Having eaten frozen okra (cooked in a "soup") I think you may not need to thicken it much (unless you want to). Stringy, slimy, stinky. But good in vegetable soup.
I would guess it an attempt to offer a "new" product with a different source of mucilage. New products tempt customers to buy stuff.

Now I could whip up a batch of EPS (extracellular polysaccharide) which soil bacteria (the kind they inoculate beans with - proving that I am not only from an agricultural state, but I know some of the history of farming practices woo HOO!), exudes the stickiest, most slimy, adherent goo you ever saw in your life.
THAT would be a novel experience. Thank goodness I have no plans to do that. It IS the goo that holds soil together, though. Important stuff, that. And worm slime.

Sorry gang, welcome to my world!
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