Qualitative consumer research commissioned by functional ingredients manufacturer BENEO reveals that consumers are increasingly aware of the benefits of low glycaemic nutrition.
Carried out in the UK, Germany and Spain, the research sought to gauge consumer knowledge and attitudes towards carbohydrates, sugars and low glycaemic foods, as well as their role in blood sugar management.
The results show that consumers are aware that carbohydrates provide essential fuel for the body. They are beginning to differentiate between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ carbohydrates and understand that these carbohydrates have different effects on the body and blood glucose levels – with wholegrain, fibre, complex carbohydrates as well as slowly digestible and slow-release carbohydrates seen as ‘good’. The findings also show that consumers consider carbohydrates with a lower blood glucose response to be healthier.
As well as gauging consumer understanding and attitudes towards carbohydrates, BENEO’s qualitative survey assessed consumer opinion on low glycaemic foods and blood sugar management. The results show that consumers link a variety of long- and short-term benefits to lower rises in blood sugar levels. Participants commented on the fact that low blood sugar levels “make you feel nourished and satisfied for longer” and benefits, such as “good for weight management”, “disease prevention”, or “fewer cravings” were relevant for consumers.
BENEO’s ingredients help to modify the glycaemic response of food and drink. Choosing ingredients such as the slow release carbohydrate Palatinose (isomaltulose) and the dietary fibres Orafti Inulin and Oligofructose, or the sugar replacer ISOMALT, can help manufacturers to meet consumer demand for low glycaemic alternatives. These functional ingredients, naturally derived from sugar beet and chicory root, have a mild sweet taste and provide further nutritional benefits. They support balanced blood sugar levels as well as weight management, while maintaining taste and texture of the final product. In addition, BENEO has received positive EFSA opinions for the blood glucose lowering properties of its dietary fibres oligofructose and inulin, as well as for the unique slow release carbohydrate Palatinose and the sugar replacer ISOMALT with corresponding health claim approvals in the Annex of the Regulation 432/2012.
Myriam Snaet, Manager Market Intelligence & Consumer Insights at BENEO, says, “These results clearly show that shoppers are starting to understand the benefits of balanced blood sugar levels. Manufacturers need to begin to think about how they can make the most of this growing understanding through the development of consumer-relevant, low glycaemic food and drink products.”