With health and wellness a top priority for consumers when it comes to food purchasing choices – particularly for baked goods and snacks – shoppers are actively seeking products that list fewer and more natural ingredients.
That’s because treats that feature easily recognisable ingredients and those that have greater product transparency are perceived as having a health halo – a big buzz term today. A big choice among consumers is to steer away from artificial colours, flavours and MSG, towards snacks that are made of all-natural inclusions.
According to the Innova Market Insights Top Trends for 2021 survey, three in five global consumers say they are interested in learning more about what their food contains, how it is made and where it comes from. This again elevates the tickable attributes of ingredients like freeze-dried fruits, which contain only pure fruits.
The natural look
The look and texture of food is just as important as the taste for many consumers. So, as well as fewer and more natural ingredients, shoppers are steering towards treats that have a natural aesthetic. Like the acceptance of ‘wonky veg’ in supermarkets, we have seen whole and cut freeze dried fruits rise in specification with food producers, too.
Also popular are granules that have been formulated from 100% fruit, which translate into a 100% clean label. A good example here is the Crunchy range from Paradise Fruits Freeze Dried.
Crunchy inclusions are a great addition to elevate the better-for-you perception of baked goods and snacks. Paradise Fruits’ range contains pure fruits and offers a naturally healthy, lightweight, nutritious and tasty addition to a clean label snack.
The inclusions are available in sizes ranging from smaller 1-3 mm pieces to larger sizes of approximately 10mm. They can be incorporated as an ingredient in snacks and soft bake applications like muffins, cakes and cereal bars, or as a topping for biscuits and cupcakes.
Flavour combinations includes traditional fruit based varieties and exotic blends with Apricot, Mango, Banana and Passionfruit, as well as non-fruit flavours including Cappuccino and Salted Caramel. Bespoke recipes can also be developed to suit customer requirements.
Taking a bigger bite of the market
When it comes to products that are leading the way with shoppers, there has been a noticeable increase in the sales of pre-packed bakery mixes. As a result, we have seen a rise in demand for freeze-dried fruit powders, fruit pieces and whole fruits from manufacturers looking to ramp up the excitement of their offerings.
Available in almost all fruit varieties – from summer berries to tropical fruits – the free-flowing freeze dried powders are easy to dose and therefore very cost effective. They can be used for both industrial scale productions as well as in ready-to-use home mixes.
The use of freeze dried fruit powders comes with many advantages. Not only are they all natural, consisting of 100% fruit and additive free, but their use can both boost the flavours of baked good and snacks and provide a bold, all-natural colourant. They are also low moisture, meaning they do not impact the properties of the other ingredients.
Their long shelf life and ability to be stored in ambient temperatures are further plusses for manufacturers. Ingredients can be stored for longer, cutting back on production orders and eliminating any down times needed to reorder ingredients.
The final big plus of freeze dried fruits – which producers should certainly communicate to consumers as part of their better-for-you claims – are the added nutritional benefits. Freeze dried fruits retain the majority of that goodness, packed with vitamins, minerals and nutrients, and are low in sugar.