Clean label

Give consumers a clean break with freeze-dried pops of colour, flavour and health

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Freeze-dried fruit and vegetables are perfectly aligned with the plant-based trend. Pic: GettyImages/Kateryna Bibro
Freeze-dried fruit and vegetables are perfectly aligned with the plant-based trend. Pic: GettyImages/Kateryna Bibro

Related tags Chaucer Foods freeze-dried ingredients health & wellbeing Clean label sustainable Transparency Traceability fruit and vegetables

Unlike other drying methods, freeze-drying is a clean process that retains the nutrients, natural colour, inherent flavour and texture of fruit and veggies.

Clean has become common, especially as consumers no longer tolerate unpronounceable ingredients or foods full of artificial bits. Now more than ever, people want a clean break.

According to Market Data Forecast, the trend shows no sign of slowing down with global sales of clean label ingredients expecting to jump from $38.8bn in 2021 to $64.1bn by 2026 at a compound annual growth rate of 6.8.

A wealth of data exists to back this up, with Ingredient Communications reporting a few years back that 75% of consumers are willing to pay extra for clean label ingredients.

It was among Innova Market Insight’s top 10 trends in 20202, with 60% of consumers around the world keen to find out more about the backstory of their foods.

And last year, in an analysis to examine the future of the trend, Global Data said 60% of consumers worldwide proactively look out for products that are ‘free of nasties’ and instead packed with benefits to improve their overall health.

Influencing consumer perception of clean label are three main considerations, namely:

  • Simplicity: Consumers view products with fewer ingredients as better for their overall health and wellbeing.
  • Transparency: Minimally processed foods are typically perceived as more natural and cleaner.
  • Traceability: Consumers are increasingly leaning towards sustainably and ethically sourced and processed ingredients.

Give consumers what they want

To stay relevant, producers are going to have to deliver what consumers demands. However, meeting these more exacting standards do present mounting challenges; ingredients must be carefully sourced; must not take away from the still desirable end result; must come with a health halo, but retain their indulgence; and so on.

As a bonus, fruits and veggies are packed with immunity-boosting vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and can be incorporated into a range of formats, from cereals to snacks and baked goods.

The easier way for a producer to do this is with freeze-dried fruit and vegetables. According to Chaucer Foods, a specialist in freeze-dried fruits, vegetables, pulses, herbs and dairy, the ingredients will create innovative products that pop in flavour and colour.

What’s the deal?

Thanks to innovations in freeze-drying technology, common operational challenges are also easily overcome.

Unlike ingredients dried using other methods, freeze-drying locks in natural colour, authentic flavour and key nutrients, said Chaucer, adding that small quantities will have a big impact.

Fruits and veggies are inherently healthier than many other processed options, and by placing these ingredients front and forward, producer can cut back on added sugars and other artificial add-ins.

Freeze-dried ingredients also do not hinder a product’s moisture content, thus extending the ambient shelf life. This is especially useful in baked treats, to improve taste without preservatives. It also retains a product’s natural shape, along with all the key nutrients.

There’s no fuss, no mess and no chopping required Chaucer’s selection of ingredients range from whole pieces to powders that can be used straight from the bag.

Chaucer's freeze-dried fruit and veggie offerings also tag into the trajectory trend for plant-based.

Chaucer leverages world-leading technologies, working in partnership with producers to create a bespoke offering. The UK-headquartered company also has manufacturing and development facilities in the US, Europe and China, which gives it continuity in supply, as well as a strategic global perspective. Its deep understanding of different markets and consumer tastes enables it to provide effective localised executions.

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