The Denmark-headquartered ingredient firm has launched its Nutrilac Natural Improvers range in the US, following a launch in Europe and China in April this year.
Speaking to BakeryandSnacks.com at IBIE 2013 in Las Vegas, the company’s global sales manager John Kjaer said Arla is taking a different approach when it comes to positioning the products in the US market.
“In Europe, there is a really strong trend towards working with all natural recipes in bakery. That trend is also here in the US but it’s not as strong at the moment,” he said.
Therefore, Arla is focusing on the functionality side of the whey proteins, rather than the all natural message it is focused on in Europe, he said.
This ingredient does everything at once
The natural improvers can be used in a wide range of applications, from cakes and breads right through to cookies and muffins. Overall the range is designed to ensure smoother and more efficient processes and provide stability.
There are lots of enzymes and emulsifiers already on the market working to improve the structure or processing of baked goods, he said. “What’s unique about the milk proteins is that they can do some of the same stuff but can do everything at one time,” Kjaer said.
The whey proteins can give structure and at the same time give browning effects or change the viscosity, for example, he said.
“We are hoping that the milk proteins can fill a gap in the US market. Everyone is looking for fresher products, for better quality products.”
“…It’s not just replacing what’s on the market today, it’s about working in conjunction with some of the known ingredients on the market to widen that window frame that you have to work within when it comes to, for example, the structure of your cakes or breads in terms of kneading dough and also when you talk about freshness and the shelf life.”
Vast scope in the US bakery sector
Kjaer said there is a huge amount of opportunity in the US bakery sector because it is so vast with lots of variety.
“It’s a huge industrial market, which gives you a lot of challenges that you’re not getting from smaller bakeries because the baked goods require a long shelf life,” he said.
He said Arla’s strategy in the US would be to remain focused on its aims and targeting the best applications for the improvers first and then work more broadly. “Otherwise we kind of lose site of what we need to do,” he explained.