Gut health, untapped market for better-for-you snacks

Philippine brands catering to better-for-you (BFY) snacks can create or explore more products that have sustainable and healthy base ingredients as consumers are becoming more conscious about their health.

“Explore gut health as the next big health platform for BFY snacks. Formulate products with new ingredient bases to appeal to those consumers who enjoy trying new snack bases,” said Market Intelligence Digest, the online publication of the Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB).

The report cited countries such as the United Kingdom where 68 percent of consumers state that gut health is essential for overall well-being, while only 20 percent have eaten foods which support gut health.

“This gap shows that snack brands can play an active role in promoting gut-health-friendly diets among consumers,” it added.

The report said brands can incorporate healthy and sustainable plant-based ingredients, such as less-explored legumes or whole grains, as well as upcycled vegetables.

Examples of whole grains are linseed and quinoa, while underused legumes include fava bean.

“BFY snacks should promote sustainable and plant-centric nutrition on-pack. Brands can achieve this by elevating the importance of plants while clearly linking them to health and sustainability benefits,” it said.

To promote the shift towards plant-based, BFY snacks can provide alternatives to meat by emulating their taste and texture, it added.

The Market Intelligence Digest further said fiber, a common ingredient of many plant-based BFY snacks, has the potential to be elevated further as a standout ingredient linked to gut health.

Depending on the regulatory framework of the market, products could explore additional value-added ingredients such as prebiotics like chicory root fiber to support the gut microbiome or probiotic bacteria, it said.

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