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April 2024

Time to bulk up on fibre in 2024: Key trends and opportunities

Consumers enjoying functional foods and ingredients isn’t a new trend, but it will continue to grow throughout 2024.

Time to bulk up on fibre in 2024: Key trends and opportunities

Consumers enjoying functional foods and ingredients isn’t a new trend, but it will continue to grow throughout 2024.

Fibre is a key nutrient that is foundational to many functional foods. In fact, it’s so important that the National Food Strategy – an independent review of the UK’s food chain carried out on behalf of the UK government – is calling for the country’s fibre intake to increase by 50% before 2032.

When you combine the growing desire for functional foods with a government-sponsored focus on fibre in particular, the future has never looked brighter for producers looking to add more fibre to their product lines.

The best thing since sliced bread

The humble loaf of bread – particularly white sliced bread – is enjoying a resurgence as a result of high inflation and the cost-of-living crisis. With household budgets squeezed, consumers are turning to bread as a cost-effective way of making meals go further.

It’s no surprise that low-cost private label products have increased their market share by nearly 40% in the last two years, according to Mintel. Producers looking to make their bread lines more fibre-rich will find themselves best-placed to capitalise on this trend – provided they find a cost-effective solution to do so.

One of the benefits of dietary fibre is that, when it is broken down in the large intestine, it releases satiety hormones that provide a feeling of fullness. Bread products that help consumers feel full even after a smaller-than-usual meal are therefore likely to prove popular in the current climate.

While bread is naturally high in fibre, its fibre content can be increased using different kinds of flour, or additives such as wheat, buckwheat, and cellulose. This will help serve consumers looking for ways to supplement their meals without breaking the bank.

Ultra-processed and healthy? It’s more likely than you think

Most stories need a villain of some kind – and news stories are no different. In an increasing number of stories, ultra-processed food has been cast in that part. There is some truth to this – there is now a wealth of scientific studies that prove people who eat a lot of ultra-processed food are at a greater risk of serious health conditions like heart attacks and strokes.

However, as with most stories like this, the devil is in the detail. Not all ultra-processed foods are equal, and other studies have also shown that some subgroups of ultra-processed food – notably, breads and cereals – can actually have a beneficial effect on cardiovascular health due to their high fibre content.

Using fibre-rich additives like buckwheat and inulin to boost the fibre content of food products is therefore likely to appeal to the increasing number of consumers who are willing to pay more for healthier ultra-processed foods.

Growing consumer awareness

Studies have shown that consumers generally know about the health benefits of fibre, with one study highlighting that 80% of European consumers link it with improved intestinal transit, and 68% can identify its positive effects on the gut microbiome. However, the same study found that many people struggled to identify different types of high-fibre foods, with the exception of bran.

This might explain what is known as the ‘fibre gap’ – the gap between the number of consumers who are aware of the importance of fibre and the smaller number of consumers who actually consume the recommended daily amounts of fibre.

Food producers, therefore, have a huge opportunity to explore the many different types of fibre that they can add to their products, meeting consumer demands while also improving access to and education about fibre.

The range of fibre gets more exciting

As a specialist ingredients distributor, we have first-hand knowledge of just how varied fibre can be, and the many exciting applications it has across the food industry. Fibre is no longer limited to baked goods and cereals – it’s possible to turn everything from meat to fruit conserves into a high-fibre nutritional powerhouse, while still delivering the delicious flavours and mouthwatering textures consumers expect.

We’re connected with some of the biggest fibre producers in the world, ensuring we can deliver the right fibre for a brand or manufacturer’s specific needs. Our connections mean we can route around supply chain issues, offering alternative products that deliver the same taste, texture, and nutritional profiles without compromising quality. But don’t take our word for it - below, find a few of the partners that we work with to bake the latest in nutritional innovation into the core of our customers’ businesses, as well as a taste of the products we can supply.


JRS is a manufacturer with almost 150 years of history and a global presence. We help connect them to food producers, maximising the reach of their exciting ingredient innovations.

VITACEL® BF Bamboo Fibre

This 97% fibre content powder is neutral in taste and odourless, meaning it can be included in almost any food product to boost nutritional value without compromising on taste or texture.

VITACEL® WF Wheat Fibre

The ‘old faithful’ wheat fibre is tried and trusted – and JRS’ solution has been refined into a 97% fibre content powder that can transform regular baked products into “high fibre” labelled foods.

VITACEL® L/LC Powdered Cellulose

This versatile fibre booster contains nearly 100% dietary fibre, and can also be used for water management, structuring and stabilisation in food matrices. It also provides good tolerance for digestion, even if consumed in high doses.

VITACEL® CF Citrus Fibre

This minimum 75% fibre content product is derived from leftover citrus peel, combining nutritional and functional benefits. It can improve the viscosity and mouthfeel of food and beverages to create an enhanced sensory experience across a range of applications, including yoghurts, cheeses, sauces, meat products, fruit fillings, and smoothies.


A gently processed plant-based ingredient, this powder is made from the inner pea after it is hulled. It helps create a juicy texture for plant-based meat alternatives, and its low viscosity means it is the ideal solution for healthy soups and sauces.

VITACEL® KF Potato Fibre

This minimum 55% fibre content vegetable fibre can have a positive impact on the gut microbiome, which has many varied health benefits that will appeal to increasingly health-conscious consumers. Its water-binding properties mean it adds a juiciness to processed meat and fish products, as well as plant-based alternatives.

GreenField Natural Ingredients

GreenField specialises in natural ingredients for the food industry and beyond. Situated in Central Europe, we’re able to connect them to food producers throughout Europe with ease.

Cocoa fibre

A low-fat, minimum-59%-fibre-content solution, cocoa fibre is produced without chemical processing. It binds water and fats, which helps to reduce the need for stabilisers and emulsifiers in a recipe. Its powerful flavour and aroma profile make it a great addition to any chocolate-flavoured snack, nutritional product, confectionary, or drink.

Aronia fibre

This minimum 56% fibre content powder retains the dark reddish-purple colouration of Aronia berries, meaning it can double as a natural colourant, or a gelling and stabilising agent in dark-hued conserves and fruit preparations.

Apple and organic apple fibre

Apple fibres have the highest water-binding properties of any natural fibre powder, meaning they can be used to extend the freshness of baked goods by retaining moisture. Organic apple fibre contains a minimum of 51% fibre, while standard apple fibre contains a minimum of 58%.

Blackcurrant fibre

A similar colour to aronia fibre, this 56% fibre content product is also high in phytonutrients and antioxidants, meaning it could help support brands make a greater range of health claims (dependent on dosage).

GoodMills Innovation

Europe’s largest mill group, we are pleased to work with GoodMills, connecting customers around Europe with its leading prebiotic fibre innovations.


Inulin is a prebiotic fibre, meaning it helps producers boost the prebiotic content of their recipes. This, in turn, offers many benefits for gut health and digestion.

To learn more about how we can help you meet the growing demand for fibre and other functional ingredients in your food products, get in touch today.