healthier food choices

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This page was created in 2019, the facts and figures shown on this page might not be the most recent market data.

Improved and clear communication: the better choice.

The fact that consumers want to live healthily is well-known for quite some time. Yet, with an abundance of information, one can get somewhat overwhelmed. Lifestyle programs or articles (online or on TV) are omnipresent and the number of cook book launches has grown exponentially in recent years. Each expert advocating his/her own logic about what’s nutritious and good for you. What is the consumer to know, understand and watch out for in the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle?

Could an overflow of messages be too much for the consumer to handle? Is there a risk of becoming counter-productive with each food producer launching a unique product proposition? BENEO takes a closer look at how Front-Of-Pack messages can bring clarity to consumers in order to help them make (healthier) food choices more easily.

What the experts say: healthy nutrition starts with quality ingredients.

Consumer data.

Seven in ten consumers (¹) across the globe say that they want nutrition labels on products to be as simple as possible. This is because of their desire to understand quickly and easily what a product contains. Currently, a total of 53% of consumers say they believe that nutritional labeling is often made purposely difficult to understand.

Which nutritional information are they most interested in?
The knowledge of calories has been around for a while. But more important now is to see at one glance what kind of good (or bad) ingredients are in a product. In Western Europe, the number one ingredient people check when purchasing their groceries is fibre (61%), closely followed by protein, then sugar and fat – last in line are the calories (28%). (²)

Better food choices
Better food choices
Better food choices

Consumers look for/avoid specific nutrients when buying food:

Better food choices
Better food choices

Sources: (¹) FMCG Gurus, Nutritional information & labelling report, October 2019 (²)
BENEO Health & Nutrition Survey Western-Europe, 2019

Videos: What consumers think of prebiotic products.

We asked consumers what they thought prebiotics were and to what degree they are interested in products with prebiotic benefits. Here are some of their comments.

Better food consumer data
Better food choices consumer data testimonials

Transparent labelling: a global initiative.

Where people look for simple answers and clarity on what they consume, health authorities around the globe put food brands under pressure to join forces on aligned messages. Many governments establish policies to encourage the industry with policies for standardised, truthful and informative nutritional labelling systems.

In Europe governments and industries appear to have a focus on calories and sugar (e.g. UK target to reduce calories by 20% by 2024), while authorities in China and New Zealand aim to protect vulnerable age groups: regulation on production and labelling of food for the Chinese elderly is currently in draft; marketing activity on infant formula in NZ is strongly regulated.

Strict calorie labelling for restaurant menus is also established in North America and Saudi Arabia. And the list of guidelines, restrictions, policies goes on… Just like the number of labelling systems that appear on product packages: Nutri-Score in France (Belgium, Netherlands,…), Traffic Light in UK and Ecuador, HealthStar in Australia, Healthier Choice in Singapore,.. Whether one is a pro- or antagonist of such systems, they can bring clarity on product content and may serve as a tool to bring your product messages across to the consumer.

Better-for-you food with naturally-sourced ingredients.

BENEO functional ingredients offer a wide variety of solutions to improve the nutritional identity of your product proposition. Ranging from reducing the less desired ingredients to including the more desirable ones, and even improving the taste or texture of such “reduced recipes”.

Less fat

Frankfurter sausage with inulin fibre
Frankfurter sausage with inulin fibre

Taste and texture are key when developing a scrumptious product, and fat is one of the building blocks developers use to deliver smooth textures. Unfortunately, fat content negatively affects calories and the nutritional image of products.

Using Orafti® Inulin is one of the solutions to reduce fat levels in e.g. fillings, spreads, dairy desserts,… Its neutral taste and low solubility (< 1 %) make it ideal to offer a similar creaminess to fat in water-based foods.

In addition, BENEO offers rice starches. These enhance smoothness of a cream cheese, and its water binding properties ensure stability and a longer shelf life. Even in meat products, as shown in this Frankfurter sausage recipe.

Sugar reduction

Sugar-rich foods are under scrutiny and may even risk being banned from mother’s shopping trolleys. How can we improve their nutritional profile to make the tasty products mum-friendly again? With a focus on sugar reduction for healthier food choices, one way is to communicate with simple taglines, like e.g. “…% less sugar” or use colour-coded labels front-of-pack.

With BENEO’s naturally-sourced fibres, it is very easy to reduce the initial sugar content by 30% in products like biscuits, beverages, cereals and yes, even in ice cream! Alternatively, we offer Isomalt, a sweetener derived exclusively from beet sugar. With its low hygroscopicity, it is a sweet solution in a multitude of indulgent applications; e.g. in confections or dry and soft-baked goods. Talk to our experts about all BENEO’s answers for sugar replacement requirements.

BENEO’s naturally-sourced fibres to reduce the initial sugar content by 30% in products

Low GI or low glycaemic response

Consumers are actively looking for products that will help them to keep their blood glucose levels lower and in balance. The term “low GI” has become a well-known message in the US, indicating the low glycaemic index of a product. It triggers people to choose such products when they want to avoid for example sugar peaks/drops. Whether marketing messages mention the index or the response,… BENEO’s low glycaemic carbohydrate, Palatinose™ in your product will bring the best benefit to your consumers. With a GI as low as 32, it is BENEO’s star ingredient for blood sugar management objectives.

Long lasting energy

Though lowering sugar levels is trending at the moment, it is not the all-round solution for every situation. As a basic nutritional need, food is consumed to feed the body with energy – and this involves eating carbohydrates (i.e. sugars). The trick here is to find those quality carbs that our body benefits most from: slow-release carbohydrates providing sustained energy!

To ensure consumers understand the value of this benefit at a glance, BENEO has developed simple visual tools for our business partners to use on their packaging.

Low GI or low glycaemic response with Palatinose™ and Inulin from BENEO for oats drinks
Low GI or low glycaemic response with Palatinose™ and Inulin from BENEO for oats drinks

In-depth information about better food choices.

Consumers are being more attentive to food and drinks that provide health benefits.

Paper: Consumers are being more attentive to food and drinks that provide health benefits.

Consumers today are seeking cleaner and more transparent labels to make conscious choices in their aim to follow a healthy nutrition.

Paper: Fat-reduced Frankfurter sausages with Inulin

Paper: Fat-reduced Frankfurter sausages with Orafti® Inulin.

Recipe and insights about a delicious snack with less fat but excellent full, juicy taste and texture.

Paper Sugar Reduced Ice Cream with Isomalt

Paper: Sugar-reduced ice cream with Isomalt.

Recipe and consumer insights about sugar-reduced ice cream with a delicate mild sweetness and only half the calories of sucrose.

Paper: Fat-reduced pâté with rice starch and fibres.

Paper: Fat-reduced pâté with rice starch and fibres.

Recipe and consumer insights about fat reduction with naturally-sourced texturizing ingredients, promoting a smooth and rich mouthfeel.