At Food Matters Live 2018, Harriet Jachec spoke with Charlotte Catignani, research and development manager for Treatt, about the new flavour options on show for its customers.
The three main flavour solutions on display were a flavoured water with green bell pepper, cucumber and lime flavours; an orange, bergamot and white tea craft soda; and a lemon and lime carbonated soft drink, sweetened with stevia.
Catignani explained further how differentiation is imperative for the flavour market: “I’ve been coming to Food Matters Live for a number of years and I know what the drive for naturalness is like.
“For this particular show, we distinctly went for the stevia. But it depends on what our customers want.
“We’ve worked with all formulations, we’ve tested our products with all different sweeteners so when it comes to what our customer is currently working with, what problems they have, and what solutions they want, that we have something that will actually work for them.
“We don’t discriminate, natural or artificial, but definitely for this show, we went with the natural sweetener.”
Striving for naturalness is a current consumer behaviour, and Catignani illustrated how regional difference can affect the drive for this.
“For [markets in the] UK and Europe, naturalness is extremely important – North America as well has a huge drive for naturalness. For other markets around the world, they are coming round to the idea of naturalness.
“But ultimately, it depends on whether you have a great flavour – you could have superb synthetic flavours and there’s nothing wrong with that. That serves some markets extremely well.
“It’s all about the taste at the end of the day, but yes, if our customers want a natural flavour claim, then we will give them a natural flavour claim.”
As well as consumer behaviour altering the need for naturalness, legislative action has also influenced the way food and beverage customers flavour their products.
Catignani explained how Treatt has observed how customers have responded to the need for lowered sugar even before the sugar tax came into action, and how, being an international company, some customers have lowered sugar in their products even in regions where such legislation does not exist.
“We’re a global company, so we’ve been seeing our customers reformulating and reducing sugar for quite some time now.
“Some of the largest beverage companies in the world have made commitments to reducing calories across their portfolios, and they’ve been going for years, so we know this drive is in response to consumer demand as well as a reaction to taxing levies.”
Presented and edited by: Harriet Jachec
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019