09 Mar 2018 --- Alternative nutrition options are becoming more and more popular, and vegan and vegetarian products continue to gain ground globally in the food industry. Innovative solutions are in demand and ingredient supplier Hydrosol says it is tapping into these trends as a result of this.
According to Innova Market Insights, in the last few years, Latin America has had the highest annual growth in vegan products at +132 percent, outstripping the next fastest growing markets of Europe (+50 percent), Australasia (+45 percent) and North America (+34 percent).
Katharina Schäfer, Product Management, at Hydrosol told FoodIngredientsFirst, “It was a surprise that Latin America has such a high growth rate of new product launches in this category. But in this case, you have to consider how many products have been launched in past years. In Europe and North America, we still have a high CAGR and the highest number of vegan alternatives to dairy products.”
“We expect growing demand for vegan alternatives to dairy products,” she says. “Consumers in many regions of the world are getting more and more sensitive regarding their food, especially regarding sustainability. People are questioning where their food comes from and how it is made. Another important factor driving this is the global health megatrend. Surveys show that many consumers see vegan alternatives as healthier options to dairy products.”
“The dairy category itself is very broad, so there is still more to come in vegan alternatives,” notes Schäfer. “But it's not just range extensions that we'll be seeing; there will also be a quality improvement. Consumer expectations are growing day by day and this is why products of high quality are necessary if you want to be successful with vegan alternatives.”
“In some cases, there is a merging of existing trends; this means for example that we are going to see more and more vegan alternatives that are high in protein.”
At this stage, Hydrosol already has a very broad variety of vegan alternatives and exceptional know-how in raw materials like plant proteins, but the company plans to continuously work on extending the product range. “So we keep an eye on market developments and consumer demands,” Schäfer adds.
NClick to Enlargeot only are more and more vegan foods available, consumer expectations on flavor, texture and enjoyment are also rising.
For the wide spectrum of dairy alternatives, Hydrosol has developed individual stabilizing and texturing systems that give products properties that are very close to those made from cow’s milk. This includes fermented desserts based on alternatives like almond milk, which contain no animal milk components, soy or gluten. A functional system that consists of modified starch, hydrocolloids and plant fibers lets manufacturers adjust their products to get a texture comparable to yogurt. Creamy, smooth consistency and authentic flavor are characteristic of vegan creamed cheese alternatives made with stabilizing systems from the Stabisol range. Used in vegan cheese alternatives, these tailor-made ingredient complexes give ideal melt properties as well as the taste and enjoyment consumers want.
For drinking milk, Hydrosol works with alternatives not only to animal milk but also to soy. A current example is a drink based on sunflower and oats that delivers a pleasing flavor. Functional systems for soft-melt, creamy vegan ice creams round out the product line.
“Our goal is not just to present customers with ideas for vegan alternative products, but to deliver concepts with added value,” explains Dr. Dorotea Pein, Innovation and Product Manager for Dairy Products. “So in developing our stabilizing and texturing systems, we address the latest trends. One example is the rising demand for protein-rich products. According to market studies, this is by far the leading category. We use knowledge from this area in the development of alternative dairy products.”
Vegan foods fortified with vitamins and minerals compensate for potential nutritional deficiencies can also be tailored to specific target groups. Possible products include vegan desserts for children and milk-free drinks for athletes and seniors.
Hydrosol works closely with its sister company SternVitamin to offer vitamin enrichment specifically for the needs of vegans. Like with all Hydrosol product concepts, its vegan dairy alternative products can be adapted to meet individual customer wishes. The company recently launched concepts for fruit-based beverages.
By Elizabeth Green
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