Helping the industry meet changing demands

IFF has extensive research and development channels to create the best solutions it can for the industry.

IFF has extensive research and development channels to create the best solutions it can for the industry. Food & Beverage Industry News reports.

IFF has built a reputation as an industry leader in food, beverage, health, biosciences, and scent.

The company combines creativity and science to create essential solutions to help improve global industries, from global icons to unexpected innovations and experiences.

Breanna Dorman, design director, Oceania, IFF, said IFF’s legacy is a combination of market-leading, innovative businesses from across food, beverages, health, biosciences, and sensorial experiences.

“Our global network of food scientists and broad range of IFF technologies help provide products with improved nutritional profiles, better taste, and texture,” said Dorman.

“We take a holistic approach where it comes to designing commercially successful products through our IFF Product Design approach.

“A product is designed based on strong market dynamics and/or a targeted need, for example that of plant- based pulled-beef that we showcased at the recent FoodService Australia (FSA) show.”

Dorman said the food and beverage industry had undergone healthy growth in recent years but the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and other external factors, has seen the industry move from more even more towards to innovation’.

“There is now a deeper understanding of food products and their ingredients profile, with consumers being aware of what they are consuming more than ever before,” she said.

“For example, there is a rise in plant-based diets with health and eco-consciousness being the core drivers. More than 65 per cent of Australians are now eating more plant-based food and beverages, citing health and sustainability as primary reasons.

This trend is no different for the Oceania market.

“In Oceania, consumers are keen to consume healthy food products that are sustainable and flavourful. At least 19 per cent of Australians look for snacks that offer nutritional benefits,” said Dorman.

“Notably, locally sourced food with local flavours is synonymous with health and highly prized for its nostalgic connect. 31 per cent of Australians actively look for locally made food, and another 72 per cent look for nostalgic experiences.”

Dorman said despite this, taste was still a huge factor in consumer choices.

“Consumers enjoy nostalgic local flavours but with a zing. In fact, as per the Mintel report, 70 per cent of Australians love new experiences, while 39 per cent are looking for new foods and flavours,” she added.

It is these type of research insights which help to inform IFF’s food design expert’s approach to the market.

IFF has set ambitious 2030 targets for its operations and supply chain.
IFF has set ambitious 2030 targets for its operations and supply chain.

“Our food design experts work continuously to expand our portfolio, utilising the latest trends and processes that assure the highest quality and delivery systems,” said Dorman.

“We start and end with an extensive consumer research. This helps in exposing gaps, identifying hurdles, conducting tests and creating taste samples.

In this we are supported by our PANOPTIC framework, IFF’s proprietary trends and foresight capabilities and studies, which identifies the most impactful shifts and dynamics shaping the short, mid and long-term future of the food industry across categories.”

IFF works with a large team of food designers, sensory scientists, chefs, marketers and commercial teams in order to achieve its goals.

“There are multiple rounds before we start blending tastes, creating concepts and in process sifting out what doesn’t work so well,” said Dorman.

“At times few things are too niche and need further development, whereas others where we see potential we prioritise.

After this IFF begins designing the solution by tapping into the creativity of its flavourists and food ingredient scientists to push boundaries and leverage its product design capabilities.

“This is done to get the perfect blend to achieve optimal taste and texture that consumers will love,” added Dorman.

“An integral part of this entire process is co-creation with our partners, with whom our designers work closely to co-create market-ready locally relevant recipes.”

IFF approaches its work through the circular design approach, based on green chemistry principle.

“In fact, we have been running our sustainability program since 2010, comprising of four ESG+ areas of Environment, Social, Governance and Sustainable solutions,” said Dorman.

The company has set ambitious 2030 targets for its operations and supply chain under an ESG+ roadmap- ‘The Do More Good’ plan.

“These include ensuring all new technologies have a sustainability value proposition, and enable our customers to achieve their sustainability goals by providing an expansive suite of sustainable solutions,” said Dorman.

“It also allows our customers and consumers to reduce their carbon footprint 50 times more than what is being generated at IFF’s manufacturing sites.”

This is a closed-loop system for IFF, in which materials are constantly reused and waste becomes a resource.

“Principles of energy efficiency, using renewable raw material and avoidance of hazardous material are well integrated in all of our R&D processes from start till end,” added Dorman.

“One such recent example is of our upcycle orange (citrus) flavour, which we also showcased at the recent FSA show in our concepts and recipes.

“IFF utiliSes fresh orange peels that would otherwise be discarded from juice bars or supermarkets to create some refreshing citrus flavour, thereby reducing food waste or more like upcycling citrus peel waste.”

In terms of designing commercial products, IFF takes an ‘all-inclusive approach’.

“This leverages the latest trends and consumer needs to create relevant solutions, such as designing a beverage product with a signature taste and functional health benefits like immunity or brain health,” said Dorman.

“Our process of choosing food ingredients, flavours, or systems is based on consumer need and product science.

“In the end, it helps to remember why consumers want a certain product. They are growing more sceptical of claims and looking for transparency and evidence to trust a certain brand, something that IFF understands well.”

Meanwhile, IFF’s portfolio showcases the wide scope of technologies applicable across categories of bakery, beverages, culinary, confectionary, dairy, and snacks.

“The extensive list of technologies includes ingredients, flavours and systems that provide products with improved nutritional profiles and better taste and texture,” added Dorman.

“IFF has system blends in its expanded portfolio, which enable customers to buy multiple ingredients together, combined with flavours, thereby providing cost-effective and time-saving solutions.”

In recent years, IFF has also launched innovative programs such as RE-IMAGINE PROTEIN®, Re-Master Vanilla, RE-IMAGINE WELLNESS, Re-MASTER Citrus, and the Modulation Tool Kit, among others.

“These provide custom-made solutions to meet specific needs of protein enhancement, sugar modulation, health and wellbeing, a range of flavours and more,” said Dorman.

“Overall, IFF functions in an end-to- end holistic format to develop products and works closely with our customers to co-create market-ready, locally relevant products.

“As a global industry leader, we aim to create solutions which bring tasty healthy solutions to people providing them with heritage connect and new experiences in equal measures.”

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