May is Digestive Health Awareness Month

By: Nigel Hughes, Kellogg Senior Vice President – Research, Quality, Nutrition and Technology

Our company’s founder – W.K. Kellogg – was the original wellbeing visionary and founded this company on the then-new scientific understanding of the importance of nutrition and the benefits of a plant-based diet on a broader world. Today, we continue to honor his legacy as the world’s largest plant-based food company, continuing to support better eating with our foods.

Kellogg’s legacy in delivering breakthrough nutrition solutions can be traced back to our earliest days. From the start, we believed that health and wellbeing began with a healthy gut, underpinned by a low-fat, plant-based diet. In this sense, the company was truly ahead of its time as only now are we beginning to understand the links between the positive effects of a diverse plant-based diet, the essential macro, and micronutrients that this delivers and how this is important to the diversity of the body’s microbiome. In fact, more than 100 years later, science tells us that the gut microbiome plays an essential role in all aspects of our health and wellbeing. 

Around the Kellogg world, we are helping consumers understand how the foods they eat can positively impact their health. Diet is one of many factors which can influence the gut microbiome, including consumption of fiber, prebiotics and probiotics to help support digestive wellness.

Our Kellogg’s Australia/New Zealand team was keen to unlock the potential that fiber can have in support of the microbiome. They were the first market to communicate the vital role of eating fiber from grains and the role this has in feeding the good bacteria in your gut. This was part of a larger project in the region to reframe fiber into a positive wellbeing choice using the science of the gut microbiota.

Educating consumers on the bacteria in their gut is tricky. These bacteria are invisible, so the team decided to bring these bacteria to life for consumers and health professionals in a unique and interactive way. They built the world’s first zoo housing animatronic gut bacteria that could interact with visitors, move and even glow under UV light. These “live” bugs fascinated both kids and adults who interacted with the bifidobacteria and lactobacilli.  The gut bacteria zoo was popular with consumers and helped bring an unfamiliar concept to life.

In other markets like the U.S., we’re using our foods to support proactive maintenance of a healthy microbiome, too. Support of this is critical to managing health from the inside out. In combination with new research, we spent two years studying the microbiome and realized probiotics are not enough. That’s why we created HI! Happy Inside, a range of plant-based breakfast foods and snacks crafted with prebiotics, probiotics, and fiber – the power of 3-in-1.  Great tasting foods like HI! Happy Inside, make it easier for consumers to support their gut health digestive wellness.

Our support of gut health is a nod to the future, as well as our past. We are as committed to wellbeing today as we were 113 years ago when W.K. Kellogg founded this company, and are proud to offer foods that enrich and delight the world through foods and brands that matter.

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