Strategic advice for the food and beverage industry

How to harness the Good Carbs, Bad Carbs trend?

Consumers’ quest for better and fewer carbohydrates is creating a wealth of opportunities, even in the mass market, according to 10 Key Trends in Food, Nutrition and Health 2018, New Nutrition Business’ annual trends report.

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

A recent NNB survey shows that in Spain, as many as 63% of consumers are regularly trying to eat fewer carbs, in the UK, that figure is 48% and in Australia 47%.

How are companies responding to the trend? They adopt one or more strategies, the biggest of which are:

1. Reimaging and reformulating: It’s not only about 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 carbs. A good example is Explore Cuisine, one of several companies offering pastas and noodles made not from wheat but from dried peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas.

Some companies are opting to reimage “bad” carbs into “good” carbs. Hamburg-based milling giant Good Mills has launched a new type of wheat that directly addresses consumer concerns about gluten and difficult-to-digest carbs. Called 2ab Wheat, it is free from gluten and addresses concerns about FODMAPs, a rapidly-emerging consumer concern.

2. Greener carbs: Creative NPD and skilful food technology are for the first time making vegetables as convenient vegetables as traditional carbohydrates. In the US, Green Giant markets spiralised vegetables and riced cauliflower, and is massively expanding its range.

To find out more about the Good Carbs Bad Carbs trend, watch our new video here.

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