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Weight loss brew? Fibre-rich tea and coffee aiming for European success

By David Anderson

- Last updated on GMT

©iStock / VladimirFLoyd
©iStock / VladimirFLoyd

Related tags Tea functional beverage beverage

The UK and France are early target markets for new tea and coffee concepts containing soluble pea fibre, says founder.

The UK, France and other European countries are to be the target markets for new blends of tea and coffee which contain soluble pea fibre and claim to aid weight loss by curbing consumers’ appetite.

The tea, launched earlier this year, and coffee, launching later this year, are the brainchild of Honesty Foods founder Johnathan Middlemiss, a UK entrepreneur who has 25 years experience in the food industry and who believes he has spotted a gap in the market.

“There is nothing out there that competes with this as a tea or a coffee,” ​he told NutraIngredients.

“There are plenty of products out there that are supposed to reduce your appetite and they are typically in the supplement or pill format, but there is nothing that combines that taste of your average cup of tea with the benefits of fibre.

“I have tailored ​[the tea] for the UK market because we drink so much tea. But I think the coffee might be more appropriate for the European and American market.”

The tea, called Brewfull, contains soluble pea fibre-  alpha-galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS)- which feeds good bacteria in the gut and produces hormones that tell the brain it’s full.

Honesty Foods claims research shows that drinking two cups of Brewfull every day for two weeks can curb appetite by nearly 20%.

Early research failed taste test

Brewfull was first tested in 2015 but failed the taste test with consumers, as it only contained tea extract and not aroma, so the taste was improved by adding a powdered aroma.

“I switched from inulin to pea GOS because it was a much purer product and there wasn’t a smell problem when you added hot water,”​ Middlemiss told us.

“The idea behind it was that consumers aren’t going to accept products that don’t fall into their daily routine. What we have tried to do is try to engineer a cup of tea, whether it be black tea or green tea, so it’s just the same taste as a cup of tea, but you are getting six grams of fibre without knowing you doing it really.”

Middlemiss says the fibre is tasteless and without smell “so you just don’t know it’s there”​ and has no impact on mouthfeel.

As well as curbing appetite, Middlemiss noted that pea fibre has also been linked to lower levels of stress and anxiety.

Supermarket listing expected

He expects to have a UK supermarket listing by the end of year, but says consumers need to be to be educated to the benefits of the tea and coffee if it’s to become huge success.

“Sales are rising each week. We have had requests from France and the United States,”​ he told us.

Later this year, Honesty Foods will launch a powdered coffee variant to complement its tea offerings. 

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