Trendy ingredients lead development of gut-friendly bars

Purpose Foods has created snacking products aimed at consumers looking for healthier options.

16 April 2019
free-fromgut healthNPDplant-basedsnackingvegan

UK start-up Purpose Foods has unveiled a range of gut-friendly snack products targeted at different occasions.

The bars, which are cold-pressed, are made from ingredients like pea protein, chicory root, cacao, oats, almonds and sunflower seeds. They are also vegan friendly, contain no added sugar and are free-from gluten, dairy and soy.

The SKUs include the Almond Butter & Oat bar, designed for breakfast on the go; Salted Caramel and Maca, marketed as a post-gym fix; and Crunchy Choc Brownie, which claims to quell cravings.

The range is designed to capitalise on the plant-based eating trend, along with the growth in the snacking category, which is currently worth £18bn and is set to increase by 0.3% in value this year, according to the brand.

Purpose Foods said it was also turning to ingredients that were “predicted to be a big trend of 2019,” like pea protein. Each 100g bar provides between 18g and 23g of the stuff.

“Pea protein is naturally vegan, gluten-free, hypoallergenic, rich in branched chain amino acids and helps to promote the feeling of satiety,” said the brand. “It is much easier to digest than whey, which is derived from milk, or soy, which is also falling out of favour with both serious athletes and mainstream consumers.”

The path to purpose

The company was created by Nina Netland after her health hit rock bottom in 2016 due to debilitating IBS, which left her in hospital for several weeks.

It was during her rehabilitation period that she was able to identify ingredients that were triggering her IBS symptoms.

She realised the healthy snacks she was purchasing to consume on the move were a significant contributing factor – many were low in fibre, laden with hidden sugars and dairy, and contained additives such as syrups, stabilisers and emulsifiers.

This prompted her to experiment with her own gut-friendly snack recipes in the kitchen, eventually leading to the birth of Purpose Foods. 

Gut ingredients

Fibre’s absence in most processed foods has been starving people’s microbiomes for decades, according to Purpose Foods, which is why all its bars contain 13g of fibre on average.

The company’s bar contains chicory root, a popular source of the dietary fibre inulin, which several scientific studies suggest is effective as a plant-based prebiotic, providing health benefits like improved digestive health, calcium absorption and weight management.

“Products that can help reduce feelings of gas, bloating, or more severe gastrointestinal symptoms are highly sought after, with consumers looking beyond probiotics to products that also contain prebiotics,” said Purpose Foods.

“Introducing healthy bacteria into the digestive tract is very important but providing the right fuel to help those good bacteria thrive is crucial, which is where prebiotics come in.”

The bars, which are sold online for £2 and in selected coffee shops and boutique gyms in London, are also expected to be listed in grocery soon.

Even the bar’s packaging comes with a clean focus, with the white design and black writing of the wrapper meant to ensure people can easily read the ingredients and understand the brand’s aims.

“Our purpose is clear: to supply consumers with nutritious and delicious snacks that support healthy gut function and to inspire healthier food choices,” Netland said. “We want to use our platform to educate on IBS and to inspire people to lead their best lives with purpose.”

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