Consumer Research Discovers the Top 5 Facts about Fiber

Aug. 6, 2009

Fiber is fiber.

The key is to let consumers know that fiber is in their favorite foods and beverages. According to ingredient maker Tate & Lyle's research, consumers want healthier fare and believe fiber can help them reach their healthy living goals.

Many long-held misconceptions about fiber still exist. Here are five facts straight from consumers that Tate & Lyle found in its U.S. market research.

No. 1: Simple, Label-Friendly Terminology: When it comes to consumer understanding, promoting monikers such as insoluble fiber, soluble fiber and functional fiber with virtually no consumer education earn failing grades. In fact, research shows that less than 10 percent of consumers are familiar with each of these terms. On the other hand, consumers seem to have a greater affinity for simple terms – 75 percent are familiar with whole grains, 65 percent are familiar with fiber and 44 percent are familiar with dietary fiber.

No. 2: Whole Grains are Misleading: A great deal of confusion surrounds whole grains. Research found that more than half of consumers (55 percent) say the more whole grains in their food, the more fiber it contains. When they find out whole grains and fiber are not the same, consumers report feeling misled. Specifying fiber content on packages may help manufacturers continually build brand-loyalty while maintaining credibility.

No. 3: On-Pack Information Helps Sales: Ingredient information, particularly about fiber, on packages has been shown to positively influence consumer purchases. The company’s research found that nearly 50 percent of consumers trust on-pack information about fiber. That’s more than they trust friends, the Internet, in-store information, word-of-mouth or manufacturers ads. Information Resources Institute (IRI) found that another 60 percent like the idea of placing healthy product indicators on packages. The bottom line: To help gain a bigger share of your category, the front package is prime real estate. Using it may help convert dietary fiber and health information into cash for your company.

No. 4: Taste is an Opportunity: It’s no secret. Great-tasting food and beverages maintain loyal followers. With 57 percent of consumers seeking healthier products these days, manufacturers integrating good taste with health benefits may see a boost in the health of their bottom lines. In fact, nearly 50 percent of consumers believe fiber-rich food and drinks can taste good.

No. 5: Fiber Means Healthy Digestion: Seventy-nine percent of consumers agree – maintaining digestive health is directly related to including fiber in their diets. And, 52 percent of consumers believe healthy digestion is the most important reason to add fiber to their diets. Consumers believe other benefits exist as well. Fifty-three percent agree that weight is affected by fiber intake and another 35 perfect say fiber helps support a healthy immune system.

Visit Tate & Lyle’s YouTube channel ( to get more information about the Top 5 Facts about Fiber from David Lewis, Business Development Manager, Tate & Lyle.

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