new world, with consumers more focused than ever on the protection of their health. Providing options that include functional ingredients is a great way to innovate in a market where wellness is increasingly important.”

GanedenBC30 is the leading spore-forming probiotic. Although there is no evidence demonstrating its effectiveness against Coronavirus specifically, a growing body of research shows that GanedenBC30 probiotics support immune health, as well as digestive health.

Furthermore GanedenBC30 can be incorporated into a range of foods and beverages. Examples of applications where it can allow food service manufacturers to offer the benefits of probiotics include smoothies, frozen yogurts and coffee and tea.

John Quilter added: “Immune health is rooted in the maintenance of a healthy balance in the gut. With protection against foreign challenges such as viruses now front of mind for consumers, probiotics are among the functional foods  and beverages they’re starting to explore. Spore-forming strains like GanedenBC30 are ideal in a range of food and beverage service applications, allowing functional benefits to be offered across the menu.”

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