Natural Products Insider

MAY-JUN 2019

INSIDER is the leading information source for marketers, manufacturers and formulators of dietary supplements, healthy foods and cosmeceuticals. Since 1997, INSIDER has been serving the needs of the global nutrition industry.

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naturalproductsinsider . com 33 Protein Isolate Powder (which includes collagen as well); the former is currently being used in one bar on the market, and IDF provides recipes online for consumers to make their own bars at home as well. While protein still rules, it's hardly the only ingredient continuing to trend in the nutritional bar space. "If there's one thing we as Americans don't get enough of, it's fi ber," said Barrett Jacques, president, MinusCAL™, marketer of weight management bars and supplements. The data backs this up; a ccording to FDA, most Americans don't get the recommended daily amount of fi ber. Fiber can come from many sources, and within the nutritional bars market, it does. However, fi nding the right source can be a challenge. "Bars offer a portable way for consumers to get that fi ber, but many of the fi ber sources used in bar formulation may impact fl avor," Stauffer said. "Cargill's Oliggo-Fiber ® chicory root fi ber won't affect the taste or texture of the fi nal product, plus it fi ts with today's clean label trends." MinusCAL uses tapioca prebiotic fi ber— the fi rst ingredient listed on its packaging— providing 11 to 12 g of fi ber per bar, depending on the variety. At Carolina Innovative Food Ingredients (CIFI), the preferred choice is sweet potato. "Dried sweet potato ingredients include soluble and insoluble fi ber—both of which are important to support healthy digestion," said Paul Verderber, vice president of sales, CIFI. "These ingredients offer formulators an opportunity to increase the fi ber content of their bars using a vegetable that consumers already frequently enjoy." Verderber acknowledged sweet potato can help with another trend: sugar reduction or replacement. According to a recent International Food Information Council (IFIC) study, 77 percent of respondents were trying to limit or avoid sugar, and brands are taking note. "Sugar reduction is one of the most critical industry-wide trends, and it's very pertinent to bars," Verderber said. "Consumers use bars to meet their health and wellness objectives and will likely avoid bars with sugar content that they deem too high." He specifi cally noted CIFI's Carolina Sweet potato-based sweetener. "[It is] an innovative, clean label solution for those seeking to reduce or displace sugar in bars. It also has great mineral content, making it especially benefi cial for a healthy lifestyle. Carolina Sweet contributes natural sweetness, signifi cant [nutrition] and ingredient binding—think of it as a natural sweetener, with extra benefi ts." Stevia is another common sugar replacement utilized by many brands. "Options like Cargill's ViaTech ® stevia leaf extract offer plenty of advantages, including favorable consumer perceptions, which is one reason why year-over-year unit sales for performance nutrition bars containing stevia are up 66 percent," Stauffer said. Another option for sugar replacement is sugar alcohols, such as erythritol. However, as consumers continue to look for not only natural, but simple and easy-to-pronounce ingredients, erythritol may go out of style. "A lot of nutrition bars, even those touted as better-for-you snacks, have quite a lot of sugar," Schmidt said. "Brands in the performance bar space have tackled this with sugar alcohols like erythritol, but those have terrible perceived naturalness scores (our recent consumer survey showed just 7 percent of U.S. consumers believe erythritol is a 'natural' ingredient) that will limit their use." Replacing sugar's sweetening properties isn't the only challenge, however. Sugar also acts as a binder and stabilizer, forcing brands to fi nd new, better-for-you ingredients to play those same roles. Verderber noted Carolina Sweet helps with ingredient binding. Other suppliers are also getting creative in replacing those qualities of sugar. "In our bar pilot plant in St. Louis, we are leveraging our broad texturants portfolio— including alginates and pectin—to replace sugar's bulk and stabilizing effects," Schmidt said. As more brands produce bars high in protein and fi ber and low in sugar, even more differentiation is required to stand out among the rest. This has led to the formulation of other novel ingredients to get consumers the most health value from their on-the-go snacks. MinusCAL bars include a proprietary blend of fermented tea extract called Choleve ® (from Nashai Biotech). Originally investigated for its cholesterol-reducing properties, clinical trials also indicated that it could effectively cause weight loss by blocking the absorption of some fats (Arch Intern Med. 2003;163:1448-1453). "We [thought], we could put this ingredient in food products because nobody is doing that and sell it as a consumable product that has this effect of blocking some of the absorption of fat," Jacques said. After both market research and their own intuition and reading of the not-so-proverbial tea leaves, they settled on bars as the most sensible way to do that. "Snack bars are trending, people love them, the market has been growing over the last 10 years," Jacques explained. "That gave us a good bit of confi dence that bars would do well." The process of fi nding out what consumers are looking for and capitalizing Bars Looking for more about on-the-go nutrition? Busy people are increasingly short on time … even for eating. As such, consumers have long enjoyed on-the-go foods and beverages. However, in recent years, demand has risen for portable foods featuring cleaner labels and greater nutritional appeal—not to mention impressive taste and variety. Options such as jerky, yogurt, puffed snacks, functio nal beverage shots, refrigerated snack kits, powders and bars are meeting these demands. Inclusions are also thriving, from probiotics, protein, turmeric and vegetables to superfoods. Download INSIDER's "On-the-Go Nutrition" digital magazine to learn more. Vol. 8, No. 9 May 2018 naturalproductsinsider.com US$20.75 west.supplysideshow.com NOVEMBER 6-10 Expo Hall November 8 & 9 Mandalay Bay Las Vegas On-the-Go Nutrition Scan Here naturalproductsinsider.com/media-assets/digital-magazines

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