“Endless possibilities in personalization and variation of savory foods,” says FrieslandCampina Kievit

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19 Nov 2018 --- FrieslandCampina Kievit has developed new concepts for its customers in the savory market, including soups, sauces and ready-to-eat meal kits. According to the company, trends in the savory market are closely related to global trends in the food and beverage industry and consumers look for two important things: a clear, clean and comprehensible label and indulgent experiences.

FrieslandCampina Kievit recently conducted a study into trends and developments in the savory market to better serve its customers in developing winning consumer products. By using its online conversation analysis, global trends such as “clean label” and “indulgence” have been studied for soups, sauces and ready-to-eat-meal kits. 

Speaking to FoodIngredientsFirst, Gea de Groot, Global Product Group Manager Food Ingredients at FrieslandCampina Kievit, notes that historically, convenience has always been of crucial importance in savory foods, especially in the soups and sauces segment that we are active in. 

“In the currently active and busy lifestyles that we lead – with diminished time spent in the kitchen as a result – end-consumers are increasingly looking for snacks and meals that are either easy to prepare or are even ready-to-eat. This can be at home or on-to-go, although we see a movement from at-home consumption towards on-to-go consumption,” she says. 

Research also indicates that a substantial part of European end-consumers is in search of personalization possibilities when it comes to their food consumption. “In this context, the term ‘personalization’ signifies adapting one’s food to one’s personal nutritional needs. The origin of this trend is twofold: firstly, consumers search for ingredients and products with nutritional value that fit into a healthier lifestyle and secondly, consumers express a need to stand out in society following the increasing world population and use of social media.”

“Meal-kits offer this personalization option conveniently via ready to use ingredients with the add-on to give it a personal finishing touch,” de Groot adds. 

Moreover, fresh meal-kits allow food manufacturers to offer seasonal variation and hence exciting, inspiring concepts and experiences to their end-consumers, according to de Groot. “Think of a mushroom stew in autumn and a Caesar chicken salad in summer…” she muses. 

“Thanks to the endless possibilities in personalization and variation of savory foods – besides the convenience factor – it is highly likely that the trend is here to stay,” she firmly claims.  

Meal-kits also emphasize a certain freshness that consumers “appreciate tremendously,” adds de Groot. 

“To balance the hectic lifestyles, the need for personal care-taking increases,” she continues. “Eating fresh food that provides a moment of guilt-free, healthier indulgence – and ultimately a moment of feeling good – is one of the answers to this need.”

In order to closely monitor the different markets the company is active in, FrieslandCampina Kievit continuously performs online conversation analyses where they search and collect millions of online conversations about Kievit and their products, but also and especially on our customers and end-applications. 

“We analyze the results and translate the learnings into concrete actions for both Kievit and our customers. Eventually, the actions can go as far as new product development and customer counseling. Areas that we will definitely continue to conduct further studies in include healthier indulgence, clean label possibilities and sensorial experiences,” explains de Groot. 

“Recent research has indicated that 38 percent of European consumers regularly check the ingredients list on packaging,” she comments. “The underlying reason is that more and more end-consumers look for recognizable, natural ingredients and products, which are sustainably sourced and produced. Also, we see that a higher number of end-consumers is looking for plant-based solutions. Within the Kievit Savory segment, we offer both plant-based and dairy-based solutions that both provide for clean label possibilities.”

“With regards to the subject of clean label, one of the findings of our online conversation analysis indicates that the concept of ‘clean label’ has gained dramatically in traction over the past two years via both online news and on social media,” de Groot notes. 

The term is no longer restricted to the food and beverage industry and is now used by consumers to express a desirable, healthy lifestyle that is both cool and accessible. 

“Today, consumers are proactively participating in the conversation about ‘clean label’ rather than simply commenting or ‘liking’ social media posts.”

This growing awareness of health in relation to what is present on the label favors more nutritious and recognizable products which are seen as natural and familiar, she says. 

“One of the effects of the increasingly connected consumer who is more aware of what is happening in other parts of the world is indeed ‘glocalization.’ In other words ‘getting the best out of all worlds’ or ‘local products and experiences that travel globally.’ From a Hawaiian poke bowl to a Japanese matcha tea and from an Italian cappuccino to Korean bibimbap, local specialties travel the world to answer the needs of the increasingly adventurous consumer that is on the look for inspiration and new experiences.”

“More concretely and translated to our business, it means that we place localization at the forefront when translating current global trends to effective applications for our customers,” de Groot concludes.

By Elizabeth Green  

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