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How Appealing are Heart Health Claims to Consumers, and What Place does Oat Fibre Have in the Health Reformulation ‘Toolbox’?

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How Appealing are Heart Health Claims to Consumers, and What Place does Oat Fibre Have in the Health Reformulation ‘Toolbox’?

How Appealing are Heart Health Claims to Consumers, and What Place does Oat Fibre Have in the Health Reformulation ‘Toolbox’?
February 27
09:09 2018

By Nancy Gaul, Global Marketing Director at Tate & Lyle

For consumers across the globe, reducing consumption of sugars and total calorie intake remains a top priority. In fact, an average of 55% of consumers say they’re trying to consume less sugar, whereas an average of 42% say they’re trying to consume fewer calories[1]. As a result, the total number of no-/low-calorie and no-/low-sugar claims on food and beverage products has risen 87% since 2010.[2]

Nancy Gaul, Global Marketing Director at Tate & Lyle.

However, despite being committed to reducing calories and sugars, consumers are not willing to sacrifice great taste. The challenge remains finding the right mix of solutions in order to reduce sugar content without compromising taste or texture. Because high-potency sweeteners are significantly sweeter than sucrose, they are used at very low levels in formulations and only provide sweetness without the other functional attributes of sucrose. Manufacturers looking to effectively reduce sugar and calories in their formulations use other ingredients alongside the high-potency sweeteners to deliver the bulk and mouthfeel that sugar provides.

As a result of these challenges, more and more manufacturers are turning to select fibres in their formulations. Fibre compensates for the lack of bulk and texture and allows for a satisfying sensory experience in reduced-sugar and reduced-calorie products. Some fibres may also enable popular claims related to health and nutrition benefits such as ‘source of fibre’ and digestive health.

Oat Fibre

One fibre of particular interest to manufacturers across numerous categories is oat fibre. This is due to a strong consumer appeal for oats, specifically, with two thirds of consumers ranking oat fibre as their most preferred fibre to see on a label[3]. As a result of this, innovation with oats and oat products is increasing, with product launches containing oats or oat products nearly doubling between 2012 and 2016.[4] The snacks category in particular is leading this trend with many product launches including a cholesterol-related claim.

PromOat® Beta Glucan reduces calories by replacing fat and sugars. It is also highly soluble, which makes it uniquely well suited for beverages such as smoothies, nectars, and dairy alternative drinks.

Brands choosing not to make a cholesterol-related claim may still be able to benefit from the ‘oats healthy halo’.  Depending upon local regulations and fibre content, a claim such as “contains oat fibre” which would resonate positively with consumers, may be possible.  Indeed, in today’s dynamic global food market the basic information displayed on the packaging is as likely to appeal to the consumer as the scientific explanation about the food inside. The mention of ‘oats’ on the front of a product can be powerful and persuasive. Research conducted by Qualtrics among 8,800 adults in Europe, Middle-East, Asia, North America and Latin America revealed that 63% of global consumers prefer oats as their source of fibre[5].

Diverse Portfolio

Tate & Lyle provides manufacturers with a diverse portfolio of fibre solutions that can help achieve specific health-benefit claims and appeal to consumer sentiment without sacrificing taste or texture.

Our formulation experts work closely with customers to identify the appropriate fibre solution to meet the needs of their consumers.

For example, PromOat® Beta Glucan, one of the fibre ingredients in Tate & Lyle’s fibre portfolio, is a natural soluble fibre made from non-GM Swedish oats which yields multiple benefits, including reduced blood cholesterol. PromOat® Beta Glucan reduces calories by replacing fat and sugars. It is also highly soluble, which makes it uniquely well suited for beverages such as smoothies, nectars, and dairy alternative drinks.

[1] Online research conducted by Tate & Lyle in July 2015; 7,200 respondents from USA, Mexico, Brazil, UK, France, Germany, Russia, China and Japan. Change this footnote to be the same as 4

[2] Innova,

[3] Qualtrics Fibre A&U,11 countries, 8800 respondents, 2015-2016

[4] Innova (August 2016)..

[5] Qualtrics Fibre A&U, 11 countries, 8800 respondents, 2015-2016


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