Digestive health claims are leading functional claims globally. Functional foods and beverages providing digestive health benefits are growing, both in the traditional categories where the claim emerged — yogurt and dairy-based beverages — and in truly unique and new categories, such as prepared meals and snack mixes. Part of this growth can be attributed to an ever-growing number of products capitalizing on natural ingredients that provide digestive health benefits. Foods calling out the digestive health benefits of naturally occurring fiber, such as the Planter’s Digestive Health nut mix, are a great example. Technological advancements that have made ingredients such as prebiotics and probiotics viable outside of the refrigerator have helped drive this growth in the U.S.
Functional foods and beverages are going to continue to grow in coming years. The key for manufacturers, at least when it comes to digestive health, will be identifying creative positioning strategies and launching new product introductions that are truly different.