Gut health NPD trend tracker: Children's specials, protein pots and better texture

By Nikki Cutler contact

- Last updated on GMT

Getty | yuriyzhuravov
Getty | yuriyzhuravov
From fermented veg and kefir, to probiotic fruit and okara, the fast-evolving subcategory of gut-friendly foods is being laden with new product innovations. Here, we take a look at some of the newest additions to the in-style scene.

Dairy development

The Collective is targeting kids with its Super Yoghurt brand, a new range of kefir yoghurts

The collective

with vitamin D and gut-friendly cultures. 

Its co-founder, Amelia Harvey, said it represented the first fermented dairy product in the UK developed especially for children, combining the health benefits of kefir with vitamin D to “help kids’ immune systems function properly".​ 

Flavours like strawberry and peach with mango were created for kids’ taste palates, while the yoghurts also contain no added sugar and millions of gut-friendly live cultures, according to the brand.

Bio-tiful Kefir

Bio-tiful Dairy has released the world’s first kefir quark big pot, delivering a dose of live cultures and protein in one product. Its new launch is being billed as a good swap for Greek and natural yoghurt.

The company is also adding what it claims is the UK’s first cacao kefir smoothie, along with a honey and ginger flavour. The product contains over 40 strains of gut-friendly bacteria, compared to conventional milk that has zero and conventional yoghurt that only has a couple.

“Our cacao and honey and ginger NPD are building on the widespread appeal of kefir and naturally functional dairy,”​ says Natasha Bowes, founder of Bio-tiful Dairy. “With our research into trends and feedback straight from consumers themselves, we’re looking to lead the way with the most appealing flavours.”

Meanwhile, Dairy Crest has also unveiled a prebiotic shot to rival the likes of Yakult and Actimel. Launched under the brand Promovita, it contains galacto-oligosaccharides – also known as GOS – an indigestible fibre derived from lactose that ferments in the gut and feeds bacteria including bifidobacteria and lactobacilli. It will be stocked in Ocado and on Amazon and comes in ambient liquid sachets.

Soft drinks to bone broth

But it’s not just dairy products that are aimed at gut health. Soft drinks start-up Genie is debuting with a duo of ‘living drinks’ which it claims is the first of its kind in the UK. They contain active Bacillus Coagulens cultures billed as promoting gu

Genie

t health and are similar to kombucha drinks, but can be stored in ambient conditions for 12 months.

Available in two flavours, original orange and lemon and ginger, Genie also claims its drinks sidestep the 'challenging taste or texture'​ some other health or probiotic drinks can have. 

“In creating Genie, we wanted to respond to consumer demand for healthier soft drinks that taste great while also delivering some health benefits,”​ says the brand’s co-founder Alex Webster. “Boosting your gut with a drink that’s not high in sugar or additives is an easy way to do that – especially if you like a fizzy drink for sheer enjoyment or are looking for an alternative to alcohol.”

Kellogg’s has also signalled that it will relaunch its range of ‘Happy Gut’ cereals next month, while Whole Foods has partnered with start-up brand Ossa to open a bone broth bar.

As part of the launch, Ossa unveiled a 14 Day Gut Reset programme, a collection of restorative food and a nutrition guide “to help consumers get curious about their gut health and learn how to kickstart their body’s natural healing process”.

Beyond premium?

Vita Coco CEO Giles Brook predicted gut health was going to explode this year with advanced (natural) and sophisticated propositions across pre- and probiotic, fermentation and vinegars.

“This will challenge the old guard (friendly bacteria) and categories that saw some great early wins in this space but now face more advanced competition coming in,”​ he told NutraIngredients’s sister site The Grocer. “The category will evolve and generalise as far and as wide as we’ve seen on protein but then retrench in core product areas where long term, consumers expect to have this need met.”

This article was originally published on foodspark.com​, a digital subscription service designed to inspire and inform innovation across the food industry.

For anyone needing to stay ahead of the culinary curve, Food Spark will offer immediate access to the emerging trends, ingredients, personalities and headwinds defining the future of food. Explore more content by visiting Food Spark​ or by requesting a demo: wbvahf@sbbqfcnex.pbz​ or 01293 610371.

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