Harnessing The Trend For Better Carbohydrates

Thursday, November 16th, 2017 | 2010 Views

Consumers’ quest for Harnessing The Trend For Better Carbohydrates and fewer carbohydrates is creating a wealth of large and growing opportunities, according to a report by market research company New Nutrition Business.

The trend is fuelled by emerging science—discussed in the media and online—that is associating carbohydrates with health issues such as weight gain and blood sugar response.

“Consumers are increasingly experimenting with lowering their carbohydrate intakes, or improving the carbohydrates they eat, in the hopes of benefiting their health and/or their waistlines,” says Julian Mellentin, director, New Nutrition Business.

It was found in Spain that as many as 63 percent of consumers are regularly trying to eat fewer carbohydrates; in the UK, that figure is 48 percent and in A17ustralia 47 percent.

In North America, 36 percent of consumers believe they should eat less bread, pasta, potatoes and rice. Food service operators in Japan are already cutting down on carbohydrates in their establishments.

“Companies are responding to these opportunities by adopting one or more of five strategies,” said Mr Mellentin. “The biggest of these strategies is reformulation—not only substituting whole grains for refined wheat, for example, but offering gluten-free variants to take away a big digestive health issue that many consumers have with carbohydrates.”

One area that is moving quickly is the re-formulation of pasta. Some companies are offering pastas and noodles made not from wheat but from dried peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas.

Even the potato industry is experimenting with new low-carbohydrate varieties such as Lotatoes, successfully marketed in New Zealand by one of the country’s biggest fruit and vegetable companies.

Some companies are going yet further in changing ‘bad’ carbohydrates into ‘good’ carbohydrates. For example, Germany-based milling company Good Mills has launched a new type of wheat that directly addresses consumer concerns about gluten and difficult-to-digest carbs.

Another trend that is a powerful driver of ‘good’ carbohydrates is personalisation. Increasingly, people are going online, doing their own research and crafting their own eating style that they believe matches their needs as individuals. The belief that diet cannot be ‘one size fits all’ is gaining ground.

About 50 percent of the population are accepting the idea that each of them has unique nutritional and metabolic needs. They look upon carbohydrates as a menu from which they feel free to select some as ‘good’ and reject others as ‘bad’, no matter what official dietary guidelines say. This creates opportunities for companies willing to respond creatively to this much greater variety of needs and beliefs.


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