Special Report

Natural antioxidants: Unlocking the power of plants to preserve food

19 Jun 2018 --- Since modern-day consumers understand the role that natural antioxidants can have on their personal nutrition as well as how they can function to preserve food for longer, they want more of them. And so antioxidants are finding new potential amid modern life’s demands. As the fast-paced, high-stress and the time-precious contemporary consumer doesn’t have much time for sourcing and cooking from scratch, that often translates into a lack of fresh fruit and vegetables and an increase in processed and convenience food.

Allergen & free from claims in a plant-based world

12 Jun 2018 ---  The need for free-from foods is driving innovation across many food sectors. There has been an unprecedented growth in the egg free and vegan sectors as both manufacturers and consumers alike exercise more caution when purchasing products containing eggs. The free-from industry has grown significantly over the last few years and foods without dairy, gluten or animal products are becoming much more mainstream and readily available on supermarket shelves and in the foodservice sector.

From hop to hip: Craft moves to the mainstream

05 Jun 2018 --- Craft beverages, functional and botanical ingredients and clean label have long been dominating NPD in the beverage space for some months. Contributing to this is the world of social media, which backs the current wave of food and drink related content as a form of self-expression and the debate around beverages – what’s in them, what’s new and so on – continues to dominate the sector.

Examining sustainability and sourcing in the food supply chain

29 May 2018 --- Sustainable ingredients are an essential component of the long-term economic and financial viability of food manufacturers. In today’s consumer-driven climate where people demand detailed information about what’s in their food and where it comes from, this has never been more apparent. The emphasis on sustainability is growing globally with suppliers and manufacturers from different supply chains paying much more attention to the sourcing of their raw materials.

Labeling horizons: PHO eradication, GMO delays, Post-Brexit potential

22 May 2018 --- In an ever-changing regulatory environment, it can be extremely difficult for suppliers and food manufacturers to keep up with the challenges of what can and can’t go on the label. In both the US and UK there are a number of labeling issues of concern right now. These include the impact that Brexit will have on food and beverage labels once Britain pulls out of the EU officially next March, to GMO labeling delays in the US, as well as America’s final determination regarding Partially Hydrogenated Oils (PHOs), i.e., removing trans fat from the supply chain.

Convenience factor (Part 2): Plant-based opportunities for easy eating occasions

17 May 2018 --- Health-minded consumers have been particularly keen to embrace a vegan way of life and therefore inspire product development in the prepared meals space. The trend has not gone unnoticed in the UK on the retailer front, the number of those cutting back on animal products and following a plant-based diet is set to increase by 10 percent this year, according to Tesco.

Convenience factor (Part 1): Authenticity & salt reduction drives prepared meal innovation

15 May 2018 --- The demand for healthy and nutritious food is paving the way for innovation across many food sectors. One particular food sector that is flourishing when it comes to innovative NPD is ready meals and convenience foods. The authenticity of ready meals that are easy to cook, in a world where consumers’ lives are fast-paced, is also driving innovation in this area.

Food waste (Part 2): Retailers, innovation & technology – the impact on the crisis

10 May 2018 --- Over the last couple of years, moves have been made to crack down on huge waste within the retail industry. Supermarkets now frequently donate food to local charity organizations through organized programs rather than dump it.

Food waste (Part 1): EU steps up the fight with “landmark” laws, while suppliers work towards a circular economy

08 May 2018 --- Food waste is an environmental, economic and ethical problem of global proportions. With large regions of the world still suffering from food shortage, and a growing global population, there is an urgent need for more effective food production, transportation and consumption. Economically, businesses are suffering substantially from loss of yield and wasted energy, while food left to rot is known to release methane into the atmosphere, a gas estimated to be 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

Standing out from the crowd (Part 2): The supplier view on natural colors

03 May 2018 --- To keep up with the increased demand for natural colors, color suppliers are increasing their capacity in a bid to match consumer needs and expectations. Just last month, Chr. Hansen announced that it was increasing production capacity and adding new capabilities, to meet the rapidly increasing demand for natural colors in North America.

Standing out from the crowd (Part 1): Natural colors take the spotlight

01 May 2018 --- When it comes to buying food and beverages appealing natural colors, consumers often associate vibrant colors with freshness, quality and taste. In a world consumed by social media, consumers also place high value on colorful food to make their Instagram and Facebook feeds attractive. At the same time, the focus now is on healthy eating, natural ingredients and no artificial colors or additives. Natural colors have been making waves in the industry for some time, unicorn themed cupcakes, green smoothies and purple gummies are just the beginning.

Less is more: The future of lightweighting and source reduction

27 Apr 2018 --- Lightweighting and source reduction has always been a focused area of the packaging industry because it has easily-defined benefits through the minimization of material, production and transport costs. Food and beverage producers, retailers and restaurants now have more ambitious goals than ever in terms of sustainability which has increased the pressure on suppliers to create more effective and diversified eco-friendly packaging.

Vegan NPD: Plant-based dairy alternatives thrive amid European boom

24 Apr 2018 --- Plant-based dairy alternatives are thriving in European markets, amid a surge in demand for vegetarian and vegan options. But while soy still leads, it is other plant-based options that are enjoying much stronger growth from an NPD standpoint.

Lighter enjoyment: Trends and innovation in breads & pasta

17 Apr 2018 --- Lightness in alcohol content, sweetness, flavor and texture, as well as portion size, is gaining momentum in food and beverages as consumers continue to look for ways to eat and drink more healthily and light, yet still fully enjoy what they love. Innova Market Insights tipped the no. 2 trend for 2018 as “Lighter enjoyment,” and it’s evident how a less-is-more attitude is trending in a wide range of food and beverage categories. But how does lighter enjoyment translate when it comes to carbs, in particular breads and pasta? 

Butter: A healthy fat or fad?

10 Apr 2018 --- Butter consumption has increased by 1.7 million metric tons per annum over the last ten years. This market shift comes as the world adopts a better understanding of the health benefits of butter. While historically experts advised people to reduce their fat intake, they now agree that fats are beneficial for people’s health – especially natural dairy fats. Consumers are looking for natural, authentic whole foods such as butter, driving a resurgence in this area. And even with different consumer groups, the changing recommendations around butter have permitted them to eat butter again.

Sugar taxes start to bite, but agile formulators have been prepared

03 Apr 2018 --- A controversial sugar tax billed as a new health-promotion levy by the South African government has just started. Designed to support the Department of Health’s aim to reduce the incidence of diabetes, obesity and related diseases, the levy is 2.1 cents per gram of sugar content that exceeds four grams per 100ml (the first four grams per 100ml are levy-free) and sugar content includes added sugar and other sweetening matter.

Removing trans fats (Part 2): The supplier view

28 Mar 2018 --- The phasing out of partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) has been an ongoing process over recent years with many of the global players putting forward alternative portfolios well ahead of time. As the deadline edges closer – June 18, 2018 – manufacturers must ensure that their products no longer contain PHOs for uses that have been otherwise authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Removing trans fats (Part 1): June 2018 date looms, is the industry leveling up?

26 Mar 2018 --- Later this year the long-awaited US regulation comes into force concerning the complete removal of trans fats (PHOs) and by June 18, 2018, manufacturers must ensure that their products no longer contain partially hydrogenated oils for uses that have not been otherwise authorized by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA).

Beverage innovation: “Lighter enjoyment,” botanicals and cold brew NPD

20 Mar 2018 --- Current innovation across the beverage category is centered around health and wellbeing, as sugar reformulation and the broader idea of “lighter enjoyment” continues to dominate new product development. Globally, producers are tapping into the growing consumer demand for enjoyable soft and alcoholic drinks that have been given a clean and clear label makeover as innovators continue to dump sugar and reformulate with more natural alternatives.

Next-generation stevia: A new wave of extracts

13 Mar 2018 --- Natural sweeteners, including stevia, have been trending amid the clean label boom. With 2018 set to be a big year for sugar reduction and with sugar taxes coming into effect in the UK and Ireland, many ingredients suppliers are looking to innovate even further in the space of sugar reduction with new and emerging sweeteners, including stevia extracts.

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