Special Reports

Yolkin’ around: Egg replacement ingredients soar, and it’s not just veganism boosting demand

18 Feb 2019 --- Egg replacements have found a significant market in recent years with potential for further growth in the pipeline. There are several reasons behind this ongoing development. The availability and price of eggs are subject to seasonal fluctuations which can influence the end products’ profitability, meaning that manufacturers who use eggs on a large scale are seeking economical alternatives. Many consumers are adopting plant-based lifestyles, which avoid the consumption of any ingredients derived from animals. According to many suppliers, the rising demand for egg replacement ingredients is related to the mainstreaming of veganism and the even more popular flexitarian trend, both of which are gaining traction in consumer groups globally.

Snacking innovation: Almonds thrive amid calls for healthier options

13 Feb 2019 --- Consumer demand for better‐for‐you snack products is driving the growing global interest in almonds and almond ingredients, as product formulators strive to attract the increasingly health-conscious public. Consumers are pivoting towards simple, unprocessed, clean label foods and many are looking for healthier snacking options.

The Year of the Pig: How China's "consumption upgrade" is spurring innovation

06 Feb 2019 --- The annual celebrations for the Chinese New Year have officially begun, with 2019 being the “Year of the Pig” and the festivities, of which food is a large component, typically lasting around two weeks. FoodIngredientsFirst takes a look at some of the key market and consumer trends driving growth in China’s food industry and what opportunities there are for suppliers in the world’s most populous country with a rapidly-growing middle class and an accelerated trend of “consumption upgrade.”

Fast and fresh ready meals: Plant-based foods at the center of the table, reduced sodium solutions reign supreme

30 Jan 2019 --- Consumers want to cook and eat leisurely and in the comfort of their homes, but with today's fast-paced and modern lifestyles it can be hard to find the time, which often means consumers head to the fridge-freezer for a quick and easy ready meal. Now more than ever, consumers seek plant-based options that allow vegetables to be at the center of the plate, and manufactures and ingredient suppliers are under increased pressure to deliver ready meals that meet consumer criter

Natural preservation: Expertise in plant science and protective cultures key to preventing spoilage and reducing food waste

23 Jan 2019 --- Human civilization has a long history of preserving food. Long before the commercialization of foods and the growth of the global food industry, distinct natural preservation techniques were developed, including those based on plant extracts and spices. Today, adventurous and mindful consumers are driving innovation and new product development in the natural preservation space, expanding the need for natural solutions that are both safe and transparent. At the same time, there is an increasing need for companies to address more authentic and natural products while also balancing the demands for convenience and food safety.

“Lighter formulation”: Fiber thrives amid fat, sugar and salt reduction strategies

15 Jan 2019 --- 2018 saw the introduction and expansion of regulatory pressures in the form of a sugar tax in the UK as the global obesity crisis worsens. In 2019, manufacturers and suppliers are expected to respond to these themes and seek to reduce overall levels of fat, sugar, salt and total calories in a clean and transparent way. The market has become so competitive that manufacturers need to keep their fingers on the consumer pulse. As a result, the notion of “lighter reformulation” has evolved alongside a renewed interest in fiber.

A world without slaughter? Inside the “clean” meat revolution

09 Jan 2019 --- The new era of cultured meat production is well and truly underway and a world without slaughter could be the future. Lab-grown meat is about more than just saving animals’ lives, although animal welfare and ethics are strong drivers for shifting consumer preferences. The clean meat revolution represents a seismic technological shift for humanity, with strong potential sustainability messages.

What’s going to be hot in 2019? “Adventurous” and plant-based eating accelerates, increased calls for transparency expected

02 Jan 2019 --- Globalization has sparked consumers’ curiosity around new food and drinks, exciting flavors and new ways of eating, as they become more knowledgeable of other cultures. This is resulting in brands bringing more variety to the market. Heightened sensory delivery, storytelling and novelty are providing ways for brands to engage with more adventurous, hedonistic consumers. FoodIngredientsFirst takes a closer look at the hotly tipped top trends for this coming year, including the “adventurous” consumer, plant-based eating and increased calls for transparency.

Sourcing challenges and sustaining a “circular economy”: The supplier view

18 Dec 2018 --- With growing consumer interest in health, sustainability and the ethical aspects of food ingredients, the notion of a “circular economy” and a sustainable supply chain has been in the spotlight this past year. “Circular economy” has been a buzz phrase in 2018 and suppliers are indeed addressing this trend. FoodIngredientsFirst spoke with some key suppliers about current sourcing challenges and how these can be overcome.

Flavor trends in 2019? Botanicals, ethnic, exotic and smokeless “smoke” nuances hotly tipped for the new year, say suppliers

10 Dec 2018 --- Naturalness in flavors is expected to lead the way in 2019, although classic flavors are still anticipated to be in high demand across all categories. New combinations including botanical, ethnic and exotic flavors currently have the potential to meet consumers’ increasing demand for exciting new creations. These trends are tipped to become increasingly popular for the coming year. FoodIngredientsFirst spoke with key suppliers in the flavors space, who offered their insights into what we can expect to see trending in 2019.

Alternative concepts for Christmas dining, meat-free indulgence and festive NPD

03 Dec 2018 --- As the year of “Mindful Choices” comes to an end and consumers gear up for the holiday season, food and indulgence is top of mind for many. Traditionally Christmas is a time of guilt-free “overindulgence,” however, today’s mega-trends toward health, wellness and looking after the body, might mean a different take on the traditional Christmas classics for some. As the countdown to Christmas begins, FoodIngredientsFirst takes a closer look at “healthier” yuletides offering as well as some of the more traditional Christmas hampers and limited editions in NPD available around the world – and the trends that are inspiring them.

A feel for texture: Responding to clean label demands creates formulation challenges, suppliers say

27 Nov 2018 --- Texture is an important and sometimes understated area of development in the food and beverage industry. But more and more consumers are interested in how a product “feels,” as well as tastes when it comes to eating experiences. While many consumers are demanding simpler ingredient labels, they are not willing to sacrifice on the eating experience itself, and more demands are being seen across the board which relates to clean label textures, in categories such as beverages, dairy, soups and sauces, to name a few.

Brexit uncertainty sparks a flurry of industry reactions, political storm continues to brew

19 Nov 2018 --- While UK political uncertainty in the wake of the Brexit withdrawal agreement formed with the EU last week has subsided somewhat since last Thursday’s drama, scare stories about the immediate impact on a “no deal” Brexit on the food industry have intensified. These range from genuine industry concerns about a lack of available warehousing for the stockpiling of ingredients, packaging and product, to hyped fears about a complete interruption to the availability of Mars bars in the country.

Clean label dairy? Sugar and fat reduction in desserts, protein remains a key trend

12 Nov 2018 --- As health-minded consumers become ever-more sugar aware with their food and beverage choices, delivering indulgence without the guilt in dairy dessert products has become an increasing challenge. Consumers also want more from their products including fat reduction, but they still want the same great taste that they know and love. As with any product reformulation that involves cutting out sugar, the main challenge is to obtain a similar sweetness and body to that provided by sugar, while reducing its use.

Dessert trends: Visual appeal, keeping a clean image and vegan NPD

06 Nov 2018 --- More than clean label, today we see a trend toward “clean image” which encompasses sustainability, low sugar, low salt, plant-based, health, and nutrition as well as products which do not negatively impact on society and the environment. These megatrends are driving new product development across many food and beverage categories, including desserts. And as vegan innovative for NPD gathers pace, manufacturers and suppliers are constantly creating ways to tap into the opportunities that this huge category presents as well.

Expecting more from clean label: New technologies and sensory appeal key themes for future

30 Oct 2018 --- The strengthening of clean labels is one issue that shows no signs of abating as industry caters to the latest consumer trends and developments. As clean label has become mainstream, it now tends to go beyond eliminating artificial ingredients to include meeting consumer desires for sustainability, plant-based foods, low-sugar, low-calorie options and ingredients known to promote good health.

Peruvian influences: Superfoods, heritage and export success inspire culinary creativity

23 Oct 2018 --- Increased consumer interest in superfoods from Latin America, and Peru, in particular, is driving innovation and creating waves in the food industry. Peru is becoming more influential in the global food market, as an exporter and scene of culinary inspiration. The Peruvian climate also allows for a broad range of foods to be grown, opening up many possibilities for NPD or exports of unique Peruvian ingredients and bringing them to markets outside of Latin America.

At the forefront of food trends: Blending big business with disruptive start-ups to accelerate growth

16 Oct 2018 --- Start-ups are attracting the attention of senior executives (particularly in R&D roles) and large-scale corporations looking to collaborate. The industry is awash with examples of how big business is incorporating newly-established small companies that show such promise and scalability that investment from large-scale corporations becomes inevitable. So, is the future of food in the hands of disruptive startup and innovative R&D?

Mushrooms at the center of the plate? Plant-based NPD, health attributes and fermented opportunities

09 Oct 2018 --- Consumer awareness regarding the health benefits and versatility of mushrooms are some of the key factors influencing the growth of the mushroom market at present. The growth in interest in plant-based products and the fact that many consumers are looking to reduce their meat consumption by swapping meat dishes for alternatives is driving mushroom innovation. We are therefore increasingly seeing mushrooms featuring as the star of the show. Increasing demand for meat substitutes followed by growing consumer preference towards vegan food are other factors that are expected to enhance the global market demand for mushrooms.

Palm oil: Industry reiterates improvements and sustainability targets, campaign groups urge more efforts against deforestation

02 Oct 2018 --- The journey for sustainable palm oil is picking up the pace in the food industry recently as big businesses push forward with sustainability pledges, palm oil-free products hit the shelves and the often controversial commodity remains in the spotlight. As we head into the last months of 2018, FoodIngredientsFirst recaps on the strides forward for some of the key players in the move towards a 100 percent sustainable palm oil industry.

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