BakeryandSnacks spoke to several players at Food Ingredients Europe – held last month in Paris, France – to find out how producers are coming to the fore to answer these demands.
“Globally, convenience is a big [trend], especially in breakfast snacking,” said David Charest, VP, Meat Industry, Corbion, noting market research found that 67% of consumers would consume more these products, particularly millennials.
He added the demand for convenience brings with it the call for premium placement, freshness, pack size – like “mini donuts, mini muffins and mini cookies” – and an extended shelf life.
“Another trend we are seeing growing is in terms of ethical, good-for-you authenticity and food with a story or food with a purpose.
“People want to know where their food comes from,” said Charest, noting that two-thirds of all consumers today expect food companies to be investing in sustainability. Corbion, for example, makes ingredients that not only reduce the footprint of energy and CO2, but also food waste. "If you don't waste as much, you don't have to make as much and this reduces the overall carbon footprint."
The colours for 2020
Natural colour specialist Exberry has nominated the shades of aqua – blues, greens and everything in between – to be the colours for 2020.
“The look of the product has become much more important – even more important than flavour,” especially in this age of the Instagram craze, said Maartje Hendrickx, market development manager, Exberry.
Dr. Ir. Renee Boerefijn, director of innovation, Bunge Loders Croklaan, added growth of a company’s bottom line comes from being ‘on trend’ and the three boxes that any producer needs to tick are sustainability, health and taste.
Sustainability and plant power
“We see a lot of discussions about sustainability, a lot of discussions about health and more concern about taste. Also, products that bring a great story,” he said. Bunge Loders Croklaan – which specialises in vegetable oils and fats – has recently opened a plant in Ghana to process shea nuts, which are then imported to Europe to be processed further to be made into a plant-based and sustainable margarine.
“Sustainability is [becoming] more and more important … and, along with the vegan trend, we think the green and blue shades work well for [this year]," said Hendrickx.
“What is really relevant for the snack market is the move into the plant-based trend, which is really being driven by flexitarian millennials who want to eat less meat,” added Feike Swennenhuis, who was recently appointed as Bunge Loders Croklaan’s marketing director for Europe.
Finally, Lene Hald Pedersen, senior category manager, Bakery & Protein Bars, Arla Foods Ingredients, noted, “People want to be indulgent, but they also want a healthy choice.” For example, when it comes to snacks for youngsters, it’s generally not the parents who influence the purchasing choice, but the ‘pester power’ from the kids – so the snack has to look and taste good, but also bring nutrition into the loop.