Health, organic and sustainability key to future confectionery innovation, claims Diana Food

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31 Jan 2018 --- At this year’s ProSweets, Diana Food (part of Symrise) was exhibiting a range of innovative fruit and vegetable-based concepts, based on trends around health and wellness, organic and sustainable sourcing. Consumers are continually striving for healthy lifestyle choices but they are not completely committed making any compromise on taste.

Today, there is a major shift in eating experience towards authenticity, freshness from “real food,” which also applies to consumers’ packaged goods, and more so, in the confectionery and sweet sector. Attentive to those needs, Diana Foods are keen to extend and use their range of natural colors and inclusions to create healthy yet indulgent sweet foods, made from sustainably-sourced raw materials. 

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Audrey Galli, Category Manager for Sweet & Beverages EMEA

Speaking to FoodIngredientsFirst at the ProSweets event, Audrey Galli, Category Manager for Sweet & Beverages EMEA: “This year we are presenting our concepts derived from vegetables and fruits for the food industry in the confectionery space. We were mainly looking at natural coloring foods, fruit and vegetable inclusions and our newest addition to our ‘Crunch Flakes’ to bring to this year’s show.”

Diana Foods’ latest line of fruit and sweet inclusions offer strong visual impact and lasting crispiness to the finished product, and, according to Galli, they are a perfect fit for concepts in the confectionery space.

Click to Enlarge“Our first innovation is our range of ‘Sunset Swirl Lollipops,’ which are cocktail flavored lollipops with orange and yellow coloring foods,” says Galli. “We also have our ‘Redbell Pepper Candies,’ which offer a very eye-catching red color,” and according to the company, “Sugar and gum confectionery is the main category to appeal with naturally brighter and more vivid colored concepts.”

“These intense shades of yellow carrot, orange carrot and pumpkin are quite new concepts that we see coming to the market,” she adds. “When we see what we can do with fruit and vegetables, in this way, many doors open for us.”

The next concept on display was “Roses des Sables,” made using white chocolate and strawberry pieces. “This brings a nice visual and mouthfeel, the texture is another way we want to appeal to our customers, and this concept highlights what we are able to do with our technology and frozen fruit,” she notes.

The need for organic is also a trend that Diana Foods sees as very important. “We also have a raw bar, made with organic banana flakes and dates, the natural essence of bananas at dates makes it very trendy and appealing to consumers, specifically in the Middle East.”

Also at the show, Diana Foods was exhibiting “Pumpkin and Raspberry Almond Cakes.” “In the confectionery space, there are always new innovations and that is really a trend we are seeing. If you take these cakes, for example, it proves that it isn’t just confectionery we are seeing these trends for natural colors and fruit, it cakes also be for baked goods, such as muffins and bread – this is something we see as really taking off,” Galli reveals. “These things have to be appealing to the eye as pleasure is very important to the consumers.”

“We also have a new launch which is our peppermint crunch flakes, we launched our range of Crunch Flakes last year, raspberry, strawberry and blueberry and now we are launching this new Crunch Flakes variation, which offers a unique sensory experience and offers a strong visual impact and lasting crispiness to the finished product, they are a pClick to Enlargeerfect fit for chocolate confectionery,” she claims.

Other than the confectionery concepts, sustainability was also highlighted as among the essential topics for Diana Food. “All our products, in terms of coloring foods, are very transparent, we don’t see any E-numbers so it's really appealing especially when using vegetables in applications where they haven’t really been used before.”

“When using fruit and vegetables in this way it becomes more appealing for the entire family, a mother will be happy to give their baby or child a product like this, and that is thanks to the complete naturalness of a product with no carriers. Through our sustainably-sourced raw materials, we provide natural ingredients, ensuring high fruit equivalence and great ease of use in final products,” Galli adds.

Health and wellness also plays a key role in this market. “It’s one of the main positionings for Diana Foods, we position all our products with health, pleasure and trust, and the ideas each pillar brings to this kind of traceability of the sourcing of the raw materials is to emphasize the benefits of the products in health, and of course, to be enjoyed by the end consumer.”

It is really important to trace out the sourcing of the raw materials is what the customer is looking for at the moment – this is what we are good at Diana Foods and we have seen that that is what consumers are looking for. We can showcase what kinds of products we are growing and under which conditions are best. It's definitely a trend that is here to stay for a long time.

Click to Enlarge“In terms of natural colorings foods, we get specific colors for each and different applications so we do need to be careful about the sustainability of the product, we can’t expect that every color is going to work for every application, there are dedicated products for every application,” she notes

“Diana Foods commitment to improving people’s lives and well-being is designed for healthy solutions based on natural and sustainable fruit and vegetables,” Galli concludes.

This week, FoodIngredientsFirst reports on how agronomic expertise at Diana Food is answering consumer demands. You can read the full interview piece with Sébastien Langlais, Science Platform Leader, Taste at Diana Food here.

By Elizabeth Green in Cologne

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