Special Reports

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

18 Dec 2018 --- With growing consumer interest in health, sustainability and 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.

At the touch of a button: Food deliveries surge, driven by mobile technology

25 Sep 2018 --- As social networks innovate their platforms and advert types, food brands are also evolving in how they interact with consumer lifestyle, purchasing habits and preferred ways of consumption. As busy, connected consumers seek convenience the food industry is experiencing convergence with social media and the food buying trends of online grocery shopping and food delivery systems. Today’s connected world means that for most consumers, convenience is just a phone call or touch of a button away.

Snack attack: Better-for-you, healthy, spicy and savory NPD drivers

18 Sep 2018 --- More consumers frequently snack throughout the day. Salty snacks are competing not only with each other but also with a myriad of other categories as more food and drink products have become “snackable.” Also, busy lifestyles, concerns about long-term health and the desire to get health-boosting benefits from daily food and drinks have also affected the snack aisle.

Business policies: Tracking the growth of traceability in the supply chain

11 Sep 2018 --- Traceability has firmly entered the mainstream of company Corporate Social Responsibility agendas, it’s one of the key drivers of new business policies, modeling how a supplier must ensure that traceability is at the heart of its ingredients and processes. This comes as global consumers demand more detailed information about their food, where it comes from and its ethical and environmental impact of people and the planet.

Social media and “Instagrammable” food: Millennial influencers – a virtual reality?

04 Sep 2018 --- Social media has become a powerful asset to marketing within the food industry. As sharing food through social media becomes increasingly important, particularly for millennials, standout food concepts are thriving. All of this means that color is once again being embraced and celebrated in food and drink, specifically on social media platforms that provoke these trends. It is a new age of diverse choice, and standing out on the crowded shelf has never been more appealing.

Vegan innovation: Growing appetite, plant-based power & retail positioning

28 Aug 2018 --- The image of veganism is undergoing the most radical change in its history while shedding some tired, old stereotypes – that’s according to The Vegan Society itself. The group proudly states that consumers now closely associate eating vegan with health, fitness and well-being – all huge trends that are dominating the global food industry. The word “vegan” didn’t even exist until 1944 when The Vegan Society’s co-founder coined it, but today it can now be seen on menus and products around the world. This week, Unilever announced the launch of vegan Magnum ice cream bars in Sweden and Finland.

Consumer appeal: Ethnic and street flavors trending in culinary preferences, soups and sauces gaining momentum

21 Aug 2018 --- Culinary trends have evolved dramatically. With the plant-based trend still going strong, consumers are looking for innovative ways to take the benefits of plants into their daily lives and innovation that relies on decadent flavor application, from desserts to alcohol or flavors that evoke indulgence, will also continue to grow and remain paramount to the needs of today's modern consumer. As a result, manufacturers are creating an abundance of flavorful and healthy options. Consumer preferences are somewhat shifting and opportunities for a more adventurous blend of flavors are emerging. Today’s connected world creates an opportunity for new ethnic flavors, street food inspired meals and the revival of culinary classics.

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.

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