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Taura confident ingredients knowledge will aid shift into finished snacks development

By Kacey Culliney , 18-Feb-2013

Citrus fruits will be in Taura's new snack range
Citrus fruits will be in Taura's new snack range

Knowledge on ingredients and formulation puts Taura Natural Ingredients in good stead as it ventures into developing and manufacturing fruit snacks for selected partners, its marketing manager says.

The ingredients specialist has used its Ultra Rapid Concentration (URC) technology to develop a broad range of ready-to-eat fruit snacks.

The range includes berried fruits, citrus fruits, chocolate and yoghurt coated fruit pieces and pieces with inclusions like rice crispies or biscuit pieces to provide contrasting texture. The company said chia seeds, flax seeds and whole grain inclusions can also be added.

Davy Luyten, marketing manager for Taura Natural Ingredients, revealed that work has commenced on developing new finished fruit snacks with products ready for market within a year, or two.

“Taura is working with strong branded partners across the globe that can bring these new concepts to market,” Luyten told BakeryandSnacks.com.

“Taura has everything in-house which is a strength. We have knowledge on producing, manufacturing, new product development (NPD) - we scout trends so we know what is happening in the market – what the main flavors are and what is attractive to consumers,” he said.

“From origin, we are an ingredients company and we have the knowledge of building the right flavors and textures for these products. With different inclusions and coatings, we will try to stand out from the rest,” he said.

Europe and US targeted but Asia shows promise

“Besides Europe and the US, Taura sees further opportunities to develop fruit based snacks in various markets such as Asia, including South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Singapore,” the marketing manager said.

He said interest from Asia was likely underpinned by a strong convenience store presence, particularly in Japan, coupled with a desire for health in these markets.

“Asia needs very specific flavour profiles that are very different from any other continent. This market will be built from Taura’s factory in New Zealand; the ideal location offering good inside into Asia Pacific consumer needs,” Luyten said.

Health appeal?

The focus for mainland Europe however will be on plain fruit snacks and the target will be health-orientated brands, he said.

“Fruit snacks are a good alternative to sugar confectionery. Fruit has always been seen as something healthy – you don’t need to explain the benefits of eating fruit,” he said.

The marketing manager said the snacks should appeal as it is a convenient way to consume fruit.

Luyten admitted that chocolate coatings took away from the health appeal of the fruit snack, but said it targeted another consumer group looking for convenience and indulgence instead.

“The cross over between better for you and indulgence is becoming more and more successful,” he said.

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