There are ever changing trends surrounding health and food but the new obsession with gut health is growing in the industry.
Fermented foods, gluten free options and the frequency of meals. Conflicting information on what is good for your gut is ever emerging so how should consumers be eating to improve their health?
New research commissioned by Glebe Farm, the only farm in the UK growing and processing gluten free oats, suggests the number of people conscious of their gut health is on the rise.
The research, carried out with 2,000 UK adults, reveals that over half of adults (58%) want to improve their gut health and 42% say that they are taking active steps to do soi. Additionally, almost half (45%) are doing significantly more to support their immune system, and a number are following a ‘flexitarian’ diet with reduced consumption of meat (26%) and dairy (13%)i.
Despite the fact that only 1% of the population are diagnosed with Coeliac disease, 5% say they follow a gluten free diet, and a further 6% say they would like toi. The research highlights the importance that caterers, restaurants and hotels cater for this ever-growing gluten free audience.
Phil Rayner, Co-owner and Managing Director of Glebe Farm, said: “Our new research clearly shows that consumer choices are being driven by a whole range of factors. It’s evident that people are increasingly aware about what food and drink switches they can make in order to feel better physically and mentally.
“As a result, it’s more important than ever that the food and drink industry provides options which cater for those with Coeliac disease and food intolerances, as well as those looking for products that will positively impact their overall health and wellbeing.”
The research also focused on the growing popularity of dairy-free alternatives to milk. Of the 42% now buying these products, oat drinks are the most popular – chosen by 38%.
Improving gut health is the reason that 28% of all consumers say they would consider buying oat drinki. However, many of the oat-based products on supermarket shelves today are milled and manufactured at facilities that also process grains like wheat, barley or rye. This leads to contamination of the oats resulting in exposure to gluten and a loss of purity. Therefore, the products become unsuitable for the 1 in 100 people who are coeliacii.
100% sown, grown, milled and packed in the UK, the farmers at Glebe Farm know where every single oat that goes into their products comes from. That means every oat is guaranteed to be of the best quality and 100% gluten-free. Even better, being British grown and produced means they have the lowest food miles on the market, making them the top choice for sustainable oat products.
Phil Rayner commented: “We know that oat drinks have been growing in popularity for some time, which is reflected in the variety of products now on offer to consumers. We now see gut health as one of the key drivers of this which shows the importance of ensuring gluten and dairy free choices are accessible wherever people are – whether in retail or hospitality environments.”
Is going gluten free going to be a new food trend we see in consumers? How can the industry change its practices to assist those concerned with their gut health?