Consumer Food Trends: Natural, Sustainable and Indulgent
Food trends, government updates, and innovative ingredients took center stage at the IDFA jointly hosted the Ice Cream Technology and Cultured Products Technology Conferences held last week in Bonita Springs, FL.
The R&D professionals in attendance pride themselves on creating new products that resonate with what consumers actually want. And they were not disappointed when many of the speakers offered recent consumer market research, identifying primary trends that impact buying decisions.
The McKinsey 2022 Sentiment Survey asked consumers what characteristics were important to them when buying food or beverages.
McKinsey also explored the prevalence of ethical claims on new product introductions and which ones they would pay extra for.
Ingedion explored the interplay between reduced sugar, added sugars, and artificial vs natural.
Like every researcher before them, taste reigns supreme and Cane Sugar remains the gold standard. New non-caloric sweeteners and protein additives continue to enter the market, but their functionality remains elusive without the addition of other ingredients to match products made from cane sugar. And these longer labels fail to satisfy consumers looking for a clean label.
The folks from Kerry identified sustainable sourcing and ethical processing as a key consumer trend that continues to grow.
And they offered specific actions product developers can take to reach these aspirational goals.
And perhaps due to its association with living animals (i.e. cows), sustainability in dairy will be critical to stay relevant against the continued growth in plant based beverages.
Next to plant-based, indulgence is also a growing trend. Less is more, but it better be yummy.
And of course, speaking of yummy and indulgent, no Ice Cream Technology Conference would be complete without the Innovative Ice Cream Contest. After a two year in person hiatus, the crowd was not disappointed with the 35 unique entries to savor.
The winners were Purple Daze by the Ice Cream Club (a Jimi Hendrix inspired Black Raspberry ice cream with dark chocolate black raspberry cups) and Monkey Bread from Hudsonville Ice Cream. Both indulgent, nostalgic, and delicious.
Sugaright liquid cane sugar checks the boxes of key consumer trends for ice cream and yogurt.
Contact us to learn how we changed the way we think about sugar.