Innovating with freeze-dried ingredients while cleaning up labels
While the worldwide popularity for healthy eating continues to ramp up, many shoppers seeking “clean label” specific products are steering away from normally healthy options to a range of traditionally less nutritious offerings, like functional cookies and plant-based alternatives.
“One way to counterbalance this trend is by focusing on clean label and other trends that promote the inclusion of ingredients people trust,” said Jason Temprell, head of Baked Sales for Chaucer Foods.
By 2024, the global clean label ingredient market is expected to reach $51.14bn, while potentially growing at an impressive rate of 17.5% by 2030, according to USA News Group.
Returning to our (plant-based) roots
Plant-based innovations have peppered the headlines in recent years, yet many of those foods and beverages are full of unknown ingredients, countered Temprell.
“While these options were initially seen as the more nutritious option simply for being plant-based, consumers quickly realised they would likely be better off by sticking with plant-based products that have trustworthy ingredients instead of those that mimic animal-products.”
According to a 2022 report by the Food Institute, 67% of consumers want more meat alternatives made with whole foods, driven by the need for simple ingredients and clean label alternatives.
“Products with easily visible and recognisable ingredients make people feel good about their decision to opt for whole food products instead of eating heavily processed alternatives,” said Temprell.
Instead of creating another imitation product with a laundry list of ingredients, he believes brands can develop plant-based products with ingredients that consumers understand and trust, such as plant-based protein smoothies, and pasta produced with veggies instead of wheat flour.
“By developing a plant-based – yet clean label – product, consumers can feel good about selecting a delicious product, without consuming unrecognisable ingredients.”
Fortification with natural ingredients
Shoppers are increasingly spending their hard-earned money on nutrient-rich, functional foods.
According to Statistia, nearly one-third of people believe fortified foods and beverages are beneficial to their health, while 83% seek out label claims like 100% natural.
By incorporating immune-boosting, nutrient-rich ingredients – like strawberries for vitamin C and antioxidant benefits, and pomegranates for fibre and vitamin K – “you can deliver on taste without sacrificing health, creating craveable choices everyone can enjoy,” said Temprell.
Keeping it simple
Freeze-dried ingredients tick the clean label box. The process means they retain all their healthy nutrients, along with the ingredient’s own colour and flavour, allowing formulators to add a bold, indulgent taste to a variety of applications, from breakfast cereals, to snacks and baked treats.
“Widely recognised and full of health benefits, such as iron and fibre, freeze-dried ingredients can help your business put a natural twist on a treat or innovate a new nutrient-dense snack.,” added Temprell.
“With a global team of industry experts who are constantly monitoring consumer demands and developing innovations to set future trends, Chaucer Foods’ variety of options can help your brand deliver clean label products that your customers will keep coming back to buy.”