Specialist Insights on Today’s Food Consumer

The Latest in Food Consumer Trends from IFT . . .

The 2023 International Food Technologies (IFT) Annual Event and Food Expo is coming up 16-19 July 2023 (Chicago).   As an organisation IFT are respected for their food innovation knowledge from the latest in food ingredients through to technology and packaging.  We’ve followed their thoughts on some key Expo trends from 2022 – the familiar themes of health and wellness, sustainability, and functionality, and we’re interested to see how they’re evolving.

Personalised Health and Nutrition

Holistic health and wellness has evolved as a macro trend, continuing to develop post-Covid as people amp-up their attitudes to health, nutrition and wellbeing.  Consumers purchasing decisions are increasingly driven by their own health and wellness – this extends beyond traditional physical fitness to mental and emotional health.

A number of micro trends have emerged from this holistic approach, one being ‘personalised health and nutrition.’ This refers to consumers’ desire for individualised food and beverage options that meet their dietary and nutritional requirements, culinary preferences, and price points.  This micro trend of personalisation was a clear standout among the innovative ingredients presented at the IFT FIRST Food Expo 2022.

Alvaro Velasco, dairy category manager, Tate & Lyle points out that the challenge for food companies, including ingredient and flavour manufacturers, is to start thinking about consumers wanting a greater level of personalisation and how their range of ingredients and solutions are going to meet those varied requirements.  How can they be sold at that level?

Moving from ‘Clean’ to ‘Clear’ Labels

For more than a decade the clean label movement has been strong.  This method promotes products with a few simple ingredients – they’re labelled using easy-to-understand language to describe what’s in the product or how it’s made. The term ‘clean label’ is a marketing term and has never been defined by the FDA.  It isn’t governed in any way at the state or Federal level.  The goal of clean labelling is to support the consumer by providing information about a product that is clear and transparent with regard to meaning.

Several exhibitors at the 2022 IFT FIRST Exhibit present ‘clear labels’ as the next move on from clean labels.  Clear labels mean total transparency about what is contained in your product and direct clear labelling that doesn’t hide chemicals or chemical-sounding ingredients under a ‘natural’ label or term.  Clear labels have a wider variety of available information with a focus on that products’ story, ingredients and production process.

At Prosur they manufacture functional ingredients from sustainably produced raw materials, whose industrial processing is as minimal as possible.  Juan Hernandez, CEO points out that consumers today expect fully transparent, or clear labels so they can make the best choices about what they feed themselves and their families – expectations go beyond taste and nutrition.

Multi-functional Ingredients – Why they Matter

Food and beverage manufacturers continue to look for ways to make a bigger impact with functional foods to meet consumer demand.  According to IFT FIRST, ingredients or flavours that deliver more than one functional attribute per product enable food and beverage manufacturers with a far stronger proposition. This means they’re able to deliver on wider benefits across health, wellness, and sustainability.

For example, recent consumer trend research by ADM revealed that 52% of consumers purchased probiotics in the past 12 months, and 63% of consumers prefer probiotics when incorporated into foods and beverages. This kind of data supported the development of a biotic snack that consists of plant protein, prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics all in one.

Making it Sustainable

The impacts of sustainability on food and beverage innovation go beyond minimising environmental impacts to include upcycling, human and animal welfare, food waste and food security.  Ingredients upcycled from food waste and byproducts created during agricultural harvesting, production or food processing were featured in product ranges at IFT FIRST.

At Taranaki Bio Extracts a sustainable approach is at the very heart of what we do. We upcycle and transform the best of New Zealand’s beef bones to craft our premium ingredients.  For us sustainability is all about meeting the needs of our customers, and their customers, without compromising the ability of future generations to do the same.

Our range of 100% natural ingredients have no artificial flavours, additives, or preservatives. They are MSG and gluten free and made with non-GMO and antibiotic free New Zealand raised beef bones. To learn more about our premium range of industrial food ingredients visit Our range of natural food ingredients | Taranaki Bio Extracts

REFERENCE – Five top trends in flavour – IFT