Foods that aid in digestive health are becoming increasingly important to today’s shoppers, according to a new report.
Laurie Demeritt, CEO of the Hartman Group, writes in a Grocery Manufacturers Association SmartBrief that much of consumers’ current thinking about health revolves around digestion and health of the microbiome as the root of wellness and choosing foods that help their bodies absorb nutrients most efficiently.
“Consumers are turning internally to their own bodily cues, starting with their digestion, to judge the healthfulness of foods and beverages,” Demeritt writes. “Many people are not even aware that they’re concerned about digestion, but the signs are clear: They talk about how certain foods ‘sit’ with them and how they feel an hour or more after they’ve eaten — and they increasingly are interested in digestive aids.”
The Hartman Group’s Health + Wellness 2017 report finds that consumers are adding nutrient-dense foods and beverages promoting satiety and good digestion to their diet, and more than one-third (38%) of consumers say they are consciously adding probiotics to their diet.
This is evidence of the mainstreaming interest in probiotic-rich cultured and fermented foods, such as yogurt, kombucha and fermented vegetables, which contain gut-friendly “good bacteria,” Demeritt writes.
Similarly, “gluten-free” (an overall market now posting billions of dollars in revenues) has seen widespread appeal because of connections consumers make between eating gluten-free to remedy general digestive discomfort and eating gluten-free as a tool linked to weight management.