For example, the fundamental principle of three meals a day remains resilient, even in the face of the snackification trend. Furthermore, there is demand for probiotics at every meal.
John Quilter, vice president and general manager for Kerry’s ProActive Health Division, said, “breakfast, lunch, and dinner maybe with a few snacks in between has been the way billions of humans have eaten for centuries. Mealtimes therefore represent a golden opportunity for food and beverage manufacturers to deliver the many benefits of probiotics and other digestive health ingredients. Aligning innovative products to these specific occasions makes it easy for consumers to incorporate them into their diets.”
The report provides examples of innovative ways for looking at breakfast, lunch, and dinner to drive sales of products with digestive health benefits:
Incorporating probiotics into popular breakfast items such as waffles and pancakes taps into demand for nutritious products at the start of the day. They can also help restore the health credentials of cereals—a category that is increasingly demonized for high sugar content. Meanwhile, drinks associated with breakfast are fertile ground for innovation. The number of new hot beverage and juice launches with a probiotic or digestive claim has risen by 22.4% since 2014.
Snacks are a popular choice at lunchtime and enhancing them with probiotics can be a key driver of purchasing decisions. Research among consumers who tend not to buy snacks has found that nearly four in 10 would be more likely to do so if they contained probiotics or claimed digestive health benefits.
Prepared evening meals offer excellent opportunities for fortification with probiotics, according to Ganeden. Certain categories, instant pasta for example, are particularly ripe for innovation. Frozen meals also offer potential, with 23% of consumers saying they would be more likely to buy them if they contained probiotics or claimed digestive health benefits.
However, many probiotic strains are fragile and need to be refrigerated, making it hard to offer digestive health benefits in products beyond the dairy aisle. Things have changed, thanks to the emergence of hardy spore-forming bacteria that are much more resistant to the extremes of pH, heat, cold, and pressure and a better fit for the fortification into everyday products.