Digestive health identified as a key purchasing driver for India’s consumers

53% of consumers cited digestive health as a key concern, with many looking for natural solutions to improve their digestive health and overall well-being.

Indian consumers are increasingly prioritising their digestive health, especially when it comes to their food purchasing decisions. In a consumer survey conducted by the market research company InSites, on behalf of Beneo, it was found that 53% of Indian consumers believe that digestive health is very important. This is particularly true in relation to its role in various aspects such as overall physical health, immune function, daily energy levels, weight management and even mood.

This, Beneo highlighted, is especially significant considering that 68% of the Indian consumers occasionally suffer from digestive issues such as gastrointestinal problems and constipation, possibly due to imbalanced diets, spicy food or contaminated food or water.

The research also found that two-thirds of Indian consumers are actively choosing foods that will improve their digestive health, such as vegetables and fruit, dairy and cereals. In addition, 77% of them are willing to pay a premium for foods and drinks with a health benefit. Food ingredients that have a “natural” messaging to it – such as chicory root fibre – were also found to be most appealing to six out of 10 Indian consumers, and would convince them to buy a new product.

Conscious effort to improve digestive health
Over the past decade, Indians have become more affluent and urbanised. The hectic lifestyles have led to the rise of an “obesogenic” environment, characterised by easily available, high-palatable foods such as convenience foods and snacks with poor nutritional value.

These diet changes have placed the country at higher risk for possibly deadly diseases such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. Recognising that digestive health forms an integral part of one’s overall health will become key to Indian consumers making informed choices around their dietary and food preferences.

Myriam Snaet, head of market intelligence and consumer insights, Beneo, commented: “With the Indian diet is generally rich in nutritious foods like grains and dairy, the impact of globalisation, changing lifestyles and preference for fast and packaged foods have changed the way the nation eats.

“The insight from the study revealed a high consumer interest in natural solutions to improve digestive health, both for better overall health as well as for a relief from digestive issues. With inulin and oligofructose being the only plant-based prebiotic fibres, Beneo’s portfolio is well suited to meet the Indian consumer demand for a health digestive system.”