The brand’s snacks – ranging from grain and seed bars to protein bites, mini cookies and chewy bars – were assessed by the Australia-based FODMAP Friendly Food Program, one of the largest registered certification agencies in the world.
“Serving people with food restrictions is in our DNA,” said Joel Warady, general manager of Enjoy Life Foods, adding the certified products are also gluten-free.
“Rather than creating a new product line, we looked at which existing products in our portfolio we could get certified as FODMAP-friendly. So it didn’t require us to change their original formulations,” he noted.
“The fact that we have 19 products that are low-FODMAP shows how forward-thinking we are.”
Warady added: “Since studies have shown overlap in diagnosis for people with celiac disease and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), it was a natural progression for us to pursue FODMAP-friendly certification.
“This way, millions of people battling digestive issues can easily identify foods that fit into their lifestyle.”
What are FODMAPs?
FODMAP stands for Fermentable-Oligosaccharide-Disaccharide-Monosaccharide-And-Polyols, which are certain types of sugars and shorter chain carbohydrates found in a wide variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, grains and dairy.
According to the Gluten Intolerance Group, the low digestibility of FODMAPS means they are poorly absorbed in people’s small intestine and therefore proceed to the large intestine, where they are fermented by bacteria, which could result in IBS symptoms, including gas, bloating, abdominal discomfort, pain and altered bowel function.
The organization added the intake of FODMAPs has proven to alleviate these symptoms in 75% of sufferers.
Although Enjoy Life Foods is thrilled with the certification, Warady noted these products will not carry the FODMAP-friendly logo anytime soon.
He explained: “One of the problems is that we have tons of certifications on the packaging. We need more shelf space in retailers for shoppers to identify each of their dietary needs.
“We think that by communicating it on our website and doing target marketing, we will be able to stand out in the FODMAP community. Right now, [however], we are not going to make any changes to the packaging. We are a nimble brand, so we can make changes very quickly if we need to.”
Warady also predicted that, due to the surge in the use of digital devices, it will become easier for consumers to select snacks based on their diets.
“What you will find is that 75% of all consumers will utilize augmented reality in their shopping. They will be able to hold their smartphones against packaging and see all the certifications,” he said.
“There will also be apps that allow people to pre-filter, for example, showing low-FODMAP and non-GMO products only.”
Warady added Enjoy Life Foods is currently in the early stages of understanding gut health, and it will invest in this field further.
He said: “We believe 25% of all our 81 SKUs, across seven snack categories, will be certified as FODMAP-friendly soon.”