BY ALEX CLERE
IN FRANKFURT, GERMANY
Predictably, one of the main focuses of the latest installment of FiE in Frankfurt appears to be reducing sugar, fat and sodium; enriching with protein and fibre; and delivering benefits for consumers beyond the face nutritional value of a food product.
Ingredient companies are proudly exhibiting their latest solutions, and both healthfulness and clean-label appeal are major considerations.
In many ways, they’re under pressure from governments and legislation: EFSA continues to police the use of probiotic claims with an iron fist, the first phase of acrylamide reduction legislation is expected in Europe in the first half of next year, and governments all over the world are turning to sugar taxes in the fight against obesity.
For sugar in particular, ingredients that help manufacturers realise significant reductions while still delivering flavour are proving very popular. Perhaps there are fewer stevia suppliers here than you might expect, reflecting the impression that consumers have failed to embrace the natural sweetener fully.
Yet they are keen to reduce the amount of sugar: DSM showed us a presentation yesterday that outlined the demand among consumers for less added sugar. Its own research into breakfast habits suggests that more than half of consumers are paying attention to the amount of sugar in their food, despite the prevalence of consumers’ sweet tooth in countries like Spain and France.
Nearly 60% of consumers surveyed by DSM are reading food labels more than they were five years ago, and 56% of respondents said that they read the ingredients list first when deciding whether to buy a product.
Consumers are still skipping breakfast – 15% of consumers surveyed in the Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain, the UK and the US skip breakfast entirely, with many more taking less than five minutes each morning.
Even for those consumers that still eat breakfast, sugar is clearly a powerful consideration.
At Taura Natural’s stand, head of sales for EMEA Peter Forceville talked us through their range of fruit ingredients for the snack and bakery segments – keystones of the breakfast occasion. Alongside reduced-sugar biscuits, for instance, Taura’s strawberry pieces can help deliver natural sweetness without the sugar, helping to realise 20% less sugar than standard versions.
Peter Dehasque, group chief executive officer for Taura Natural Ingredients, said: “Reduced sugar products are increasingly common but they often leave consumers disappointed. Our unique fruit pieces are the ideal way to cut added sugar while still offering a fantastic flavour and texture experience.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2017