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Millennials and Gen Z driving shift toward plant-based foods

By Roger Lane

Experts agree the shift toward plant-based consumption is primarily driven by millennials, a group most likely to consider the food source, environmental impact and animal welfare issues when making a purchase. While millennials currently boast the largest percentage of self-identified vegans and vegetarians, Gen Z is on their heels and may be even more into vegan food. Researchers found Gen Z buys 80% more kale, 57% more tofu and 266% more avocados than Gen X.

Today’s resourceful and informed consumers increasingly scrutinize the brands they patronize. Our proprietary survey data suggests investigative millennials, in particular, find overwhelming value in the access to information regarding the sources and ingredients of any product they might purchase.

When navigating the retail landscape, millennials tend to follow a set of core values that guide their purchasing decisions. This “conscious consumption” principle is based on the tenets of self, society, and planet. Millennials are likely to ask themselves:

  • “How does the food I buy enrich the quality of life for my family or for myself?”
  • “What good is the company contributing to the broader community it serves?”
  • “How are brands impacting the world in which we live?”

Millennials feel a sense of responsibility and trepidation for our planet that compel them to research and select brands that honor humanity and the environment. Brands that make this information easily accessible will be rewarded. In fact, a LabelInsight study shows consumers will pay more for and are likely to try a brand’s entire portfolio that is supportive of increased transparency. For most consumers, brand transparency has potential for brand and product loyalty and increases the value or worth of a product as perceived by the consumer.

At 81 million members strong, millennials are connected, curious, and capable of driving consumer trends into the future. They understand technology and know where to get the answers they are looking for. With more spending power than any other generation, manufacturers, merchandisers and marketers should take note of millennials’ need for brand information and interaction.

For more information, please visit our website.

SOURCE:
Loria, Joe, Millennials Driving Force Behind Global Vegan Movement 2018; Mercy for Animals, Forbes

Flavor meets function as the consumer demand rises for natural extracts | Insights | Sensient Flavors Blog
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Flavor meets function as the consumer demand rises for natural extracts

By Kevin Barasa

Clean labeling is here to stay. Consumers are demanding easy-to-read labels with identifiable ingredients — a move that is backed by a heightened attention to “farm-to-table” transparency for products and ingredients. Teas and other flavors that can lend color and taste are a vital part of the new landscape. Sensient is helping manufacturers meet the challenge head-on with a variety of clean-label-ready flavors and extracts. Here are more extracts that deliver beyond flavor:

Elderberry

Dating to the fifth century, writings of Hippocrates and others describe the use of medicines derived from the elder tree. Although elderberry has commonly been used in desserts, beverages, and syrups, the extract recently surfaced in the growing vitamin category as a superfood. Elderberries are rich in many phytonutrients that are thought to help treat ailments such as colds, coughing and nasal congestion.

Hibiscus

While hibiscus plants are often prized as additions to gardens, they also have a tart flavor and perceived medicinal uses. The flowers and leaves can be made into teas and liquid extracts that are believed to treat a variety of conditions.

Citra Hops

While Citra Hops have been around since the 1990s, it wasn’t until 2007 that this citrus-forward hops came onto the beer scene. Ever since, people have been incorporating them into craft brewing and food applications that benefit from an aromatic citrus punch.

Cassia Bark

Cassia Bark has a sweet, pungent flavor similar to cinnamon, and it works well with cloves and cardamom. In fact, it’s so similar to cinnamon that it is often used as a replacement for the spice. The versatile Cassia Bark can be used in bakery, beverage and hearty main-dish applications.

Organic Green Tea

Stemming from the same plant as black tea, organic green tea leaves are dried and not fermented. This process gives the tea leaves their soothing taste. Along with caffeine, organic green tea contains powerful antioxidants that are commonly known to reduce inflammation, help prevent cell damage, and promote anti-aging.

Sensient continues to invest heavily in natural extracts, demonstrating our ongoing commitment to providing food and beverage manufacturers with reliable, long-term quality and flavor consistencies that meet and exceed stringent standards — and do so while delivering a lasting flavor profile that resonates with consumers’ palates while satisfying their desire for an organic, natural experience.

Sensient has the experience, products and capacity to provide “seed to shelf” transparency for our clients. We have the ingredients, colors and technology to enhance existing offerings and also bring exciting, innovative new products to market.

Please click here to request for more information.

Extracts meet consumer demands for flavor, variety and transparency boost sales | Insights | Sensient Flavors Blog
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Extracts meet consumer demands for flavor, variety and transparency boost sales

By Kevin Barasa

It would be easy to categorize consumers’ desire for ingredient transparency as a trend or a fad. It’s been several years, though, and the ongoing call for simpler labeling and farm-to-table growth and processing information is undeniable. Companies who are heeding that call — providing products with visible, identifiable ingredients, such as organic botanicals and extracts — are increasing market share and building customer loyalty. Sensient is right there with them, providing unique, flavorful and clean-label-ready products such as:

Purple Tea

Purple tea is grown in Kenya at elevations between 4,500 and 7,500 feet. This elevation allows for higher levels of polyphenols than are found in typical tea — as much as double the level of polyphenols of green or black tea.

Green Coffee Bean

Green coffee beans are unroasted coffee seeds, which contain higher levels of Chlorogenic acid. Green coffee and Chlorogenic acid became popular for weight loss after the Dr. Oz show indicated the bean “burns fat fast.”

Nigerian Ginger

When the leaves of the ginger plant wither, the roots are harvested for use. Nigerian Ginger has fewer citrus notes than Chinese Ginger, so it goes well in alcohol, brewed drinks, ice cream, seasoning, salad dressings and even dip applications when an earthy, spicy note is desired.

Cucumber

Cucumbers originated in South Asia and now can be found in gardens on most continents. They grow as a vine and are part of the gourd family. This fresh, crisp flavor will go well in any beverage or food application designed to create a spring or summer state of mind.

Blood Orange

The blood orange was first recorded in the Mediterranean during the 18th century. They are still grown there, as well as in Texas and California. Whether they are incorporated into ice cream, gelato, soda or bakery applications, their flavor is sought after by many flavor developers.

Sensient continues to invest heavily in natural extracts, demonstrating our ongoing commitment to providing food and beverage manufacturers with reliable, long-term quality and flavor consistencies that meet and exceed stringent standards — and do so while delivering a lasting flavor profile that resonates with consumers’ palates while satisfying their desire for an organic, natural experience.

Sensient has the experience, products and capacity to provide “seed to shelf” transparency for our clients. We have the ingredients, colors and technology to enhance existing offerings and also bring exciting, innovative new products to market.

Contact us here for more information.

Flavor and function in beverage formulations | Insights | Sensient Flavors Blog
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Flavor and function in beverage formulations

When a beverage formulator first thinks of flavors, the basics like chocolate, strawberry and vanilla often jump to mind. Increasingly formulators may consider more complex possibilities, such as lemon ginger or orange turmeric.

“Sweeteners provide more to the consumption experience than just sweetness, and when replacing sugar or enhancing sweetness, you have to take the other pieces into account,” said Whitney Smart, beverage applications manager, Sensient Flavors, Hoffman Estates, Ill. “We have technologies that not only enhance sweetness, but mimic the overall sugar experience by just using natural flavor.

“(These ingredients) can improve mouthfeel perception to make the product feel fuller without the use of hydrocolloids, starches or other thickeners, which enables product makers to maintain shorter, cleaner labels.”

Read the full article on Food Business News.

Three routes to sodium reduction in salty snacks | Insights | Sensient Flavors Blog
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Three routes to sodium reduction in salty snacks

Reducing sodium in salty snacks such as chips and crackers seems counterproductive. When consumers choose a salty snack, or even a cheese puff, they expect a certain flavor experience, one that salt is critical in delivering.

“There are several ways to reduce sodium in snacks, but some of them come with taste issues that need to be dealt with,” said Roger Lane, marketing manager, savory flavors, Sensient Flavors.

“Yeast extracts can be added to a lower-sodium product to make up for the lack of salt, especially when you need that boost of flavor without adding sodium,” Mr. Lane said.

“We have found that when used in conjunction with other sodium reduction solutions, SensaSalt 2G works as a flavor enhancer to boost positive notes while reducing negative off notes,” Mr. Lane said.

Read the full article on Baking Business.

2019 flavor trends: Violets, jackfruit and pink peppercorns | Insights | Sensient Flavors Blog
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2019 flavor trends: Violets, jackfruit and pink peppercorns

Flavor houses cite exotic plants, spices and fruits as upcoming trends.

Keera Perumbala, marketing associate, sweet flavors, at Sensient Flavors, says 2019 promises to be exciting as current trends continue to gain momentum and interesting new products show up in the market.

“Edgy flavors and bold colors turn ‘over the top’ into the new norm, and this is being emphasized in food and drink with attention-grabbing ingredients that create sensations and elevate the consumption experience,” Perumbala says. “This is particularly true in the sweet goods category, where candies are seeing extreme flavors, colors and experiences coming together.”

“This pursuit for transparency is extending to their food and beverage choices as well, as they are looking for cleaner ingredients in their food and even indulgences such as confectionery that support their health-focused lifestyles,” Perumbala says. “More products are created with ingredients that are traceable, and having provenance claims can be the nudge that a casual browser needs to engage with a particular product. A ‘Brazilian orange’ carries more appeal than an ‘orange.’”

“Food as medicine is a concept well-established and practiced in the east in countries like India and China for centuries. In North America, however, this is a rapidly growing trend for the past few years, as lack of trust in big pharma is driving more people to buy into it,” Perumbala explains.

The products, which help consumers de-stress, and otherwise cope with modern life, tend to feature botanical herbs and flavors. And gummies and chocolates are specifically positioned to suggest relaxation.

There are also a number of products focused on gut health, which tend to feature flavors like turmeric, ginger and other adaptogens such as ginseng or tulsi. And, products are also taking advantage of natural energy and antioxidant sources by featuring ingredients like Guayusa, yerba mate or elderberry extracts.

“Added functionality in food and confectionery ingredients is the way brands are trying to differentiate themselves in the increasing sea of other natural options,” Perumbala says.

And Sensient is responding to these demands with its own clean label portfolio, with a line of pure plant extracts that provide flavor and function, vegan and organic flavors and ingredients.

“Some of our unique extraction processes create 100 percent pure plant extracts free from any carriers or trace solvents that can also be a natural source of caffeine, polyphenols and other functional elements that consumers are looking for,” Perumbala says.

Indeed, it seems there’s nothing flavor can’t do these days.

Read the full article on Candy Industry.

Globally inspired snack and bakery flavor trends | Insights | Sensient Flavors Blog
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Globally inspired snack and bakery flavor trends

Taste remains a key driver in consumer food purchases. According to the 2018 IFIC “Food and Health Survey,” taste was rated the No. 1 factor, with 81 percent of consumers stating taste impacts their decisions.

Taste modulation

Many brands are improving the nutritional profile of their products by adding protein, fiber or reducing the amount of added sugar or salt—formulation changes that can impart off-flavors. Sensient Flavors, Hoffman Estates, IL, offers its Taste Modulation brand to naturally mask such notes.

“The Taste Modulation portfolio uses extraction capability to recover specific functional materials, our skilled creation and application expertise and the evolving science of taste perception and receptors,” says Keera Perumbala, marketing associate, sweet flavors. “These not only can be tailored to specific label needs of our customers, but also tailored to work with their specific products. We have supported a number of customers in their product conversion journey from artificial flavors and colors to natural, clean versions.” She notes these natural products perform effectively in baked goods, offering a vivid finish with fresh flavors.

Visual appeal

Sensient offers a rainbow of bake-stable colors from natural sources. “Some notable options would be SupraRed, which filled an unmet industry need for a bake/extrusion-stable natural red; Pure-S paprika, which provides bright oranges without any off-notes; Sienna natural brown fruit juice if manufacturers are seeking alternatives to caramel colors; a very unique indigo blue from a vegetable juice; and some exciting new green and dark-brown options that were recently launched,” shares Perumbala. The colors noted have all been effectively used in bakery applications, including muffins, bagels, cookies and croissants.

Read the full article on Snack & Bakery.

Dairy inclusions get indulgent | Insights | Sensient Flavors Blog

Dairy inclusions get indulgent

Texturally speaking, “ice cream” is something of a misnomer. Yes, consumers expect the frozen treat to be creamy; but any hint of actual iciness — either in the scoop or on the palate — qualifies as an unmistakable quality flaw.

“They’re as much a visual treat as a real one,” said Keerthana Perumbala, a marketing associate for sweet and beverage flavors at Sensient Flavors, Hoffman Estates, Ill., and an admirer of the creamy confections.

Read the full article on Dairy Foods.

Integration of Indian and African flavors accelerates | Insights | Sensient Flavors Blog
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Integration of Indian and African flavors accelerates

In the 2006 comedy movie “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,” Mr. Bobby (played by Will Ferrell) and fellow race car driver Cal Naughton Jr. (John C. Reilly) argue that pizza and chimichangas are examples of cuisine originating in the United States.

“Most consumers are now familiar with North African cuisine, but some other regions are starting to trend now,” said Roger Lane, marketing manager, savory flavors at Sensient Flavors and based in Hoffman Estates, Ill. “We’ve seen a surge in the flavors of other parts of Africa, especially the eastern and southern parts of the continent, places like Ethiopia, Somalia and South Africa. The cuisine is so new. So, it’s a perfect place for exploring new flavors.”

Read the full article on Food Business News.

Fruit provides an option for consumers looking for less sugary snacks | Insights | Sensient Flavors Blog
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Fruit provides an option for consumers looking for less sugary snacks

Fruits are high in essential nutrients, and the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends adults eat at least 1½ to 2 cups per day. According to the CDC, though, only 12 percent of adults meet those guidelines.

According to Kristie Hung, marketing specialist, Sensient Natural Ingredients, Turlock, CA, Hatch chile has been gaining traction. The company’s new Red Hatch Chile flakes and granules offer a sweet, earthy flavor and mellow front-end heat. The company has also introduced organic ancho and jalapeño. “We have seen chile peppers incorporated in bakery items like organic jalapeño chocolate brownies, organic ancho lemon cake pops, pineapple jalapeño turnovers and goat cheese tart with mango habanero jam.”

Such interesting flavors can quickly elevate products from simply a snack to an experience.

Read the full article on Snack and Bakery.

Create organic ways to meet consumers’ healthy-food demands | Insights | Sensient Flavors Blog
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Create organic ways to meet consumers’ healthy-food demands

By Whitney Smart

Seeing is believing, and that’s why increasingly savvy purchasers are scanning food labels, learning about farm-to-table journeys and more. They are more focused than ever on the tie between health and nutrition, and they want to know where their food is from, how it was prepared and what it contains.

That’s why the word “organic” has surged in their awareness. It implies that a product is free from additives, pesticides, preservatives and hormones. Organic labeling helps manufacturers stand out, because it puts their products ahead and generates stronger sales.

Does organic labeling have appeal among consumers? Consider what Mintel found out:

  • 14 percent of all food and beverage products launched in 2017 were organic.
  • There was a 51 percent increase in organic product launches between 2013 and 2017.

It’s important to remember that “organic” doesn’t mean just one thing:

  • 100% Organic (all ingredients are organic certified).
  • Organic (95% ingredients are organic and 5% non-organic ingredients allowed).
  • Made with Organic (70% ingredients are organic).

Organic flavors provide manufacturers with many advantages.They act as regular, natural flavors, so they don’t require special training on use. Aside from allowing for new products to be developed to accompany existing lines, they also provide an easy “value add” to give both new and existing brands a premium appeal.

Consumers demand transparency in their food. The use of organic flavors alongside labeling that is clear and easy to follow builds trust and brand loyalty. The clean-label movement is very real — and growing. The use of organic flavors to achieve compliance and certification makes a strong and visible promise to consumers that they appreciate and reward.

For more information on Sensient’s Organic Flavors, contact us here.

Yeast extract innovation fuels advances in fermentation-oriented product lines | Insights | Sensient Flavors Blog

Yeast extract innovation fuels advances in fermentation-oriented product lines

By Xonia Oliveros

Getting new and improved products to market, particularly in the competitive consumer health and nutrition space, can mean the difference between robust growth and stagnation for a manufacturer. That’s why an understanding of how a dependable, widely varied line of yeast extracts and peptones for fermented items is essential to efficiency, productivity and increased revenue.

Fermented products continue to expand within such well-known areas as baked goods, where gluten- and dairy-free options are in demand. They also are on the rise in beverage production (with an ever-expanding roster of craft beers alone), the burgeoning consumer-probiotics market, as well as in everything from detergents and cleansers to animal feed, personal care and dietary supplements.

At the same time, many manufacturers think of yeast extracts and peptones as a “black box” whose value is unquestioned, but whose proper deployment remains a mystery. Even so, they have specific needs when it comes to these vital components of their products. Those include:

  • Tangible and documented nutritional benefits
  • Reduced fermentation cycle times to enhance facility volume and efficiency
  • Rapid testing for faster time from product development to market
  • Consistent, verifiable ingredients
  • Sourcing flexibility from provider to enable shorter lead times
  • The ability to meet and exceed dynamic and changing global regulatory requirements
  • Products that are gluten-, dairy-, soy- and GMO-free

To check those items off the list, manufacturers should work with a partner who can assist with the process of optimizing their recipes for live cultures used in probiotics or dairy products, or fermented ingredients such as enzymes, organic acid, amino acids, vitamins, or beer, wine and spirits.Creating value alongside supporting innovation is the goal.

Sensient’s complex microbial strain portfolio gives us the ability to support those customized, actionable solutions to any product or ingredient mix. Our expert team can work with you in your facility, as well as through our state-of-the-art innovation center, on the exact solution for your product-manufacturing needs now, as well as in the future. Contact us here.

Raising the bar in coffee innovation | Insights | Sensient Flavors Blog
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Raising the bar in coffee innovation

Ready-to-drink (R.-T.-D.) coffee innovations continue to roll out at a rapid rate, with many featuring unique attributes.

“With the increased interest in dairy-free products, many different milk alternatives have made their way into R.-T.-D. coffee products,” said Joshua Jackson, beverage application technologist, Sensient Flavors, Hoffman Estates, Ill. “Each comes with its own flavor contribution that must be taken into account during formulation.”

Kevin Barasa, product manager at Sensient, added, “What many consumers like about cold brew is its velvety taste. The creaminess almost compensates for the otherwise bitter taste perceived in coffee, allowing consumers who traditionally need sugar or cream to drink their coffee black and stay within their health and wellness goals.

Read the full article on Food Business News.

Plant-based becoming a ‘pillar of food infrastructure’ | Insights | Sensient Flavors Blog
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Plant-based becoming a 'pillar of food infrastructure'

Not long ago, frequent dietary advice was to eat more fruits and vegetables. Choosing whole grains then became important.

Harry Park, application technologist for Sensient Natural Ingredients, suggested making vegan coconut curry using garbanzo beans, butternut squash, whole grain brown rice and a creamy coconut sauce with nuances of roasted garlic, smoked onion, and smoked green and red bell peppers.

Read the full article on Food Business News.

The tastes forecast to trend in 2019 | Insights | Sensient Flavors Blog
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The tastes forecast to trend in 2019

Flavors associated with health, nature, adventure and nostalgia are slated to trend in 2019. The flavors identified by developers and marketers capture trending tastes, but also the mood of the U.S. consumer.

“Food as medicine is a concept well-established and practiced in the east in countries like India and China for centuries,” said Keera Perumbala, a marketing associate for sweet and beverage flavors at Sensient Technologies, Milwaukee. “In North America, however, this is a rapidly growing trend for the past few years, as lack of trust in big pharma is driving more people to buy into it. There are many products focused on helping consumers de-stress, energize or tackle a plethora of other common symptoms of the modern life. Some botanical herbs and flavors are naturally poised to be positioned as such.”

Ms. Perumbala added that during the past decade the market has seen an increased focus on health and wellness dictating consumers’ lifestyle choices, particularly where it includes food and beverage.

“This is reflective in the increased discussion around gut health and the number of products with probiotics, rise in the popularity and use of ingredients such as turmeric, ginger and other adaptogens such as ginseng or tulsi,” she said.

The world is getting smaller

The spirit of flavor adventure will remain a trend in 2019, said Roger Lane, manager of savory flavors for Sensient Technologies.

“I think the interest in global flavors will continue into 2019 and beyond,” he said. “Consumers are simply too tuned-in to what’s happening around the world for continued exploration not to happen. Some of the more commonplace flavors and regions are certainly losing popularity, but they’re being replaced by hyper-regional versions. For example, Asian flavors have been around for ages, but we’re seeing interest in Macanese cuisine surge. It’s the perfect fusion food as it combines influences from South America, Europe and Asia.”

Mr. Lane added that while consumers love to try new flavors and explore new cuisines, they do like a touch of the classic to be included to make it a bit more familiar.

“For example, Middle Eastern cuisine is blowing up, and the flavors themselves are actually fairly familiar, but taking those flavors and combining them with something like mayonnaise or ranch makes them more accessible to consumers,” he said. “Combining these cuisines with a format familiar to consumers can also be helpful. Why not create a Korean-style burrito using ingredients found in typical Korean fare, but wrapped in a tortilla for a format everyone knows?”

Read the full article on Food Business News.

2019 Flavor trends for food and beverage | Insights | Sensient Flavors Blog
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2019 Flavor trends for food and beverage

Around the World

Global flavors continue to make their mark stateside as consumers expand their taste horizons.

“I think the interest in global flavors will continue into 2019 and beyond,” says Roger Lane, marketing manager, savory flavors, Sensient Technologies (Milwaukee, WI). “Consumers are simply too tuned-in to what’s happening around the world for continued exploration not to happen.”

With specificity in mind, Sensient’s Lane says “hyper-regionalized” flavors are replacing more commonplace regional flavors. “For example,” he says, “Asian flavors have been around for ages, but we’re seeing interest in Macanese cuisine surge. It’s the perfect fusion food as it combines influences from South America, Europe, and Asia.”

As formulators put new flavors on consumers’ taste maps, marketing stories can also capitalize on the exotic background behind those ingredients. “Products that are created with ingredients that are traceable and have provenance claims can be the nudge that a casual browser needs to engage with a particular product,” says Keera Perumbala, marketing associate, sweet and beverage flavors, Sensient Technologies. “A ‘Brazilian orange’ carries more appeal than an ‘orange.’”

Read the full article on Nutritional Outlook.

Sweet-heat surging in dairy innovation | Insights | Sensient Flavors Blog
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Sweet-heat surging in dairy innovation

Hot and spicy flavors in combination with some sweetness, like chipotle raspberry and lemongrass wasabi, are trending across all food and beverage categories. There is poblano chicken, habanero ketchup and cayenne kombucha. The more exotic, the more inviting the sweet-heat combination.

Some sweet-heat butter concepts from Kristie Hung, marketing specialist, Sensient Natural Ingredients, Turlock, Calif., include combining green hatch chili with lime for a crisp, bright savory flavor with strong front-end heat.

“Red hatch chili, on the other hand, has a distinct savory flavor with sweet, floral notes and lingering back-end heat,” Ms. Hung said. “When added into honey cinnamon whipped butter, the floral flavors accentuate the sweet notes, making it a perfectly balanced spread for toasts, bagels, pancakes and other baked goods.”

“Raspberry chipotle is a popular flavor combination that delivers the sweetness of raspberries and a hint of heat and smokiness from smoke-dried jalapeño peppers, also known as chipotle,” Ms. Hung said. “The smoky flavor adds depth and layers to this sweet-heat combination.

Ms. Hung’s yogurt ideas include mango habanero, blueberry guajillo and pineapple jalapeño. “You can really never go wrong with mango and habanero as a pair,” Ms. Hung said. “The juicy, fragrant, sweet flavors of mango, when paired with the floral flavors of habanero, produce fruity apricot, pear and apple notes. Guajillo delivers a sweet heat that encompasses green tea and earth flavor notes that gets balanced by blueberries while the juicy, tropical taste of pineapple is refreshing and mixes well with the heat of jalapeño.”

Read the full article on Food Business News.

2019 Formulation Trends: Bold, Adventurous, Cause-Driven | Insights | Sensient Flavors Blog
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2019 formulation trends: bold, adventurous cause-driven

Throughout 2019, one overarching trend will influence not just food and beverage formulations, but also ingredient sourcing, packaging, marketing strategies and commitment to corporate social responsibility.

While some of the more common ethnic cuisines in the U.S. are declining somewhat in popularity, “they’re being replaced by hyper-regional versions,” observes Roger Lane, marketing manager-savory for Sensient Flavors, Hoffman Estates, Ill. “For example, Asian flavors have been around for ages, but we’re seeing interest in Macanese cuisine surge. It’s the perfect fusion food as it combines influences from South America, Europe and Asia.”

“Food as medicine is a concept that is well-established and has been practiced in the East in countries like India and China for centuries,” adds Sensient Flavors marketing associate Keera Perumbala. “In North America, however, this has been a rapidly growing trend for the past few years, as lack of trust in ‘Big Pharma’ is driving more people to buy into it.” She emphasizes how increasing interest in gut health has led to an explosion of products with probiotics and points to the rising popularity of turmeric and adaptogens such as ginger, ginseng and tulsi.

Read the full article on Food Processing.

Heating up the dairy department | Insights | Sensient Flavors Blog
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Heating up the dairy department

Consumer fascination with hot and spicy foods is bringing a fiery kick to dairy departments.

“Raspberry pairs well with chipotle in cream cheese,” said Kristie Hung, marketing specialist, Sensient Natural Ingredients, Turlock, Calif. “The hint of heat and smokiness from the peppers adds depth and a savory layer to this sweet-heat combination. Hatch chili lime butter delivers a crisp, bright savory flavor and strong front-end heat.”

Read the full article on Food Business News.

The salty conundrum facing bakeries | Insights | Sensient Flavors Blog
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The salty conundrum facing bakeries

Reducing sodium has long been a nutritional concern. Even though it’s an essential nutrient, the human body needs a relatively small amount, and most Americans well exceed the daily recommended amount of sodium.

“As modern consumers are becoming more health-conscious, especially in their sodium intake, brands are increasingly launching low-sodium or reduced-sodium products to address these needs,” said Mona Clifford, application technologist, sweet flavors, at Sensient Flavors.

Sodium is most often associated with sodium chloride — also known as table salt. It is probably the most obvious starting point when it comes to slashing sodium. However, bakers need to be aware of the hits that may come to their finished product if they take out too much salt to reach sodium targets.

In bread, salt enhances flavor and controls the fermentation rate by limiting enzyme activity in the dough as it rises.

“The latter strengthens the gluten structure and traps the carbon dioxide produced during fermentation, providing better texture and volume to the bread,” Ms. Clifford said. “Without salt, the bread will continue to rise during fermentation, and the flavor will become bland.”

Read the full article on Baking Business.

Opposites attract in the frozen dessert market | Insights | Sensient Flavors Blog
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Opposites attract in the frozen dessert market

It’s Halo Top’s world; we just live in it.

At least that’s the impression you’d get after either 1) talking to industry experts about the state of the frozen dairy dessert space or 2) actually surveying that space in your local supermarket.

“Consumers want a consistent product with a long shelf life,” said Jennifer Chaffin, application technologist, sweet flavors for Sensient Flavors, Hoffman Estates, Ill. “And some of the unfavorable ingredients we use today such as high-fructose corn syrup, preservatives and some stabilizers were industry-changing scientific breakthroughs that allowed us to increase food safety and shelf life. They’ve given us opportunities to innovate.”

Flavor from the source

Such relationships are becoming more important up and down the supply chain.

“We see this in the many requests we get to use extracts that enable our customers to tell a story of where their ingredients have been sourced, while at the same time checking all the other boxes of clean-label requirements,” Chaffin said.

Extracts’ growing popularity points beyond their mere “natural” positioning to something even more transparent and cleaner, she added.

“While consumers feel better about natural than artificial flavor, they feel best about natural extracts,” Chaffin said.

Read the full article on Dairy foods

Factors driving the plant protein market | Insights | Sensient Flavors Blog
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Factors driving the plant protein market

By Roger Lane

While diets limiting meat, dairy and eggs used to be viewed as fads, many of today’s consumers, especially millennials, are shifting toward plant-based eating. These consumers are choosing to view the entire body and world around them as a balanced system, resulting in a more holistic outlook. The result is more and more Americans, including top athletes such as Tom Brady and Venus Williams, are identifying as vegan, vegetarian or plant-based.

Recent research shows while concerns about the environment and animal welfare are still motivating factors for following a plant-based lifestyle, they aren’t the driving factors. Many plant-based protein consumers are making the switch instead to improve their health and well-being. Studies suggest plant-based diets can help curb obesity, stroke and heart disease, prevent a variety of cancers, reduce cholesterol and arthritis pain, lower blood sugar and increase energy and mental clarity. Anxiety about food safety, drug-resistant bacteria and food borne illness is also a factor in the move toward veganism. Consumers aren’t willing, however, to sacrifice taste. In fact, according to Mintel, taste is the driving factor when it comes to making decisions in the grocery aisle, followed by health-centric attributes. Consumers seeking plant-based options are more likely to look for non-GMO products that are high in protein and have no artificial ingredients.

A generationally unifying concept of cost savings is also inspiring the rising trend of the vegan lifestyle. According to Mintel, cutting costs is the most common reason cited by lower-income earners for reducing their intake of animal protein. On the opposite side of the scale, restaurants are looking at the jump in profits offering vegan items can give. The research firm, Foodable Lab, found that adding vegan items to menus can be a profitable move for restaurants, resulting in a 13% increase in revenue year over year.

The shift toward the plant-based diet is driven largely by younger consumers, however, their effect is raising awareness across the entire demographic spectrum. While there are many reasons consumers are turning to veganism, the fact remains that it seems to be an unstoppable trend with much more growth potential.

For more information on how Sensient can help you create authentic vegan flavors that offer sustainability and wellness inside and out, visit our website.

Ready-to-drink tea beverages brew excitement among consumers | Insights | Sensient Flavors Blog
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Ready-to-drink tea beverages brew excitement among consumers

By Keera Perumbala

Tea has never not been popular, but its steady, stable consumer history as a mainstay hot and cold beverage is getting an exciting new chapter.

New flavor and color combinations are representing innovation in the chilled tea beverages category, and more are on the horizon. Tea’s reputation as a clean, single-ingredient beverage has positioned it well to succeed in a market where consumers are demanding high-quality natural ingredients and clear labeling. Brewed as a standalone beverage, tea also is sugar-free — another ongoing consumer “must have” for beverages.

Consumers are looking for that artisanal experience through distinctive flavor and ingredient choices that also support a clean label. Chilled, ready-to-consume teas bring all that together in a convenient package that consumers value because it’s an immediate gratification vs. something that must be brewed.

To help product makers continue capitalizing on tea’s popularity across all market segments, let’s take a look at a few types of RTD teas and the market trends that contribute to their popularity.

Nitro Tea

After cold brew, Nitro infusion proves to be a successful trend in beer and coffee, it is tea’s turn now. The frothy, creamy texture known and loved by trendsetters is gaining further popularity and creating a premium space for itself in the category. Sensient’s proprietary heading agent mouthfeel boosters and the right flavor choices offer consumers the theatre of the serve without the complex nitro process.

Chai Tea

This blend of spices steeped into tea has been a centuries-old favorite in the East, and it is growing rapidly in the West. Fans of hot chai are warming to cold chai, as well, with opportunity in the vegan and flexitarian consumer markets. The warming blend of spices in a cold beverage is an indulgent, exotic culinary experience.

Mocktail Tea

Tea and alcohol have been used to create exciting blends for a long time, and a new trend is to create an artisanal and distinctly adult-only experience with unique flavors. Sensient’s primary research suggests that consumers mix alcohol and tea to create special occasion beverages.

Kombucha Tea

The popularity of kombuchas continue to grow as a ‘better-for-you’ choice, be it as a stand-alone proponent of gut health or as a mixer in alcoholic beverages. Taste and value perceptions have driven this beverage mainstream. As consumer palates crave sourness, they can get the kombucha taste in chilled teas without the manufacturing complexity of SCOBY*.

Energy Tea

Ready-to-consume coffee and energy drinks have carved out their niche in the market, and tea is more than ready to claim some of that territory. Green and black teas are prized for their natural energy, and when combined with Guarana or Ginseng can offer an additional boost.

Relaxation Tea

Consumers not only drink tea on the go, they also use it to relax at home. Botanicals such as French lavender, mixed berry, rose and chamomile add to a wind-down respite during an afternoon break or at the end of a long day. These flavors work well in cold brew tea as well.

Savory Sipping Tea

The broth craze showed that consumers are open to flavorful sipping when paired with nutritional bonuses, and sipping tea brings that concept to a chilled beverage. Flavors such as artichoke, carrot and curry, along with roasted garlic powder, create beverages with unmistakable savory flavors.

Sensient’s team of experts never stops evaluating and assessing consumer demands through the lens of unique solutions that bring products to life. Connect with us to innovate on that next flavorful, colorful ready-to-drink tea that consumers will love.

*Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast.

Meat manufacturers bring plant-based protein mainstream | Insights | Sensient Flavors Blog
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Meat manufacturers bring plant-based protein mainstream

By Roger Lane

Consumer demand for plant-based food continues to increase as large food producers and big-box stores invest more in the sector.

No longer just for the vegan or vegetarian, today’s consumers have a growing appetite for plant-based foods. While taste tops the list of reasons to eat plant-based proteins, perceived health benefits are on consumers’ minds. According to a recent survey from Mintel, 46 percent of Americans agree plant-based proteins are better for you than animal-based options and 76 percent say plant-based foods are healthy.

Industry data backs up this trend. Experts estimate the plant-based meat market is set to reach $5.2 billion by 2020 and it is predicted to make up one third of the meat market by 2050. According to the Plant Based Foods Association, in-home plant-based consumption is on the rise with plant-based milk sales up
9%, plant-based meat up 24%, plant-based creamers up a whopping 131% and plant-based cheeses up 43%. As these plant-based foods have become tastier and more readily available, industry players are taking notice. Tyson recently launched its own plant-based protein brand, Green Street, and also has investments with leading edge start-ups like the plant-based company Beyond Meat and clean meat company Memphis Meat. Nestle USA acquired Sweet Earth in 2017, a California-based maker of vegan meals and snacks made from plant-based proteins. Campbell’s Soup joined the Plant Based Foods association alongside plant-based drivers like Daiya and Follow Your Heart. Even White Castle has teamed up with Impossible Foods to offer a plant-based slider. The new burger was an immediate hit in test stores and made its nationwide debut in September 2018 at all 377 U.S. locations.

Despite the progress in the plant-based sector, some are fighting the trend. In the past few months, cattlemen in Missouri brought a case to court petitioning the USDA to deny the use of words like “meat, sausage or milk” on food labels, concerned that the plant-based meats, sausages, or milks would be too confusing for consumers to decipher.

One thing we know is authenticity matters. Consumers want products that meet clean-label standards, have simple, all-natural ingredients and don’t sacrifice on taste. As the plant-based sector continues to grow, Sensient can help product developers create high-quality vegan flavors in a variety of formats.

For more information, please visit our website.

Consumers embrace gastronomic globe trotting | Insights | Sensient Flavors Blog
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Consumers embrace gastronomic globe trotting

Today’s consumers continue to expand their palates, seeking out new ethnic foods and flavors. When doing so, they often have high expectations for authenticity, which may include recipes from native chefs, use of imported ingredients and incorporation of unfamiliar seasonings.

“The biggest ethnic trend we are seeing across the entire food space is a refocusing on Asia, but there are a few distinct differences than in years past. We’re seeing the exploration of smaller regions that offer a unique flavor profile or story behind the cuisine. This includes the Philippines and Vietnam,” says Roger Lane, marketing manager, savory flavors, Sensient Flavors, Hoffman Estates, Illinois. “Filipinos are masters at layering and fusing flavor together – sweet, salty and sour – so there’s a lot of opportunity for meat-based applications.”

Consumers are also experimenting with different levels of heat. And when they are paired with global flavors, their curiosity is piqued. “Examples include peri peri, which is a hot sauce made from African peri peri peppers,” says Harry Park, application technologist, Sensient Natural Ingredients, Turlock, California. “Another interesting flavor gaining momentum is sambal, an Indonesian-inspired hot sauce typically made from a variety of chili peppers with secondary ingredients, such as shrimp paste, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, shallot, scallion, lime juice and vinegar.

Read the full article on Meat + Poultry.

Fruits and Vegetables Move to the Forefront | Insights | Sensient Flavors Blog
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Beverage

Fruits and Vegetables Move to the Forefront

Not only are fruits and vegetables chock-full of beneficial nutrients (the CDC says that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help reduce the risk of some chronic diseases), but they also can be transformed into different types of functional ingredients. That’s why product developers are considering fruits and vegetables as more than healthy snacks or side dishes.

“Fruits and vegetables as ingredients and flavors have been trending for quite some time now—think of the ‘fruit on the bottom’ claims on the yogurt cups or pieces of vegetables in cream cheese spreads,” says Keera Perumbala, marketing associate, sweet and beverage, at Sensient Flavors. “Fruit flavors have become essential in categories such as beer and are even finding their space in coffees. Meanwhile, flavored vegetable chips and kimchis are the ask of the healthy consumer.”

Flavorful Fruits and Vegetables

Unexpected applications and exotic varieties of fruits and vegetables are allowing product developers to pack more punch in product formulations. Vegetables such as beets, spinach, kale, and sweet potato are being used in sweet applications like ice cream, while fruits like yumberry, goji berry, prickly pear, and guanabana are turning up in yogurts, says Yashar Shakarami, application technologist, sweet flavors, at Sensient Flavors.

Fruits are also turning up in savory applications, especially sauces and soups where the sweetness of fruit helps to balance out a savory profile, says Roger Lane, marketing manager, savory flavors, at Sensient Flavors. “Peach, raspberry, cherry, and blueberry all work well in barbecue sauces or in salsa applications. In soups, with the trend of drinkable soups and juicing diets, fruits are being combined to create more palatable flavors. Watermelon gazpacho, orange carrot ginger soup, or butternut squash and pear all work perfectly.”

Another trending flavor across many products categories is smoke, which can come from naturally smoking vegetables and then incorporating them into sauces, condiments, soups, and more. “Smoke appeals to those who are looking to discover new, complex flavors to satisfy their adventurous palates,” says Kristie Hung, marketing specialist at Sensient Natural Ingredients.

“According to Mintel, smoked flavors are popular in restaurant side dishes, growing 18% in the past two years,” Hung continues. “However, recently, smoked flavors are moving beyond restaurant menus, appearing in product segments like snacks, meal centers, and meat or meat analog products. According to Mintel, 37.9% of new products in the snacks segment and 66.7% of new products in the sauces and seasonings segments are using natural ingredients like Sensient Natural Ingredients’ smoked onion, smoked paprika, and other naturally smoked vegetables to elevate flavor.”

Sensient Natural Ingredients’ naturally smoked vegetables can be easily added as a topical seasoning on top of a fish fillet or gazpacho soup, or in a marinade to elevate flavor of a simple meat or poultry dish. Furthermore, you can also incorporate pieces of smoked tomato and onion into salmon patties or beef burgers to emphasize the fire-cooked notes without actually having to put them on the grill.

Read the full article on Food Technology.

What millennials want | Insights | Sensient Flavors Blog
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What millennials want

Here’s a shocker: Millennials like to take photographs of their food before they eat it and post them on social media. So what did you expect from the generation that grew up clutching iPhones, not stuffed animals?

Jean Shieh, marketing manager for Turlock, Calif.-based Sensient Natural Ingredients (SNI), sees a connection between millennials’ penchant for social media and what they eat. Millennials are all about experimenting with new ingredients and flavors and then letting their social media followers know what they are trying. And then their followers try what they tried, and the cycle continues.

“This is a generation that is not afraid of trying anything,” says Shieh, whose company produces natural ingredients to bring flavor, texture, color and nutrition to clean-label food products. “Millennials are all about having choices.”

But millennials are not seeking completely new flavors, Shieh says. Often, it’s about adding a new twist to a familiar flavor. Take caramel, for instance.

“Caramel is a sweet flavor that most people like,” Shieh says. “What we can do is add some heat to the sweet with something like habanero.”

The key is adding a hot flavor, whether from a chili pepper or a ghost pepper to a common flavor which could be sweet, bitter or sour, in small doses, so a product can be consumed multiple times and at a larger volume, Shieh says.

Mexican chocolate is another example of a product that fits well with millennials and could present an opportunity for private brands. It’s chocolate with a dose of zing — in this case chili pepper.

“It’s a familiar chocolate flavor but with a new twist,” Shieh says. “So it’s not completely out there.”

Read the full article on Store Brands.

Sensient team to have strong presence at SupplySide West show | Insights | Sensient Flavors Blog