“I feel that the main driver will always be indulgence,” said Chrystelle Belougne, global category director for Sweets & Beverages, Diana Food.
“People are eating bakery because they want to enjoy [a snack], so indulgence will always be the first criteria.
Nevertheless, although bakery will never be [seen] as healthy, products will become more healthier, which means reformulation to bring in more value added nutrients.”
Another key trend is the rise in organic ingredients, particularly driven by the Germanic and Nordic countries, a reason why Diana Foods is converting most of its fruit and vegetable-based offerings to be organic, Belougne told BakeryandSnacks.
“From my perspective, sugar reduction is really important,” said Els Vandenberghe, R&D manager, EMEA, for Taura by IFF, noting this is where Taura’s products come to the fore.
“We did some research on ‘sweet spots’ … and proved that our pieces in a biscuit can mask the sweetness loss of around 30% sugar reduction.”
Taura’s digital marketing coordinator Liesbeth Buffels concurred, adding that, while there has been a major shift in reformulation towards healthier recipes, taste absolutely remains king.
“We’re innovating all the time to find twists based on, say, classic flavours to bring a little bit of excitement [to a snacking occasion], such as a fruit piece with a crunchy inclusion.”
Tommy Lykke Husum, senior product manager, speciality food ingredients, EMEA, Tate & Lyle, said “there is more focus on ‘back to nature’ – which comes across in being more natural: plant-based, cleaner labels – but also healthy snacking.”
The UK-headquartered global ingredients supplier partnered with Sweet Green Fields (SGF) to showcase a number of better-tasting, lower cost stevia compositions at FiE, such as Zolesse, a natural flavour that is not a sweetener but can be used to enhance the flavour of existing sugar-sweetened products.
“That’s where customers really demand change,” said Mel C. Jackson, chief science officer of SGF. “If we leave stevia as it is, then it will never grow to its true potential.”
Lionel Tempka, director of Sales & Applications, EMEA, Palsgaard, said Palsgaard is more focussed on supporting its customer’s needs rather than coming to market with high innovation.
“We are [more about] listening to customer’s requests,” said Tempka.
“For example, today one of the big requests is on vegetable-based products,” which Palsgaard is firmly placed to provide with its extensive range of solutions.
“When a customer wants to make a gluten-free cake, he can easily come to us and we can support him to develop [the product]: It’s a hand-in-hand process.”