Special Report

Blockchain technology: Increasing trust, traceability & security in the food industry

20 Feb 2018 --- How the food industry can harness the power of blockchain technology is a key question for many as we learn more about cryptocurrency concepts and how blockchain applications can be beneficial for companies and consumers. Hyped as a potentially game-changing pioneering innovation, blockchain technology is inspiring change and innovation in the global food and beverage industry – and although it’s still in the extremely early stages, blockchain technology offers the promise of disruption on a huge scale across multiple sectors including agri-food, retail and the ingredients business at large. 

Spotlight on salt (Part 2): Overcoming reformulation challenges

15 Feb 2018 --- A large challenge for all salt replacer products is the clean label trend. Consumers are demanding that only products should be used which are available in their own kitchen cupboard. Most of the salt replacers use potassium chloride to replace the sodium chloride, but potassium chloride has not the image to be an ingredient from the kitchen cupboard. Looking at the nutritional value of potassium chloride it is clearly beneficial to use it instead of sodium chloride as most consumers have a lack of potassium in their diet while eating too much sodium. As a result of this also the WHO recommends increasing the potassium intake in the daily diet while reducing the sodium intake. In the second part of our "Spotlight on Salt" report, we look at how reformulation challenges can be overcome. You can read Part 1 of this report here.

Spotlight on salt (Part 1): Government pressure steers reformulation

12 Feb 2018 --- Salt, sugar and fat long remain to be the perennial villains in the food industry with many food manufacturers and companies looking for healthier ways to reformulate products. Salt is often associated with health conditions, excessive consumption of salt is known to affect heart health and blood pressure, and more recent studies have confirmed that a high-salt diet reduces resting blood flow to the brain and may cause dementia. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the essential minerals in salt can act as important electrolytes in the body. They help with fluid balance, nerve transmission and muscle function. There are often conflicting messages that leaves many consumers questioning: “How much is too much?” and “Should I be concerned about salt consumption?” FoodIngredientsFirst takes a close look at what is happening in the industry.

Naughty but nice: Confectionery innovation hits the sweet spot

06 Feb 2018 --- Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, a traditional time of the year when sweets, chocolate and other confectionery snacks are given as gifts by romantic souls the world over. It may be a cliché, but presenting something sweet as a sign of love is as popular as ever – and these days the act of giving is not confined to romantic partners, some of the big companies promote confectionery specifically to be given as platonic “love gifts” to friends, parents, neighbors, colleagues, teachers and anyone else who needs a bit of love in their life.

Winter sports (Part 2): Whey proteins and wellness play crucial role in active lifestyles

01 Feb 2018 --- For a long time, the sports nutrition category was a niche sector, catering mainly for bodybuilders and elite athletes – the “core users" of sports nutrition products. These individuals, who still exist today, are typically high-volume users, frequent purchasers and are knowledgeable, discerning consumers. Winter sports, in general, have much to do with increased consumption of protein as a whole and whey proteins and health and wellness play an active role in this concept.

Winter sports (Part 1): The mainstreaming of dairy proteins and the active consumer

29 Jan 2018 --- Fueling the body for outdoor winter sports can be a challenging process. In contrast to activities in the summer, during the winter months, the body can be under pressure to maintain physical stamina. The sports and active nutrition market have been enjoying a steady growth, with many amateur athletes looking to increase their performance with the use of protein-enriched foods, bars and supplements, this market is expected to grow at a steady rate for the foreseeable future. Nutrition is closely linked to health and wellness, with many of today’s consumers often opting for the healthier choices and this is not only when it comes to food but also when it comes to sports and fitness.

The first year (Part 2): Trump and food-related policies – dairy and trade deals

25 Jan 2018 --- Over the last 12 months, the US dairy industry has been fairly vocal on a number of subjects like trade and the forthcoming 2018 Farm Bill. Last month, a dairy delegation spent time on Capitol Hill to talk about these significant themes with congressional leaders, senior members of the Trump administration and USDA officials. In the second part of our two-part report on Donald Trump's first year in office and the food industry, we look at dairy and trade deals. You can read the Part 1 of this report here.

The first year (Part 1): Trump and food-related policies

23 Jan 2018 --- The question echoes around the world and everyone has an opinion on it. What have we learned about President Donald Trump in the last 365 days? In a year like no other, in terms of US politics and culture at least, FoodIngredientsFirst examines how the billionaire businessman turned US President and his Republican administration has impacted food, agriculture and trade policies in the US and beyond over the course of the last 12 months.

Positively processed: Getting inside fermented foods

15 Jan 2018 --- As consumers become more concerned about the processing their foods endure to make it to the table, techniques perceived as being more "natural" help to provide reassurance. As a result, we are seeing the revival of traditional processes, which deliver health and taste benefits through more natural means. Fermentation is the key predecessor of “simpler” processes and these types of foods and beverages have been key beneficiaries of the trend. Innova Market Insights reports a +35 percent rise in US food and beverages that claim to use a fermentation process (2016 vs. 2015), with fermented foods strongly trending.

The supplier view - 2018 trends: industry remains confident on clean label outlook

09 Jan 2018 --- The industry seems to have gone beyond clean label alone, as increased consumer demand for authenticity and transparency is fueled by the demand for "clear" label launches. This marketing term, coined by Innova Market Insights in 2014, has been jumped upon by the industry and has been an iconic description ever since. Clean & clear label is associated with many factors – health, wellness, natural, simple, transparency, minimally processed and organic. There is now an entire umbrella of definitions that are linked to clean label, which can be complex when it comes to food ingredients.

Centralized EU Novel Foods Regulation kicks in, but will it inspire more applications?

03 Jan 2018 --- The new regulations on novel foods, defined as anything without a significant history of consumption in the European Union before May 15, 1997, came into force on January 1, 2018, signaling the start of a new system operated by the European Commission. For the first time, the approval system will be centralized, with applications submitted to the European Commission rather than individual member states as has been the approach before now.

Supplier tips: Fast moving flavors for 2018

18 Dec 2017 --- As the year-end approaches, FoodIngredientsFirst is looking ahead to the flavor trends to watch out for in 2018. Speaking to several leading flavor specialists, we go through what will be making waves next year – and commonalities for fast-moving flavors include bold and complex tastes, global inspiration and the fact that consumers are craving multi-sensorial experiences. Meanwhile floral, herbal, botanical and fruit will also be moving forward.

Sugar reduced solutions in abundance at FiE 2017

11 Dec 2017 --- Sugar reduction was the focus for many exhibitors at this year's Food ingredients Europe 2017 (FiE), even in indulgent applications, such as chocolate and desserts. With 2018 set to be a big year for sugar reduction and with sugar taxes coming into effect in Ireland and the UK, many ingredients suppliers are looking to innovate even further in the space of sugar reduction.

Moments do matter: Breakfast behaviors and the growth of snacking

05 Dec 2017 --- Different moments require different foods. Consumers ask themselves “Do I need an on-the-go yogurt for a busy morning at work?”, “What do I need to buy for a relaxing brunch at home with the family?” and “What shall I eat and drink after my workout?” Exploring trends related to the where, when and how of eating and drinking can help companies position their products in the right type of occasion to capitalize on consumer questions like these. 

Plant-based milks: (Part 2) Dairy-free and vegan claims drive NPD

30 Nov 2017 --- Developments in plant-based foods are seeing increased demand from those who do not want to commit to a full vegan or even vegetarian lifestyle but would rather pick and choose to suit their lifestyle, social life or health conditions. Lu Ann Williams, Director of Innovation at Innova Market Insights told FoodIngredientsFirst: “The category has been further boosted by the growing availability and promotion of plant-based options to traditional dairy lines, particularly beverages, but also cultured products such as yogurt, frozen desserts and ice cream, creamers and cheese.”

Plant-based milks: (Part 1) A multi-billion dollar market

27 Nov 2017 --- The global market for dairy alternative drinks is expected to reach US$16.3bn in 2018, up dramatically from US$7.4bn in 2010. Significant developments in this area include the acquisition of WhiteWave in 2016, presenting Danone with the opportunity to further developing its interests in this dynamic market in both North America and Europe. 

Fi Europe 2017: Reduction & Reformulation Innovation Awards – the nominees

16 Nov 2017 --- The Fi Europe Innovation Awards honors professionals and companies for their ability to demonstrate and stimulate innovation, and for their contribution to the industry. With Fi Europe 2017 fast approaching, FoodIngredientsFirst takes a closer look at some of the award nominees for the Reduction & Reformulation Innovation Award. This award gives recognition to an organization or company that has developed the best solution (natural or synthetic) within the last two years for reducing salt, sugar or fat whilst maintaining flavor, texture and functionality of the ingredient replaced.

Inside “artisan” and “slow” food consumer appeal

13 Nov 2017 --- 2017 continues to witness a real explosion of artisanal alternatives as food and beverage manufacturers tap into trends like provenance, locally-sourced, handmade, authentically-made and so on. New product developments in the beverages, bakery, snacking and confectionery segments are using artisanal claims – but what does “artisan” on the label really mean? And why does it appeal to consumers? 

Natural and authentic taste solutions: (Part 2) Challenges in citrus supply

09 Nov 2017 --- Back in September, and in less than twenty-four hours, Hurricane Irma winds ripped through a promising Florida citrus crop taking as much as 75 percent of the fruit from the trees.  Florida is the world's second-largest orange juice producer, behind Brazil and Florida's citrus industry was already struggling with declining production because of citrus greening, an incurable disease spread by an insect that impairs trees' circulation and nutrition.

Natural and authentic taste solutions: (Part 1) Citrus flavors dominate beverage space

06 Nov 2017 --- Citrus is a perennial top flavor choice for beverages and offer a more diverse range of taste tones than almost any other fruit category. No other taste enjoys greater acceptance in the beverage industry and is consistently one of the most popular flavors for sweet food products. The citrus taste is a favorite in nearly all countries around the globe.

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