Food safety and curiosity: The trend drivers you should know

By Roger Lane

Exciting and significant things are happening across the food and beverage landscape every day. Currently, trends include a heavy emphasis on varietals, authenticity, hand-crafted and health and wellness – to name just a few. While these trends continue to be important drivers, at Sensient, we spend a lot of time seeking insights one level higher; teasing out the behaviors and attitudes that enable these trends to be successful and catch a glimpse of what the future may bring. What we are finding is that these trends, at their core, have two primary drivers: curiosity and food safety.

The curiosity of the consumer has been strengthened by today’s increasingly connected world. Consumers are more well-read than ever and are interested in knowing more about what they put in their bodies. Right or wrong, there are endless sources of information about the food and beverage industry available to satisfy that need.

Consumers enjoy being able to answer questions like “I like lemon flavored teas, but do I like a Sicilian lemon or a Meyer lemon profile?” or “Does this Vietnamese pho seasoned peanut contain the authentic flavor notes it should to be true-to-life?” Satisfying a customer’s curiosity gives consumers a deeper, more robust appreciation of their choices. Flavor plays into this curiosity beautifully because ultimately, the product must taste good.

Curiosity also taps in to a deep-seated concern about food safety and transparency. Consumers are incredibly diverse, but they all agree on one thing – their food must be safe. Trends like provenance, hand-crafted, authentic global flavors, and health and wellness are all trends aimed at answering the consumer question, “What is my food made from and how does it get to me?”

“Supporting our customers’ efforts to be brands consumers trust is not something that we take lightly at Sensient, it is the foundation of our business,” says Paul Manning, Sensient’s CEO.

“As a custom flavor house, we pride ourselves on a ‘the world is your oyster (or extract or chili pepper blend)’ portfolio, as the case may be.” Manning continues, “We offer natural product lines positioned to give consumers an extra level of detail. Most importantly though, we recognize food safety is at the heart of our mission. As a Flavor partner to some of the most beloved brands in the industry, the safety of our products and our employees is paramount to everyone’s success.”

This combination of human curiosity and the increasing need for food safety in today’s world is sure to keep the industry on its toes for years to come. At Sensient, we can’t wait. Challenge accepted.