Go with Your Gut: Marketing Advice for the ‘Gut Health Boom’

gut health

Gut health has become the latest obsession of health and wellness experts and consumers alike. Consider: The postbiotic market is projected to be worth $24 million by 2029, according to a forecast from Meticulous Market Research.

“Gut health is an increasingly popular topic of discussion among healthcare professionals and patients,” said Dr. Ashwin Porwal, the founder of Healing Hands. “This burgeoning trend has been gaining traction over the last few years due to its direct impact on overall wellbeing.”

Amanda Sauceda, MS, RD, and creator of The Mindful Gut, echoed that sentiment, telling The Food Institute:

“Good gut health is at the core of good, overall health, which is a reason it’s so popular.”

“The nutrition space is noisy, and by focusing on gut health you’re able to cut through the noise and also see a lot of health benefits beyond the gut. Good gut health can also impact blood sugar, metabolism, and even mood,” Sauceda added.

As noted by Food Dive, foods that can help with gut health and increase postbiotics include yogurt, soft cheese, sauerkraut and pickles.

That begs a question for those in the food industry: How, exactly, can food manufacturers benefit from the healthy gut trend?

Why is a healthy gut gaining in popularity? 

According to Sauceda, mildly taboo topics, such as digestion, are losing their stigma. And that’s creating an environment that fosters discussions about gut health.

“You can feel when your gut is off when you have heartburn, bloating, or indigestion,” Sauceda said. “Since there can be immediate effects of how you eat and how you feel you have a more direct connection to your gut. This makes it easier for people to understand.

“Gut health is a trend but one I believe is here to stay, because it’s a trend that most people can connect with.”

A major factor the aforementioned trend is the overall emphasis on health and wellness over the last few years, especially following the height of the Covid pandemic.

“With improved diets and lifestyle choices, the importance of gut health as a means of promoting overall wellness has come to the forefront,” Dr. Porwal said.

Advice for manufacturers 

Dr. Porwal feels manufacturers should start incorporating ingredients that help promote a healthy gut into their products. These ingredients include probiotics, prebiotics, and fiber-filled foods, such as fruits and vegetables.

“By highlighting these ingredients in their labeling and marketing campaigns, food manufacturers can promote their products as being beneficial for gut health,” Dr. Porwal said.

The doctor added that food manufacturers should aim to reduce the amount of added sugars, artificial sweeteners, processed grains, and unhealthy fats in their products. Such additives have been linked to an unbalanced gut microbiome and a greater risk of chronic diseases, Porwal explained.

Another option: Companies can highlight recipes and creative ways to use their gut healthy products, noting the plant ingredients can help prevent bloat.

“Bloat is common and uncomfortable but can’t be solved with a single food or supplement,” Sauceda says. “Look at the long game of how food can improve gut health. For instance, a lot of the time bloat is related to constipation. How can we get people … regular? Fiber.”

Food manufacturers should strive to educate consumers on the importance of good gut health, experts suggest.

“This education could include providing information on the microbiome and how it affects overall wellbeing,” Dr. Porwal said. “It could also highlight the different ways that food products can influence gut health and why certain ingredients are beneficial for promoting good microbiome balance.

“By raising awareness of gut health and its importance, food manufacturers can increase the demand for their products.”

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