Featured, News

Following trends is a key step to success in ingredients sector

Understanding trends is the first step towards successful product development. 

What’s trending informs and inspires innovation – and shows the way to potential business opportunities. IMCD know this from deep experience working with and advising food and nutrition companies.

With the cost of living being one of the major consumer concerns across the globe. 

Affordability has become the driving force for food manufactures to understand the importance of reformulating food and beverage products.

To combat the rising cost in food and beverage products, food manufactures have found ways to minimise this expense by reducing the size of the product. 

However, consumers have noticed this “shrinkflation” in all areas, with 66 per cent of consumers noticing grocery packs becoming smaller, and 56 per cent noticing smaller restaurants meals. 

So how do food manufacturers differentiate themselves from the competitors? 

By Redefining value. This has become the number one trend for the past couple of years as consumers adapt to a global cost-of-living crisis. 

Consumers wants brands that provide quality, trust and confidence in their product formulations, and wider sustainability actions. 

Whilst consumers are exploring money-saving strategies by looking for lower-cost items, they continue to look for new experiences, personal well-being and to support a healthier environmental impact. 

Manufacturers can revise their costs through Modification, Fortification and Reduction. 

Modification: Food product reformulation to lower costs involves modifying a food product’s ingredients and/or production process to reduce the overall cost of production while maintaining the desired quality and taste. 

Fortification: This involves adding essential vitamins, minerals, or other nutrients to enhance its nutritional value. Fortification can add nutrients typically lacking in certain food products, such as calcium in orange juice or iron in cereal. As well as reducing costs, fortification can provide other benefits, such as extending the product’s shelf life and improving flavour and texture.

Reduction: Reducing fat, sugar, or salt involves modifying a food product’s ingredients and/or production process to reduce the levels of these components. The reduction of fats, salts or sugars can help address the concerns related to obesity, hypertension, and other chronic diseases. This adds value to the health-conscious trend.

These three strategies can be useful in lowering the cost of food products by using less expensive ingredients without significantly altering the products taste or texture. It can also work towards extending the shelf life of a product, and in some instances, providing consumers with healthier, more nutritious food options.

The next generation of consumers has been brought up in the interactive and digital world, they have a strong voice and influence in dictating the food and beverage market and redefining what the markets should provide. 

While health is an increasingly important driver in purchasing products, the younger generation are also influenced by novel and international flavours. 

This is called the Generational Push trend. However, each generation is looking for different benefits of products. While the younger generation is influenced by flavour, affordability is more important for millennials, and finally naturalness is more important for Gen X and Baby Boomers.

Therefore, creating transparent products that meet each demographic is essential for any brand.

The past couple of years the younger generation have pushed the plant-based narrative, and whilst there has been a vast improvement in the product offerings, the plant-based category has seen a decline in popularity. 

However, this doesn’t mean the plant-based sector is dead. In fact, two-thirds of Innova’s global survey respondents have expressed their desire to try plant-based versions of traditional, local cuisines, and the consumers would like to see improvements in taste
and texture. 

These plant-based products were limited to just alternative meat options but have expanded to other food formats with finger foods and ready meals seeing the highest increase CAGR over the past three years.

As a leading global distributor, formulator and solutions provider in speciality chemicals and ingredients, IMCD is committed to solving formulation challenges and creating healthy, convenient, and sustainable solutions, that are consumer trend-led and exceed all expectations. 

By meeting current consumer trends to show what is possible, IMCD aims to inspire its industry partners to discover what’s next in food. Expect to see solutions for trending formulations involving:

  • Flavouring
  • Affordability, Reduction and Clean label
  • Gut health and Specialised nutrition
  • Plant based and alternative Proteins 
  • Child Nutrition

IMCD believes that every challenge becomes an opportunity to innovate when you look at it the right way. Its team of technical sales experts can help you find the right opportunities to innovate, and the best way for your business to grow. 

Send this to a friend