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Carolina Innovative Food Ingredients Inc. Debuts Clean-Label Products

Monday, July 13th, 2015

sweet potatoesCarolina Innovative Food Ingredients Inc. (CIFI) has developed a line of sweet potato-based ingredients to meet the growing demand for clean-labels foods. At a press event on Monday, July 13, CIFI highlighted its sweet potato ingredients, which provide nutritional benefits and are sourced from domestically grown sweet potatoes. During the IFT15 food expo, the company is showcasing a menu of food samples formulated with sweet potato ingredients; the menu includes a fruit and vegetable juice blend, a nutrition bar, marinated sliders and condiments, and cheesecake featuring a vegan caramel sauce. In September 2015, CIFI’s will open a new plant in Nashville, N.C., where sweet potato juice, dehydrated sweet potato granules, and sweet potato flour will be produced. CIFI is excited about the new sweet potato offerings, which will provide alternative sweeteners and GMO-free ingredients for food manufacturers, a company spokesperson said.

Keeping Fresh Foods Fresh

Sunday, July 12th, 2015

Grocery shoppingThe perimeter of the store and its assortment of fresh bakery, meat, dairy, produce and prepared foods is stealing market share from the center aisles, declared Agnes Lapinska with Ingredion at a session on “Increasing Freshness in Fresh Prepared Foods” on Sunday afternoon. “Consumers are demanding less processed, fresher ingredients and more participation in food preparation, which is a huge challenge for the food industry,” said Lapinska. Shoppers are also looking for transparency and ingredients they recognize.

According to Lapinska, sales of perimeter of the store foods in the U.S. were $296 billion in 2014, which represents about a 15% increase over 2009 sales of $257 billion. Sales are forecast to reach $346 billion by 2019—an increase of nearly 17%. Shoppers spend nearly 40% of their time in the supermarket’s perimeter and 18% of their grocery trip in the center of the store. The remainder of their time (about 40%) is navigating the aisles and checking out.

The main factors driving this store behavior, said Lapinska, are consumers’ desire for health and wellness—food at the perimeter is perceived to be less processed, higher quality and healthier, the ability of consumers to personalize and customize their selections, and the economy of eating at home vs. eating out.

To succeed in the growing fresh foods landscape, Lapinska told attendees to focus on the value propositions of freshness, health, clean label, and taste and comfort. If you have a presence in the perimeter, look for points of differentiation such as new ingredients, single-serve packaging and sustainability.

Catherine Proper of Supervalu discussed some of the opportunities and challenges in fresh prepared foods from the retailer’s perspective. About 20% of fresh food is private label, representing a $26 billion market, said Proper. Fresh is the fastest growing category in private label foods.

Proper described a problem with English muffins that were frozen and then merchandised at ambient temperature. The products, which had a 16-day shelf life, were receiving quality complaints, including dryness. A review of the supply chain discovered that the products were frozen, on average, six days following manufacture at individual stores. Housed on pallets, some of the products could take up to three days to freeze in the walk-in freezers. What was thought to be a 16-day shelf life turned out to be less than a week.

Poulson Joseph of Kalsec discussed freshness in the meat case. Research in the U.S. and UK found that more than 70% of consumers want meat and poultry products with no artificial ingredients—the top food category cited. The use of natural antioxidant and clean-label ingredients (e.g., rosemary and rosemary plus acerola for fresh meat, rosemary plus green tea for cooked meat, and cherry powder and celery powder for cured meats) can extend the shelf life of meat products and provide color and flavor stability.

John Garrison of Ingredion talked about the advantages of using functional native starches in delivering stability in refrigerated products. According to Garrison, functional native starches provide a wide peak viscosity, temperature, pH and shear tolerance, a smooth, short texture, and clean label. In a marinade application of poultry, a functional native waxy rice starch produced a succulent and juicy product and offered a clean-label alternative to phosphate. In another application, functional native starch delivered superior freeze-thaw stability in a beef gravy in a ready meal.

Innova Gives the ‘All Clear’ for a New Industry Standard

Sunday, July 12th, 2015

Innova Market InsightsMore than one-fifth of the 2014 U.S. product introductions tracked by Innova Market Insights (Booth 873) featured a clean label positioning. So it’s not surprising that clean label led the list of the research firm’s Top 10 Trends for 2015.

“Clean—or clear label as we have decided to call it—has moved past being a trend,” says Lu Ann Williams, director of innovation at Innova Market Insights (innovadatabase.com). “It is the new rule. Companies will have to do what they can to clean up labels or be as transparent as they can going forward.”

Williams likes the term “clear label” because it incorporates the concept of transparency. “The definition about what is clean continues to broaden every year, and clear captures that as well. Consumers lump it all together—whether it is no artificial colors, no additives, organic, or Fair Trade,” Williams continues.

A company’s approach to clean label will vary depending on the nature of its product and the formulation, Williams notes. “There isn’t a list with boxes to tick that finally allows you to say it is clean label. It’s just about doing what makes sense in your category and in your product—and in your region or country. There are some places where it might make better sense to have some preservatives.”

Innova has tracked significant increases in the use of natural ingredients to help product formulators in their quest to supply clean labels. They include natural sweeteners such as stevia and monk fruit; natural colors such as those based on spirulina, elderberry, and beetroot; and thickeners such as tragacanth and gellan gums. At the same time, the use of less “label-friendly” ingredients has declined; between 2013 and 2014, the use of azodicarbonamide as an ingredient decreased by 16% and the use of carmine (cochineal extract) was down by 5%.

The market research and consulting firm cites several statistics in support of its “From Clean to Clear Label” trend. For example, recent consumer research shows that almost three-quarters (73%) of consumers agree that it is important that most of the ingredients on a food label are things they recognize and would use at home. And more than one-fourth (28%) claim that clean label is a factor that influences their purchasing decisions when shopping for foods or beverages across all categories.

Innova’s always anticipated Top 10 Trends are highlighted at the Taste the Trend pavilion. The following trends rounded out the list: 2) convenience for foodies; 3) marketing to millennials; 4) snacks rise to the occasion; 5) good fats, good carbs; 6) more in store for protein; 7) new routes for fruit; 8) a fresh look at frozen; 9) private label power; and 10) rich, chewy, and crunchy.

Three presentations are featured daily at Innova’s Taste the Trend Pavilion, according to the following schedule:

  • Noon – “Clean Label & the Consumer”
  • 1:30 p.m. – “Top 10 Trends for 2015”
  • 3 p.m. – “The Incredible Rise of ‘Free-From’

Keeping It Transparent: Formulating Clean Label Products

Sunday, July 12th, 2015

BY: CATHERINE ADAMS HUTT

Session 61
Monday, July 13; 10–11:30 a.m.
Room S501abc

The food industry lexicon has become replete with references to clean label. The interest in clean label is driven by consumer demand for greater transparency and increasing interest in the healthfulness of the diet along with a general distrust of processed foods. Clean labels are closely linked with the trends for natural, organic, local, and sustainability; they convey notions of quality, trust, and transparency to the consumer.

Shoppers in grocery storeThere is no regulatory definition for clean label. Instead, it is being defined by consumers and stakeholders and labeled with equally undefined terms, such as pure and simple. Retailers, including Whole Foods, Safeway, and Kroger, have the most concrete definition of clean label foods through in-store bans for specific food ingredients. However, it is generally agreed that clean label may be used in reference to foods that are minimally processed; devoid of artificial flavors, artificial colors, and synthetic additives; and absent any unexpected allergens. Clean label foods are consumer-recognized as simple, wholesome, authentic, and real. They should be made from food ingredients that are free of synthetic hormones and growth-promoting antibiotics. They are not necessarily organic and may or may not meet consumer expectations of natural foods. Many clean labels voluntarily label GMO status.

Some ingredients that retailers have banned from clean label foods include high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), artificial sweeteners, artificial colors, artificial flavors, non-natural preservatives, irradiated foods, and bleached flour. Carmine, a natural color ingredient, is also not allowed by some retailers. Caffeine, margarine, and shortening also make the banned ingredient list for some.

The purpose of this session is to provide an overview of the movement toward clean label and its consumer drivers and to identify the hierarchy of attributes that define clean label, including differences among demographic groups.

A. Elizabeth Sloan, president, Sloan Trends, will set a hierarchy of consumer product attributes within the clean label space and will discuss how they differ by product category and which attributes are gaining or losing interest.

John Hallagan, senior advisor and general counsel for the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association, who also provides legal and regulatory counsel for clients in the food and drug industries, will discuss the current regulatory landscape and governing bodies. He will define terms and provide insights with respect to regulatory guidance for clean labeling, including globally.

Angelina De Castro, senior manager–marketing for Ingredion’s Wholesome Springboard program, will talk about starch ingredient selections for textural design and stability for clean label applications within various food categories.

Dan Grazaitis, food scientist, TIC Gums, will provide insights on gum/hydrocolloid ingredient selections for textural design and stability for clean label applications.

Presented by: A. Elizabeth Sloan, SloanTrends; John Hallagan, Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association; Angelina De Castro, Ingredion; and Dan Grazaitis, TIC Gums

Innova’s Taste the Trend Pavilion

Saturday, July 11th, 2015

Booth 873

Daily presentations on trending topics of marketplace significance will be featured at the Innova Market Insights Taste the Trend Pavilion.

Presentation times and topics:

  • 12:00 pm: Clean Label & the ConsumerWhat consumers are looking for and how product developers can meet these new demands.
  • 1:30 pm: Top 10 Trends for 2015Clear communication and transparent labeling will be key to regaining consumer confidence.
  • 3:00 pm: The Incredible Rise of “Free From”The “free-from” category is rapidly transforming from a “niche” part of the store to the mainstream.

In addition, this year’s booth will include:

  • 3 daily presentations
  • 30 infographics with insights into the latest consumer and new product trends
  • Interactive packaging displays
  • Flagship Top 10 Trends for 2015

Tips and Trends for Wellness Watchers at IFT15

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

BY: A. ELIZABETH SLOAN

No artificial ingredientsAs IFT15 food expo attendees search for new high-potential nutrition and wellness concepts and ingredients, here are six mega-trends to keep in mind.

  1. Whole Food Nutrition. Inherently healthy whole foods, close to nature ingredients, and minimal processing are now primary drivers of food selection. One-third of the best-selling new foods/drinks touted a real fruit health benefit claim and 14% highlighted a real vegetable, according to IRI’s 2014 New Product Pacesetters report. Anthocyanins, resveratrol, polyphenols, and flavanoids are the top mass market phytochemical opportunities; astaxanthin, olive extracts, and pterostilbene are among the up-and-comers.
  2. Cleaner Still. All-natural, recognizable ingredients, no artificial preservatives/ingredients, and no added sugar are the most desired clean label attributes, according to the 2013 Gallup Study of Clean Food & Beverage Labels. In 2014, 40% of adults were trying to avoid GMOs. “Made in the USA” or “Made in Canada” are moving into the spotlight.
  3. Specialty Nutritionals. Potassium, magnesium, choline, unique fibers, prebiotics, and iron are the hot nutrients for 2015 and beyond. Among those consumers who are making a strong effort to consume specialty nutritionals, probiotics, amino acids, turmeric, lutein/zeaxanthin, peptides, and whey/soy proteins enjoyed the biggest gains last year, per Gallup’s 2014 Study of Nutrient Knowledge & Consumption. Fortification is a key driver of kid-specific food sales. Fortified kids’ products are projected to top $41 billion in sales by 2018, reports Packaged Facts’ 2014 Kids’ Food & Beverage Market.
  4. Improved Performance. The $30 billion-plus sports nutrition sector has mainstreamed; six in 10 consumers use sports nutrition foods/drinks, per Nutrition Business Journal. Nutrition bar sales will top $5.7 billion by 2017; weight loss products/meal replacements will reach $4.3 billion in sales. The International Food Information Council reports that 56% of adults are trying to get more protein. Food expo exhibitors will be highlighting new protein sources, protein quality, timing of consumption, effective intake levels, and the presence of leucine. Energy, muscle, sarcopenia, and kids are hot protein markets.
  5. Alternatives. Ingredients and services that help food companies deliver free-from products will be a hot niche at the food expo. One-third of adults tried a specialty eating regimen in 2014. According to the Food Marketing Institute’s 2014 U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends, 8% tried gluten-free; 7%, lactose-free; and 5%, dairy-free. Eighty percent of households now eat meatless meals, and 17% of adults make some effort to be partially vegetarian, per Gallup’s nutrition study. Non-wheat ingredients; ethnic, ancient, and sprouted grains and flours; and nuts and seeds will all be in the expo spotlight. According to Beverage Industry magazine, dairy alternative drinks are the most active new beverage development category for 2015.
  6. Functional Foods. And finally, with half of the U.S. population aged 50-plus by 2019, it’s not surprising that functional food sales are projected to grow from $51 billion in 2014 to $66.8 billion by 2017, per Nutrition Business Journal.

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