The science has reported and the public has spoken: Saturated fats and non-productive carbohydrates are out. With research pointing to the dangers of saturated fats and high glycemic index carbohydrates, consumers are wising up to the potential health hazards this dastardly duo carry with them.
Consumers are becoming less and less likely to purchase foods that have bad carbs or fats listed in their nutritional content. Consumers today have the benefit of hundreds of articles, scientific studies, and nutritional websites quickly and easily accessible through their computers and mobile devices, and with the world market available with the touch of a screen, these same consumers are able to purchase products that meet their nutritional standards.
It stands to reason then, that while the consumers are becoming less likely to purchase foods that include unsaturated fats or bad carbs, manufacturers and marketers are taking note and adjusting their strategies and their ingredients accordingly. The new highly educated food consumer is responsible for several shifts in the way food engineers and marketers are crafting and advertising their products.
According to Innova, a food and beverage marketing insight firm, products who boasted unsaturated fats, healthy oils, or being high in fiber were on the move between 2009 and 2013. Over that four year period of time, the number of claims of unsaturated fat increased 250%, a drastic and sharp incline. With a push by some food manufacturers to reengineer products in order to reduce the volume of unhealthy ingredients and boost their healthier counterparts, new alternative ingredients are being sought out and thrown into the mix. Among the more notable new ingredients to hit the food market as a response to this hyperaware consumer are Tiger Nut Sedge Flour, a flour derived from the nut of the same name.
Evidence has suggested that this nut has been used for thousands of years, starting in Egypt, as a source of both protein and energy rich starches. The milk and flour derived from this tuber has been linked to improved heart function as well as potential cancer prevention qualities. Consumers and food marketers alike are finding these types of super foods and incorporating them into their daily lives at a rapidly increasing rate. It stands to reason that as technology brings our worlds together through information, and science uncovers more of the mysteries that lie within our own nutritional landscapes, that the push for higher quality and more substantial food products will continue.
The further the science and industry pushes the research, the more likely we are to see a rapid increase in consumer education and thus, a response in product development. That, one would hope, is a trend that will never wane.