Green tea cereal: The next big nutritional punch at breakfast

Combining natural extracts that promote weight-loss in cereals holds opportunities, says Datamonitor

Green tea has migrated from hot drinks into other foods over the years but has particular promise in breakfast cereal where manufacturers can pack nutritional punch into weight-loss products, says a Datamonitor researcher.

Green tea can be found in a host of food products including breads, biscuits, cakes, through to ice cream and even chocolate. 

Datamonitor Consumer’s latest Innovation Tracking looked into how green tea has muscled into breakfast cereals in South Africa with locally headquartered firm Herbex launching its Slimmers Cereal back in October 2013 – made with green tea and garcinia cambogia extracts. 

Garcinia Cambogia is an exotic fruit native to southern India and south Asia - Indonesia specifically. The ingredient helps the body to burn fat while also preventing new fat from forming. 

Ghina Romani, food and drink researcher at Datamonitor Consumer and lead author of the report, said that use of these extracts in combination in a breakfast cereal was an innovation set to benefit from current global market trends where weight loss concerns were matched with a preference for natural ingredients.

“I think cereal manufacturers should start thinking about adding those natural extracts that are scientifically known for their good properties, like green tea and garcinia extracts, to cereal products, so that it’s not only a cereal with high fiber that keeps consumers fuller for longer, for example, but also has added, natural health benefits,” Romani told BakeryandSnacks.com.

Breakfast cereals best suited for green tea boom

Datamonitor Consumer estimates that the value of the global green tea market will surge nearly 20% by 2017, with volumes set to grow by around 13%. This growth, Romani said, will be driven by continued traditional drinking of green tea, but also use in other products - a concept that remains fairly new to consumers in Europe and North America.

However, while use of green tea extracts can be seen across the broader bakery, snack and cereal sector – in cookies and cakes, for example – Romani said it was the breakfast cereal segment that held the most promise for the extract, due to its nutritional significance.

“Cookies are something you snack on, but it’s not an essential food in your day. Breakfast is a very important meal for most people. Launching breakfast cereals that help consumers lose weight is a growing trend, so using green tea extract in cereal makes sense.”

According to Mintel data, breakfast cereals containing green tea remain a very niche sector but between 2009 and 2013 there was a 63% increase in new products on the market.

Green tea boom, with a dash of garcinia?

Romani said the greatest opportunities were in Europe and North America because the buzz around incorporating green tea into other foods was still something fairly new. 

“The consumer now tends to use more green tea every day and having green tea extract in your basic meal is also a growing trend,” she said.

Using garcinia cambogia extract in combination could prove interesting too, she said, because it is an extract that is widely used in slimming products. While she acknowledged that it may be a lesser known ingredient among consumers, Romani said that using the ingredient could open consumers’ eyes to a new extract that is known for its weight-loss properties.

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