Deep dive: Six mega-trends shaping innovation in flavours and colours
Flavour and colour are important aspects of any food product and go a significant way towards determining the success or failure of new product launches. These sensory attributes enable brands to engage with consumers on a number of levels, providing a unique experience and competitive edge.
Increasingly adventurous consumers, exposed to global cuisines and looking to share their food experiences online, are driving interest in ‘bold and exciting’ flavours and colours.
The ‘clean label’ trend has been on the agenda for some time. But consumer demand for products that deliver on simplicity, with easily recognisable ingredients lists, is yet to abate. In Europe, food labeling regulation has further spurred the development of label-friendly colours and flavours by differentiating between source materials considered ‘food’ and ‘non-food’.
In flavours, EU regulations have’ started to change’ with certain declarations of flavour no longer acceptable, Roger Lane, marketing manager at Sensient Flavors noted . ‘The move away from even the inclusion of flavour on a label is a very real prospect, so the push toward more natural ingredients and extracts is the easiest way to offset that issue,” he told Food Navigator. “We’re already seeing the change happen first hand.”
Sentient believes manufacturers will have to choose one of two options:“Using the actual ingredient (which may not survive processing) or go cleaner to extracts - where the only ingredients are the carrier and the ingredient itself”
As consumers pay more attention to what goes into their food, they are also raising their expectations around sustainable sourcing strategies. Strong traceability enables brands to build trust and deliver on the vital components of food safety and security. Sensient’s Lane suggested it also provides brands with the opportunity to form a deeper connection with consumers using fresh approaches to branding and marketing.
The ‘next big wave’ of innovation will focus on providing consumers with health and functional benefits through food, Lane suggested. He noted:“Consumers have asked more and more of the food and beverages they consume, mainly due to their busy lifestyles. Consumers have been using food and beverage for mood enhancement, energy boosts and to help them relax so it’s only a natural progression for food manufacturers to start including additional ingredients to functionally provide these benefits in a real way.”
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