The Future of Functional Foods and Beverages

People these days are living fast-paced lives. While productivity has increased a hundred-fold in the twentieth century, the caveat with living a fast life is that so many people are prone to getting sick easily because of stress and changes in their eating habits. With many restaurants and fast food chains providing useful takeaways, this has contributed to the ballooning size of the nation. As a result, food companies started creating functional foods and beverages to help people get more nutrients from the products they were already consuming. The future of functional foods and beverages is bright since shifting consumer preferences have focused on simple, easy to read ingredients.

Increasing Health Awareness Among Consumers

There is an increasing awareness about the long-term benefits of proper nutrition these days, especially among millennials. This focus on nutrition has the food and beverage industry looking at the types of foods that they provide to their consumers.  Increasing consumer awareness has led to a positive revolution in the food industry as many companies are looking at the development of healthy functional foods and beverages that can be sold to people who are always on the go.

According to the market research conducted by Grand View Research Inc.,  this industry is forecasted to reach $255 billion by 2024. But food manufacturers should do more than produce nutrition bars and cereals as consumers are always looking for new products that contain higher amounts of functional ingredients such as fiber, calcium, proteins, vitamins, minerals, fruits, vegetables, and omega-3s. This means that current food manufacturers should step up their game to produce products that are not only playful to the palate but will also help reduce the risk of developing different metabolic diseases.

The Niche Market is Crucial to Growth

Demographic studies show that it is not only the millennials who are interested in functional food and beverages but even the Generation Xers and Baby Boomers as well. This presents food manufacturers the challenge on how to manufacture foods that will work for different consumers while, at the same time, managing their specific health concerns.

Millennials, in particular, represents the largest population of consumers. Most of the food processors are continually experimenting with different kinds of ingredients to produce foods that are not only functional and healthy but will also complement the taste buds of the different target niche markets. The future of functional foods and beverages is enormous, but manufacturers have to focus on creating products that appeal to individual niches to win.

Taste and Ingredients are Important to the Future of Functional Foods and Beverages

The survey shows that taste is always the gold standard when developing functional foods and beverages, but many millennials are looking for products that do not contain synthetic ingredients such as preservatives and sweeteners. Most prefer that food manufacturers use botanicals and natural food ingredients like fruits and vegetables. Aside from taste, they are also looking for foods that will benefit their overall health such as those containing fewer calories or added vitamins and minerals. They are also keen on buying food products that contain superfood ingredients and those that come with clean labels.

How are you developing products for future consumer’s preferences?

Inspired by www.naturalproductsinsider.com

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Plant-Based Eating Makes Consumers Feel Healthier

A new wave of health consciousness has become ingrained within American culture. Over half of U.S. consumers have started plant-based eating as they are under the impression that it makes them healthier. A majority of consumers have also said that this change was indefinite and some were hindered from making this change because of taste preference.

This new trend has promoted a healthier America, which will have a ripple effect on the rest of the world. Plant-based eating also supports new opportunities for growth in the market for food. Research has shown that these changes are more than simple experimentation and has instead resulted in a new way of life for many consumers.

New Products Follow the Health Trend

These results are not outlandish as there is increasing support for plant-based eating. Companies are beginning to follow consumer health trends and have started to release more plant-based products. About 1/5 of Americans eat a diet consisting of predominantly plant-based foods, while 6/10 have stated that they reduced the amount of meat that they eat.

Plant-Based Eating is for Flexitarians

While in the United States more than half of all consumers are beginning to eat and drink more foods that are plant-based, that number increases to over 65% globally. In addition to this, many people are also decreasing the amount of meat they are eating. Over half say that this change is a permanent one.

People have many reasons for their reduction or outright stopping of the consumption of animal products. Some include wanting to affect the environment positively. Others believe that a meat-free diet is much healthier, some people want to limit the amount of cholesterol they intake, and even still some people prefer the taste of meat-free products.

With each passing year, the number of vegans and vegetarians are increasing in America. A study in 2017 found that about 6% of Americans reported being vegan, while in 2014, that number was only 1%. Again, many people have their reasoning, but it is undeniable that there has been a shift in the way Americans eat. Many people no longer consume animal products at all, something that would be considered odd only a few years ago. However, the growth in flexitarianism and plant-based eating is growing quicker than veganism or vegetarianism because of the stigmas that come with those words.

In 2017, sales of non-meat-based foods were up to over $3 billion, while only a year ago, it was less than $1 billion.

Taste is NOT an Issue

One major concern of many consumers is the difference in taste. However, in recent years there have been many advancements to make plant-based foods much more appealing to the taste preferences of meat lovers. Shoppers are in awe at the taste of plant-based burgers and other meats which they believe to have an even better flavor than their meaty counterparts.

Even large-scale meat companies are beginning to buy into vegan-friendly companies. Tyson Foods, as well as Dean Foods, have both since invested in small stakes in different plant-based companies. It is very probable that this trend will continue, and large-scale companies will adapt to the needs and wants of the modern consumer.

Inspired by www.fooddive.com

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Tyson’s Top Food Trends to Watch in 2019

Tyson Foods is predicting trends that they believe will dominate the consumer market and mold tastes for the entire year of 2019. This list includes transparency in food, personalized experiences to shape both beauty and health, smart technology and food, self-expression through the foods we consume, a higher intake of protein, and finally a merging of global cuisines from the comfort of home.

As the largest food company in the U.S. Tyson Foods takes full responsibility to push the market into a good position. They understand their ability to bring about new changes and trends in the way that people eat food.

Health Craze

Part of personalized experience would be foods with the intent to assist with different health issues. While previously this entailed having to take supplements, people are beginning to instead eat with specific purposes in mind to become healthier.

Consumers have also been very conscious of how much protein they will intake. Plant-based proteins have been all the craze and companies have been popping up to meet the ever-growing demand for clean proteins. Investors are also looking to buy into more startups geared towards this new plant-based mindset.

Sustainability and Traceability in Top Food Trends for 2019

Consumers in 2019 are concerned about knowing exactly how their food gets onto their shelves. This includes the process of production, as well as how it gets grown. With improved barcodes, consumers can more easily trace back where their foods came from. This is something Tyson Foods fully embraces and has been very open about their products.

Major retailer, Walmart will soon begin to require its produce suppliers to have full traceability on all products to follow the food from farm to home. This change is set to be complete by September of 2019. This technology is still relatively new but has the purpose of giving consumers full knowledge of their products as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Food has become a form of self-expression with the younger generation. This has turned food into both an art form as well as a way to express yourself. People are always looking for new companies they can buy into and feel proud to support. These can include companies who stress the importance of sustainability as well as food waste.

Global Cuisines

Millennials are all for trying foods from around the world. These often stand out, and they are more likely to try out restaurants with unique and exciting meals, other than options more customary to American culture.

With a technology-driven world, it is only reasonable that even food is affected by it. From transparency to sustainability, and new alternatives, companies are finding new ways to adopt practices for the production of food products, that will both cater towards the consumer desires, as well push for a greener, and healthier way of living, while still staying true to the passion for unique and flavorful meals.

Inspired by www.fooddive.com

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Petco to Stop Selling Pet Products with Artificial Ingredients

Petco, one of the largest pet food retailers, has stated that they are no longer going to sell cat and dog food made with artificial ingredients. They have since announced that any items made with artificial flavors, preservatives, or colors will be pulled from their shelves. This came as a shock for many people who are used to buying pet food products with artificial ingredients, but it was not surprising to the millions of pet consumers demanding clean label ingredients for their furry friends.

New CEO, New Policies

This in part came about after the new CEO Ron Coughlin came into his new position back in June of 2018. He brought about this change to remind consumers what Petco’s primary objective is as a company.

They chose to do this based on their commitment to the wellbeing of pets. Petco wants for owners to treat their pets as family, and this includes the way that they eat. Beginning in the new year, over 50 different artificial ingredients will no longer be allowed in Petco’s stores. Petco wishes to have all artificially made products removed from their shelves before May of 2019.

Although this may seem like a substantial financial risk for the company, Petco’s CEO has since stated that it was the right thing to do. Their goal is to positively impact the lives of the animals we call our pets. This is more important than the potential financial blow that may follow after this move.

These changes will impact large companies such as Cat Chow and Pedigree. Petco has since stated that they are working with these companies to have them change the way they create their products and make the switch to a more natural alternative.

The only exception would be two specially branded cat foods meant to assist cats with a rare health issue. In some cases, there is not yet a natural alternative to the artificially made ingredient, which explains why it will be allowed to stay on shelves.

Petco is Leading the Way

This is a significant move on Petco’s part as other pet food retailers will probably begin to follow suit. It is safe to assume that companies that produce pet foods will also start to adopt new means of production that exclude artificial ingredients. This change will most likely negatively impact companies who have been producing artificial ingredients.

Petco maintains over 1,500 different locations and employs over 20,000 people. Their company has been known to put the wellbeing of animals over their desire for profit. In 2010, Petco launched a National Pet Food Bank to allow financially struggling owners to keep their pets and feed them properly.

Petco is a retailer that strives to continue serving animals and owners alike, with their primary goal of delivering positive experiences for pets and owners. This company has continued to serve the pet loving community for over 50 years.

This decision to pull artificial ingredients directly reflects their vision of healthier, happier pets across the world. Be expectant to see Petco continue to pursue changes that directly influence the pet food market, and that will ultimately ensure that more animals can live long, happy, healthy lives as our faithful companions.

Inspired by fortune.com

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FDA Bans 7 Artificial Flavoring Substances

Many consumers are unaware that they are ingesting substances that are not good for them. These substances are usually written as “artificial flavors” on product labels.  Recently, the United States Food and Drug Administration released a list of seven artificial flavoring substances that are harmful to health. These flavorings include ethyl acrylate, benzophenone, eugenyl methyl ether (methyl eugenol), ethyl acrylate, mycrene, pyridine, and pulegone.

The Substances Were First Approved by the FDA

These synthetic substances might be foreign to ordinary consumers, but they were first approved by the FDA during the early 60s. These substances are used for a wide variety of purposes such as mimicking or enhancing natural flavors. They are used to impart the flavor of mint, cinnamon, and floral in ice cream, baked products, beer, candy, and chewing gum.

The flavoring industry and FDA mentions that there is no risk to the public when consuming these products as long as the quantity is small. But even if this is the case, there are a growing number of people who prefer not to eat or drink anything synthetic.

Natural Alternatives Needed for Artificial Flavoring

Many people are opting not to buy products that contain artificial flavoring or substances. As a result, food companies are looking for natural alternatives to flavor for food. Petitioning to ban these substances pose a significant risk to many food manufacturers. The Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association noted that the delisting of these substances confirms that there is a need for FDA to assess the actual risk instead of still following the 60-year old provision of the Delaney Clause.

The Delaney Clause was the statutory provision created by the FDA. In a nutshell, the provision strictly discourages the FDA from approving any food additives that can induce cancer to humans at any dose. And since the substances mentioned above did not reveal to cause cancer in the past, their use was continued until today.

Approving the Petition May be Difficult

While these substances may not be linked to inducing cancer, they can cause other health problems that are as concerning as cancer. However, FDA noted that approving the petition to ban these substances may not be that easy as the agency receives more than 200 petitions annually and it takes several weeks or more to evaluate and validate each.  But because of the public outcry including those from the institutions such as the Center for Food Safety, Center for Science and Public Interest, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, the FDA was forced to act.

The Implications

The implication of banning these substances is to push the manufacturers will likely be looking for natural substitutes and determining how they can change recipes using natural flavoring. But this might take a while, and many food manufacturers are asking for at least two years to be able to have a smoother transition in getting the job done. But on the bright side, switching to natural flavoring can draw in more consumers leading to a competitive boost for a variety of products.

Inspired by www.fooddive.com

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How Bitcoin Blockchain Technology is Transforming the Food Industry

Bitcoin is one of the most well-known applications in the field of internet technology and computer science. It is not only used for purchasing items online, but individuals and institutions are utilizing this technology to transform the food industry. The Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative, a collective of small-scale livestock farmers in Arkansas, is using a supply chain tracking system called Provenance that is powered by blockchain technology to trace their products. This supply chain tracking system does not have anything to do with cryptocurrency, but it is using the powerful tracking mechanism of bitcoin to smoothen the co-op’s processes.

Provenance is a London-based company founded in 2013. Ever since the company was conceived, it has helped a lot of small-scale companies all over the European Union including fishermen, winemakers, and food manufacturers. It is no surprise that farm co-ops such as the Grass Roots Farmer’s Co-op is also using it to streamline their processes.

How Can Blockchain Technology Help Farm Coops

Many people think that blockchain is a shady technology but it is much more than cryptocurrency, its database is permanent once it is entered, making every transaction traceable when applied to consumer products. According to Jessi Baker, Ph.D. in computer science and founder of Provenance, small food companies who want to trace their products can use blockchain technology as a third-party verification so that they don’t have to undergo expensive auditing processes.

How It Helps Small Farm Co-ops

Blockchains can hold data that is immutable so changing information within the database is very hard to do. The information in the database is put directly in so that people who are involved in the transaction can see it. For instance, if a member of the farm co-op raises chicken for chicken legs, they can put the conditions the chicken was raised in as well as other pertinent information in the database and then delivers the information along the supply chain until the product is sold to the end-consumers.

 

Bitcoin & Blockchain Equals More Transparency

Aside from pertinent information about the product, other information such as certification of their products can also be entered into the database. This makes it easier for consumers to scrutinize the product and it gives people access to a paper trail for transparency. So, when you pick up a bag of apples at your local grocery store, you can scan a QR code on the package, so you can pull all the information that you need about the product that you want to buy.

 

Setting Expectations With Consumers

With elevated product transparency, the blockchain technology also sets expectations to consumers about the condition of the products that they have bought from start to finish. Consumers are guaranteed that they are buying certain products from quality sources. This prevents many food companies from making fraudulent and misleading claims. This increases the credibility of companies that are involved in using this technology. It is definitely a win-win solution for both food manufacturers and consumers.

Inspired by modernfarmer.com

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Greater Food Brand Loyalty is Linked to Food Transparency

According to a retail food study, consumers showed a higher incidence of brand loyalty to food products that generate a deeper connection via transparency. As much as 75% of shoppers are more than ready to switch brands when confronted with a product that has a more detailed label. The new study shows that shoppers are getting more demanding when it comes to food transparency.

Inside the Report

The report was developed by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) with the purpose of outlining how shoppers define transparency and how it influences their food buying behavior. The report is known as The Transparency Imperative. According to the CMO, “We titled this report The Transparency Imperative because as we executed the research to bring the key findings of our 2016 studies current, we see clearly that transparency is only becoming more important to consumers.”

The paper looks deeply into the behavior and attitude within shoppers who are health-conscious as well as those who are digitally-active. It also looks into the response of consumers across different ages.

Targeting these varied consumer demographics, the study offers various and needed steps that brands should look into to further show their commitment to transparency; to track the ever-changing scenario of consumer preferences; to meet the ever-increasing expectations of food-buyers; to comprehend the exact needs of essential groups of buyers; and to transmit data over and beyond the list of ingredients.

The Results Show Brand Loyalty for Transparent Brands

 

As much as 86% of the correspondents agree that food retailers and manufacturers that provide a gateway to easily look-up their products’ ingredients definitions are easy to understand and complete—would lead to greater trust from them.

Further, a staggering 80% commented that they would definitely be more loyal to a brand that offers a significant amount of data on their products, more than what’s usually contained in the product label.

Lastly, more than half of the correspondents, 54% to be exact, would pay more for products with this included information.

Defining Transparency

According to Generation X and Baby Boomers, transparency is directly linked to nutritional information, ingredient descriptions, and a complete list of ingredients. Millennials, on the other hand, have a more detailed expectation when it came to transparency. Aside from what the older generations have listed, they are more likely to focus on fair trade and labor practices, animal welfare, descriptions of ingredient usage data, claims and certifications as well as allergen information.

Health-Conscious Shoppers Committed to Transparency

As much as half of the households in America have an individual who follows a health-related diet. Making these households more likely to put a significant importance on transparency. In fact, as much as 89% of shoppers are more likely not to buy a food product when the label is not sufficient to meet their needs.

Further, households that have children have an increased tendency to lean toward transparency. As much as 87% of these households use their smartphone while grocery shopping to check product information while in store.

All these findings point to advocating transparency by food brands can lead to better consumer relationships, brand loyalty and profits. Natural food brands should look for simple ingredients that help create a transparent, clean label. Learn more about GrandFusion fruit and vegetable powders to add real vitamins and minerals to your products.

Mintel Report: Pressed for Time? Mug Cakes for Breakfast!

Mug cakes, you ask? As its name implies, these are single-serve cakes in a mug that’s baked in the microwave in a jiffy. So, you have a warm, homemade, and healthy breakfast in minutes which makes it one of the most favorable new breakfast trends.

This trend has been growing in popularity over the last couple of years due to delicious taste, convenience, and speedy preparation and cooking time. The product was designed for impulsive indulgence. There’s a lot of room for expansion when it comes to breakfast and baked goodies, which leads to the niche being carved by mug cakes as your breakfast treat.

The Success of Breakfast Biscuits

In Italy, consumption of biscuits is an all-time high which inspired Belvita to offer breakfast biscuits in 2010. It has taken the global market by storm and by far is one of the top product positionings of the decade.

By targeting their message on whole grain, energy release, and convenience, Belvita has made it more acceptable to eat biscuits for Breakfast. On the other end of the spectrum are breakfast cakes, which is a whole new frontier that has a lot of room for exploration where food brands can replicate the biscuits’ success.

 

Improving Health Insights

Just by using the word cake already connotes something unhealthy, which could be the reason behind why food brands are wary of dipping their toes in this market. However, there are ways to meet the demand for variety while not compromising the health of the consumer. This is where vegetable inclusions and flavors come in.

In fact, in a survey held in the UK, half of the buyers are interested in buying cakes other than the ones made from carrots. They want to see beetroot and courgette on their options for mug cakes. Another factor that food brands should look into is the sugar content of the cake, where nearly three-quarters of the consumers agree.

Food brands are also looking at NutriFusion fruit and vegetable blends to add to their mug cakes. The inclusion of these fruit and vegetable powders add essential vitamins without compromising the taste or texture of the end product. Companies are finding innovative ways to make “cake” so much better-for-you with GrandFusion fruit and vegetable nutrient blends.

Mug Cakes For The Most Important Meal of the Day

Time is a precious commodity in any household and people who have the time to spend preparing and making breakfast are lucky in today’s busy world. Breakfast meals that are tasty, nutritious, and fresh are the dream of today’s consumers.

When it comes to mug cakes, there are different levels of convenience to choose from, now isn’t that neat? Some products already include plastic cutlery which is geared towards consumption outside of the home. There are also mug cakes that come in a microwavable cup, and all you need to do is add water and cook it in the microwave. There are those that you need to put in a microwave-safe mug, perfect for people who are wary of plastics. And there are those that need a little bit of preparation by adding milk, water, or egg. Whatever suits your needs and wants, the variety of mug cake products on the shelf are wide. How will brands take advantage of this trend and stay with the better-for-you foods movement?

Inspired by www.mintel.com