For years, fiber was about the furthest thing from a trendy ingredient. Long linked to stodgy products like Metamucil, it was mainly seen as something that kept old folks “regular.” Sure, fibers have always played key structural roles in food, beverage and dietary supplement formulations, serving as bulking, texturing and flavor-masking agents, for instance. But traditionally, not too many consumers have known or cared about that kind of stuff.

Nowadays, though, shoppers are scrutinizing product labels more and more. Today’s consumers care deeply about what they put in their bodies because they understand that it impacts their overall well-being—including, of course, everyone’s latest obsession: gut health. Suddenly, all-around-good-for-you fiber, with its digestive perks that go beyond the gut, looks a lot more enticing.

Read ahead to discover what fiber looks like in 2016 and how you can integrate this powerful category into your products.

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