According to Céline Hurson, communication engineer at ingredients company Syral, the wording of a health claim is vital in attracting a consumers’ interest and their influencing their intention to buy.
For such things as prebiotics, the word choice was important. Research using the company’s Actilight short-chain fructooligosaccharide (FOS) fibre, a prebiotic ingredient, revealed that women were more receptive of the claims than men, and this interest increased with age.
Moreover, when describing the “prebiotic effect” and “improved intestinal conditions”, the survey revealed that British respondents preferred “friendly bacteria”, while their German cousins preferred “fibres” or “prebiotics”.
“Gut health” and “balance” were preferred by consumers in France, Italy and The Netherlands, says the company, while terms like “prebiotics” or “bifidogenic properties” did not go down well.
Speaking at the recent Acti-Day 2008 Conference in Paris on 25 September, Daniel Cochet, Syral's Marketing Manager said the company supported a “better understanding of the relations between nutrition and health benefits for the consumer.”
Growth in the European market
According to Leatherhead Food International’s Kath Veal, the global market for health foods was worth €60 million ($83.2 million) in 2006. This is expected to grow by 21 per cnet by 2010, she said.
“Sixty-five per cent of consumers in Europe and the US are taking more active steps towards eating more healthily. Many are switching from dieting to maintaining healthier eating habits for weight loss,” said Veal.
Building the science
At Acti-Day 2008, Prof. Marc Fantino from the University of Burgundy said that appetite regulation is basically controlled by glucose oxidation in the brain. The phenomenon is also influenced by lipids and proteins, he said.
Prof. Daniel Tomé from AgroParisTech added that results have shown that proteins can enhance satiety, and also impact on weight loss.