The supplier of molasses and natural sweeteners said it has seen a definite tie between the coronavirus-caused stay-at-home lifestyle and an uptick in sales for its CaneRite portfolio of sugar cane molasses.
The increase in dry molasses sold for domestic-centric foods like bake mixes – along with an increase in liquid molasses sales for marinades and condiments like BBQ and Worcester – showcases not only the products Americans are choosing while remaining home but also their selection process within those niches, said IM.
“For obvious reasons, consumers are eating more meals at home, so eating healthy means paying particular attention to the ingredients labels of grocery items,” said Amy Targan, president of IM and its sister company, Malt Products Corp (MCP).
“The sales gains we’re seeing aren’t in the restaurant sector – of course, they aren’t considering the pandemic – but rather in direct-to-consumer food products sold at grocery stores.”
According to Targan, the sales spike draws a clear conclusion. Consumers who might have otherwise grabbed an on-the-go healthy snack are now instead eating healthier at home.
“There’s a housebound health-consciousness trend, a sort of limitation-driven discernment that favours all-natural products,” she said.
The company’s CaneRite portfolio of sugar cane molasses ticks the boxes of this emerging trend.
For starters, it combines a wide-ranging, light-to-dark flavour profile with reassuring clean label-friendliness, eliminating the need for overly processed sugars like high-fructose corn syrup or other ‘red flag’ ingredients like artificial sweeteners.
Molasses is rich in antioxidants, and is available in non-GMP certified and organic varieties.
On a commercial scale, it is formulation-friendly, serving as a subtle sweetener as well as a natural colorant, humectant and shelf-life extender. Molasses can help keep soft batch cookies soft and chewy bars chewy, and serve as an excellent binder for granola bars.
IM’s portfolio provides a full gamut of flavour profiles, from dark and full-bodied to light and honey-esque, allowing bakery and snack formulators to go as light or as dark as they desire.
For example, IM’s l Golden Trim Molasses – which complements or even replaces honey flavour – provides distinctive notes that mask off notes commonly found in plant-based proteins, such as those found in granola or energy bars. The company’s darker molasses blends add a not-too-sweet appeal to a wide variety of items, such as both meat and vegan jerky.