Special Report

The flavors shake-up: Ethnic, rich and authentic options pushed to the fore

14 Aug 2018 --- The last few months have seen a real shake-up in the flavors space with International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF) beginning a new chapter with the combination of Frutarom. The news came as Swiss-headquartered market leader Givaudan completed the acquisition of 40.5 percent of the shares of Naturex for €135 per share, with plans underway to take complete control of the natural ingredients supplier. The acquisition of such a significant shareholding in Naturex fits with Givaudan’s 2020 strategy to expand its offering to deliver natural products to customers.

Bright futures: The evolution of natural colors and a “less is more” approach

07 Aug 2018 --- The trend for natural colors is part of a wider shift in consumer awareness about health and wellbeing and a desire for cleaner and safer food products. Consumers now have access to more information than ever before and, as a result of demand and pressure from health interest groups, the natural ingredients space has been growing steadily for several years now. In light of this, the incentive is now overwhelming for food manufacturers to clean up their products. This is being reflected in the rapid uptake of natural colors in new product launches.

Added value ingredients: Fruit and vegetable inclusions trend amid health boom

31 Jul 2018 --- Better-for-you products are driven by health-conscious consumers searching for satiating healthy foods that taste good. Companies are finding success in fruit and vegetable applications. This market dynamic has led to a surge in new product development within potential categories. Consumers are often searching for new ways to incorporate fruits & vegetables into their favorite foods, as a way of boosting the nutritional values of foods and thus making them feel less guilty about their food choices.

Global trade disputes: Tit-for-tat tariffs, industries hit hard and no end in sight

24 Jul 2018 --- Trade wars, sanctions, the threat of further tariffs and the retaliation that is inevitably involved leads to uncertainty and concern in the economic community. Politicians vent their anger, civil servants compile lists exacting what products to target for maximum impact, farmers feel the pressure of imposed tariffs, entire industries are fretful of what the future will bring and the end-consumer will likely end up paying more.

Nuts, grains & pulses: Plant-based eating trends boost alternative proteins

17 Jul 2018 --- Consumers’ quest for alternative protein is driving innovation across several categories involving nuts, seeds, grains and pulses, backed-up by a rise in vegan and vegetarian trends and an overall growth in meat-free food. People want products with alternative sources of protein as they turn away from traditional meat sources and one of the categories where plant-based inspired eating is driving innovation in snacking. Plant proteins fit some of today’s most significant trends in food and beverage product development – non-GMO, organic, sustainable, vegan, big 8-free, allergen-free and label-friendly. They’re also versatile and functional and that combination of attributes is why we see plant proteins in everything from beverages to bakery products.

Fermentation factor: New horizons for bakery and dairy cultures

10 Jul 2018 --- Fermentation is an age-old process but has been experiencing a revival in recent years with a broader recognition of the health benefits offered as well as the unique taste attributes it can deliver. With fermentation seen as a natural and authentic process, new product development and heightened consumer awareness have combined to bring a raft of traditional products to our supermarket shelves.

Botanical prospects: Natural, organic and “active” ingredient trends

03 Jul 2018 --- As the motion of “mindful choices” continues to dominate as an overall trend this year alongside the demand for natural, clean label ingredients in beverages, substances obtained from plants are giving a significant boost to products across multiple platforms. Sugar reformulation in the beverage industry also boosts botanical applications and as government-imposed sugar taxes hit markets around the world, manufacturers want and need to innovate with better-for-you ingredients.

Plant-based potential: Vegan demands surge, opens the door to future innovation

26 Jun 2018 --- Vegan products have become more mainstream and we now see a much higher prevalence of food companies moving straight beyond vegetarian to vegan. The plant-based food market is growing at double-digit rates and expected to reach US$5.2 billion worldwide by 2020, according to Nestlé and a significant proportion of this will be down to plant-based snacks.

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.

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