On-The-Go Habits Putting Pressure on Ingredient Manufacturers

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During the CAGNY conference in Florida, Food Dive sat down with ingredient manufacturer, Ingredion, to talk about insights into how CPG companies are planning for growth and adapting to changing consumer preferences. The CEO of Ingredion, Jim Zallie, believes that on-the-go consumption habits are the most challenging for the ingredient industry. The lucrative market opportunity is leading new players in the restaurant and retailer industry to compete with well-known CPG brands.

The Grab-and-Go is Stressing Ingredient Companies to Adapt

Jim Zallie told a consumer analyst group that the grab-and-go market, as well as food ordered online, has reached $110 billion globally. In just one year, from 2015 to 2016, the amount of U.S. on-the-go purchases grew by 56%. Zallie told the audience that this is critical to ingredient companies because of the importance of developing high-quality products that deliver the right texture and maintains heat.

Ingredion North American President, Jorgen Kokke says that texture claims on packaging have increased by over 90% in the past five years.

“We can talk about health trends… We can talk about cost and affordability and sustainability, but underneath all of that, [food] always has to taste good and be fun. And that’s where texture comes in. … We say it’s as important as flavor.”

Jorgen Kokke

Pockets of Growth in Functional On-The-Go Foods

Zallie believes there are “pockets of growth in the food anywhere space.” He points to the fresh refrigerated space as a critical example. The freshly prepared food category is generating over $25 billion in sales annually according to the Supermarket Guru. The clean label trend and simple ingredient trend play significant roles in the development of functional on-the-go foods. With 62% of consumers now looking for recognizable ingredients on the label, it’s imperative to use things they understand.

NutriFusion developed the GrandFusion product line for this very reason. We saw the way synthetic vitamins were reading on the label and thought there had to be a better way. With our products, consumers read fruits and vegetables instead of chemicals, so it makes a lot more sense to them. See the graphic below. If you are interested in learning more, visit our R&D page and download the GrandFusion resource kit to get started with product development.


Growing Demand for Organic Ingredients Leads to Supply Challenges

The need for fresh ingredients by consumers has led many farmers to go into organic farming. According to data provided by the USDA, the number of organic farmers in the US has increased by almost 300% since 2002. This growth is to meet the demands of consumers who prefer organic foods more than those grown in conventional methods.

Why Is It Difficult to Completely Go Organic?

Although there is a rapid increase of organic operators in the country, it is crucial to take note that only about 0.7% of the total operable farms within the country are classified as organic.  Many farmers pointed out that the main reason why converting their conventional farmland to organic is difficult because it is expensive as well as time-consuming. In general, farmers have to wait for at least three years to be able to convert their farms. Unfortunately, during the first year of turning their land using organic practices, the produce that they grow is not sold at organic prices. Meaning, they are still paid cheap even when they are spending more on organic practices. This is leading to the supply challenges in the market.

Solutions to The Supply Challenge

To solve the supply challenges, farmers are given several incentives to make the necessary switch. These include the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) that offers first-timer organic operators the right technical assistance to grow food the organic way. But, it is not only the government that provides support. Even food manufacturers, as well as retailers, have supported and implemented programs just to encourage farmers to boost their harvest. In fact, companies like Nature’s Path Foods, Whole Foods, Organic Valley, and Stonyfield Farms have provided grants to organic farmers to boost their production.

While organic farmers can supply the needs of food retailers and manufacturers, another problem is where to source specialty ingredients that are not grown in the United States. The solution proposed by the government was to get into digital platforms like Mercaris Auction Platform or to trade tons of organic products into the market.

All stakeholders are doing their best to provide the resources needed by the consumers. For instance, the Organic Trade Association was set up to provide suppliers and manufacturers the necessary information about their produce such as where to source their supplies, market data, and real-time pricing.

On the other hand, retailers like restaurants and grocery stores have also worked closely with organic farm operators to give them the idea of how much they will need to sustain their businesses. For instance, retail giant Walmart has worked with local organic farmers by giving them the outline of how much they need for the entire year so that the farmers can strategize on how they will be able to deliver the demands and needs of the end users.

The truth of the matter is that, while organic farming is prevalent, the number of organic operators is still not enough to be able to create a sustainable supply of products to the retailers and consumer product companies.

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New Ingredients Will Grow Sports Nutrition Market by 8% until 2020

With more people involved in sports to promote healthy living, the consumption of sports nutrition products is also increasing.  Sports nutrition products include food, drinks, and supplements. Most of these products contain new ingredients that are geared to boost the performance. These products include ingredients like beta-alanine, creatine, caffeine, nitrous oxide, and androstenedione that are supposed to improve the power and strength of the consumer.

The Statistics of the Global Sports Nutrition Market

The global sports nutrition market is steadily growing at 8% according to the research of Technavio– a leading research and advisory company in the world.  The research group looked into the growth and projection of the sports nutrition market from 2016 to 2020 based on the generated sales and revenue of businesses. In the study, people from North America are the highest consumers of sports nutrition products pegged at 41.69% followed by those from Europe (25.64%), Asia Pacific (19.68%) and the rest of the world (12.99%).

sports nutrition

The North American sports nutrition market is valued at $11.04 billion in 2015 while Europe’s market is at $6.79 billion in the same year. The sale of the products in Asia Pacific is at $5.21 billion. There are many reasons why there is a rise in the demand for sports nutrition products, but one thing is for sure—more people are aware of the health benefits of losing weight and living active lifestyles.

Implications of The Market Rise and Popularity

Many manufacturers are now expanding their market reach by continuously improving their products and creating less complicated nutrition formulations that are compatible with different types of people. Another trend is to produce products that are targeted to a particular market. In fact, there is a rise in female-focused sports nutrition products that cater to active women.

With the increasing market for sports nutrition products, new regulations have been created to improve the distribution and legitimacy of the products. The new rules are a result of some manufacturers distributing products that may not be effective in boosting the performance of the athlete.

New Ingredients in Sports Nutrition Products

new ingredients sports nutritionOn the other hand, new ingredients have been eyed by manufacturers in making new lines of sports nutrition products. For instance, the use of probiotics as one of the main ingredients is an emerging trend. Probiotics contain live gut-friendly bacteria that can increase the absorption of nutrients and also provide a better immune system.

Other research companies are looking into other innovative ingredients such as collagen, Vitamin D, L-carnitine, and glycerol to create a product that can help consumers recover, replenish, as well as refuel after an exhausting exercise regimen. While many researchers are looking into different ingredients in creating sports nutrition products, the main highlight is on using organic, GMO-free, raw, and chemical-free ingredients to create new and better products that provide better nutrition to consumers who want to live healthy lives.

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4 “Natural” Foods & Beverages With Artificial Ingredients


Eating healthy requires you to replace a lot of the unhealthy food you’ve been consuming so far with better, healthier alternatives. Organic, healthy and natural food is in vogue among the health conscious. With all the options out there, deciding what’s best for your diet is a matter of a thorough understanding of the food label. In a market entrenched in the race for fulfilling the demands for natural products, many ingredients are passed off and approved under the guise of “natural”, “pure” and “organic”.

In a recent survey by Consumer Reports, they found that over 66% of people believe that “natural” food should contain no artificial ingredients. Below are four examples of natural food and beverages that contain artificial ingredients. To see all of the natural products with artificial ingredients, see the article by Consumer Reports, here.

Natural Fruit Cups

Del Monte claims that their fruit cups are filled with real fruit. However, the products are artificially sweetened. The fruit cups also contain artificial preservatives like potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate.

All Natural Sweet Potato Fries

Con Agra’s Alexia sweet potato fries have large quantities of xantham gum, an ingredient used as thickening agent. The company claimed that their products have been inspected by the FDA and are compliant with the regulations.

Consumers shouldn’t be in a hurry to swap their kitchen cabinet essentials for natural food products just yet. A smarter reading of pack labels will help you make better food choices.

Smithfield’s Cold Cuts

Cold cuts are an essential in most households. Companies like Smithfield, claim that their product Krakus Polish sliced ham contain all-natural juices. But, a reading of the ingredients reveals, at least, five artificial ingredients. Most cold cuts of meat and poultry contain chemicals like sodium nitrate as well.

Smucker’s Bottled Beverages

A majority of the fruit juices available in stores have tiny amounts of real fruit content. Artificial ingredients are used to enhance the color and texture of the juice these include preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, corn starch and artificial colors. The same goes for other aerated and bottled drinks. J.M Smucker’s Natural Brew Draft Rootbeer contains caramel color. The company claims that the color is derived from burnt sugar and yucca extract.

See the article by Consumer Reports with all of the natural products with artificial ingredients, here.

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Synthetic Nutrients are Artificial Ingredients

artificial ingredients synthetic nutrients nutrifusion solutionShouldn’t your nutrients be “natural” too? How is it 2016 and we are still fortifying our food with synthetic vitamins and minerals? It’s been impossible to add natural nutrients from fruits and vegetables to processed food due to the heat intensity of modern-day food processing. Now food companies have the opportunity to add these essential micronutrients to their products with NutriFusion. Our patent-pending process keeps the phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals in fruits and vegetables stable through both intensive heating and cooling. To learn more about NutriFusion for your products, visit your industry below.

New Book “Ingredients” Uncovers World of Additives

A new book called “Ingredients” by photographer Dwight Eschliman and writer Steve Ettlinger was recently launched and this is definitely more than a must-read. “Ingredients” seeks to expose 75 common food additives by providing an easy-to-read encyclopedia which will give insight to the structure, use and history of each additive.

Eschliman had the task of sourcing and categorizing each additive before taking a photo.  He said that he was surprised as to how thorough the world was with white powders and clear liquid ingredients. The photographer also said that most of the ingredients were not hard to identify for purchase. Around 60 percent of the ingredients were from chemical supply companies that purchase their additives from China.

The two authors are promoting eating more fruits and vegetables and cutting down on processed foods. They plan to use the book to expose how dangerous some additives are and to raise awareness among consumers. Hopefully, this will start to force food companies to commit to clean labels and natural additives in the future.

“Everybody wanted us to align very much with those on the soapbox talking about how bad the food was…I wanted to take some measures to prevent that.” – Dwight Eschliman

Two Common Additives to Understand


additives food ingredients msg

Eschliman’s first step was to organize the additives into three categories: neutral, negative, and positive. He admitted that he initially placed monosodium glutamate (MSG) in the negative pile because of the additive’s reputation for causing “Chinese restaurant syndrome” – health concerns such as heart palpitations, allergic reactions, and so on. However, scientists now agree that this negative reputation is entirely unsupported. Glutamate is a naturally occurring amino acid. It is a flavor-enhancer that makes tomato sauce and Parmesan cheese tasty. It has developed a bad reputation due to poor understanding of the structure of MSG and public mistrust.


Another misunderstood additive is a yellow powder called azodicarbonamide, or ADA. Last year Vani Hari, blogger and activist behind the name Food Babe, petitioned Subway to remove the “yoga mat chemical” found in its bread. The production of ADA has been documented to cause asthmatic symptoms and skin irritations to people who manufacture it, but has no evidence of any risk to people who consume it.

It definitely sounds strange that the same additives found in yoga mats, fertilizers, fire retardants, rust dissolvers and rocket fuel can also be found in the food we eat. But it doesn’t really mean that we are eating these items. Additives such as salt, for instance, are composed of sodium and chlorine and have an estimated 14,000 industrial uses.

Ettlinger and Eschliman provide a fantastic insight about additives in their book. There is even trivintor each additive on every single page. It’s easy to be scared of these additives when you have very little knowledge about each of them. “As it happens, it doesn’t take much to understand,” Ettlinger says.

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