ProSweets 2018

Naturalness and functionality: ‘Today it’s a lifestyle, no longer just a trend’

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Natural ingredients Fruit

Natural ingredients producer Doëhler said the ever-growing demand for naturalness and functionality is firmly cemented as a lifestyle choice – no longer niche and not just an occasional quest to feel good when snacking.

Simon Lyndegaard, Doëhler’s head of European sales, told BakeryandSnacks the company was at ProSweets 2018 to illustrate how snacks, bakery and confectionery producers could use its extensive range of natural ingredients to capitalize on the demand for naturalness and functionality.

“Everyone is looking for natural ingredients,” ​he said.

According to product manager Antonia Kruger, the move towards naturalness – evident in the majority of exhibitors showcasing natural products at the trade held in Cologne, Germany, last month – is no longer just a trend but a lifestyle.

“Doëhler conducted a survey to find out why consumers like dairy-free milks and meat alternatives and most responded that it’s a lifestyle, a way of expressing who you are and what you what to achieve in life,”​ said Kruger.

The company added the ‘healthy snacking’ concept addresses different target groups in different life situations and is reflected in beauty, activity or “best ager” products.

The fact that it is getting more shelf space in retail is a key driver, too.

“Soy milk in the past would have been on its own in a tiny space, but today, shelves features an array of dairy-free milks, including almond milks, coconut milks and other dairy-free alternatives. All the varieties are there,”​ she said.

Functional eating

While today’s consumer is demanding naturalness, Kruger said people are also looking for functionality.

“Doëhler is always looking for ways to enhance our products with additional benefits, for example, energizing ingredients like guarana, natural source of vitamin C from acerola powder, and, of course, added proteins,”​ she added.

For example, the company highlighted a range of functional fruit gums developed for different customer requires, enriched with proteins, guarana, botanical extracts and superfood ingredients.

According to Doëhler, so-called “superfoods” – like turmeric, pomegranate, acerola, ginger, hibiscus, baobab and rooibos (the latter three sourced from Africa) – are perfectly aligned with today’s trends. They are nutrient-rich and regarded as particularly beneficial for well-being.

Super smoothies

A “super big”​ trend in America, according to Kruger, are smoothie bowls, topped with fresh fruit and crunchy components like seeds and nuts.

To answer this demand – but with the additional benefit of convenience – she demonstrated a cereal smoothie made from dried oats and 100% pure fruit powders that quickly reverts to a smoothie with the addition of hot water.

“We just added the convenience,”​ she said.

Doëhler is a global producer, marketer and provider of technology-driven natural ingredients and systems for the food and beverage industry, with emphasis on natural flavors and colors, health & nutrition, cereal, and fruit & vegetables.

Headquartered in Darmstadt, Germany, the company has more than 6,000 staff working at its 30 production sites located on every continent.

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