HEALTH

Lack of fiber in Americans’ diet caused by negative perception, Mintel finds

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO Recent Mintel research released Thursday found that fiber is noticeably absent from the typical American’s diet. One-in-3 respondents to a recent survey considered their diet to be healthy, but only 1-in-5 reported actively looking for and buying products with added health claims. Based on these results, only a minority of adults are likely to be interested in fiber-enhanced products with digestive claims.

While 30% of consumers say they make it a point to eat naturally fiber-rich foods, studies show most Americans are failing to meet their recommended daily fiber intake. This may be explained by the 27% of respondents who think food with added fiber usually has an unpleasant taste.

“Many people have negative perceptions about the taste of fiber,” stated Molly Heyl-Rushmer, senior health-and-wellness analyst at Mintel. “The taste deters them from eating a fiber-added product that has numerous health benefits.”

As many as 25% of respondents think fiber only is necessary for those who suffer from irregularity or other digestive problems, with men being more likely than women to hold this belief. And 30% of men (compared with 23% of women) also believe supplements are just as effective as fiber-enriched foods.

Despite the fact that research shows that a lack of fiber is linked to various cancers, heart disease and diabetes, 22% of consumers don’t know enough about fiber to know if it is important to their health. Furthermore, 37% believe they can get enough fiber from regular foods, so supplements and food with added fiber are unnecessary.

“Consumers are more likely to report limiting sugar, fat, sodium, and calorie intake than they are to eat naturally fiber-rich foods,” Heyl-Rushmer noted. “Adults don’t fully understand the link between fiber and health.”

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Axellia acquires OTC maker

BY Michael Johnsen

COPENHAGEN Axellia Pharmaceuticals on Tuesday announced its acquisition of the Phoenix Global Supply Group, based in White Plains, N.Y., to supply over-the-counter topical anti-infectives to the U.S. and Canadian markets.

“An important part of our strategy is to expand our offering to include finished products in targeted dosage forms and geographic markets,” said Axellia CEO Carl-Ake Carlsson, “while continuing to develop our core active pharmaceutical ingredients business.”

Phoenix’s initial product launches in North America are expected to include private-label offerings around bacitracin and polymyxin B sulfate, two of the major ingredients found in topical anti-infective first aid products.

“The Phoenix team is delighted to welcome Axellia as its majority owner. While there are many other manufacturers of over-the-counter antibiotic products, we believe that the U.S. and Canadian markets for these products continue to be attractive and provide a significant opportunity for Phoenix,” stated Walter Jenkins, Phoenix CEO.

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Barba takes on VP finance and accounting role at Matrixx

BY Michael Johnsen

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Matrixx Initiatives on Wednesday named William Barba VP finance and accounting and treasurer effective May 6.

Barba served as the company’s treasurer and director of planning since July 2007. He joined the company in February 2004 in a finance and investor relations role.

Prior to joining Matrixx, Barba held a variety of financial management positions with Mesa Air Group, Honeywell Intellectual Properties, Avnet and MicroAge.

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