December 1, 2009 (Morris Plains, NJ) - With ‘pure simplicity’ considered the number one trend worldwide for 2009 , it’s no surprise that natural ingredients are becoming the big focus for new product development. Below, the BENEO-Group’s Yves Servotte discusses how food producers can tap into this trend to their advantage. With Datamonitor analysis estimating that the combined US, Western European and Asia Pacific functional food and beverage market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.7% between 2007 and 2012, there is excellent potential for functional food and beverage manufacturers that are prepared to move with the times.
As part of this growing functional food trend, the ‘natural’ message is one that can be used to great advantage. However, to ensure that a credible ‘natural’ message is being made in association with functional foods and beverages, producers need to choose their ingredient providers with caution. This is why the BENEO-Group, made up of BENEO-Remy, BENEO-Orafti and BENEO-Palatinit, has placed such a priority on developing its unique rice-derivatives, prebiotics and sugar-replacers from the purest of natural ingredients – rice, chicory and sugarbeet. With this is mind, food manufacturers should regard the BENEO-Group as the preferred partner for innovation, especially when looking to market natural products.
Dairy drinks – naturally
Healthy dairy drinks have made up the majority of new product development launches over recent years. Over the last seven years, BENEO-Orafti has seen more than a 90% increase in the number of dairy beverage products brought to market containing inulin and oligofructose. From small beginnings back in 2002 when only 15 dairy drinks contained this active food ingredient, 2008 saw 181 products brought to market globally that contained inulin and oligofructose.
For beverage manufacturers wanting to include active food ingredients like Orafti® inulin and oligofructose in products to support health and wellness claims, times are still bright. With the largest proportion of dairy drink innovations being carried out in Western Europe (28%) and Asia (24%), followed by Latin America (18%), it is interesting to note that North America is still in the lead of developing dairy drinks that contain inulin and oligofructose, with Asia close behind. In the North American market, 11% of dairy drinks contain this active food ingredient, as opposed to 9% in Asia and 7% in Western Europe.
Mintel’s 2009 trends report
Non-dairy drinks – naturally
Consumers are increasingly interested in products that support their health and lifestyle and can easily be incorporated into their daily diet. One of the fastest growing areas for functional ingredients is the beverage sector, making it an area of great opportunity for manufacturers. There is a vast selection of beverages available on the market ranging from waters and juices to fizzy drinks and energy drinks. Differentiation is the key in such a competitive market and beverages that have additional benefits attract consumers who are looking for a healthy, quick-fix solution.
BENEO-Palatinit has seen a significant rise in the use of its next-generation sugar, PalatinoseTM, in beverages and particularly in the sports and energy drink sector. This natural ingredient, derived from beet sugar, is proving highly popular due to the fact that it is the only low-glycemic carbohydrate on the market which provides prolonged energy in the form of glucose to the body, and promotes fat oxidation. It is therefore highly suitable for use in energy, sport and wellness drinks. With the latest market forecasts suggesting an overall global growth of the energy drink market by 2010 of over £19 billion (boosted by greater innovation in the formulations of energy drinks that can reflect particular lifestyles as well as providing health benefits), PalatinoseTM looks set to offer considerable new product development potential to beverage manufacturers. Even though it has only been three years since the launch of the first products containing this tooth-friendly sugar, more than 70 products have been brought to market already, taking advantage of the added health benefits of this unique ingredient.
2 Statistics on dairy drink market from www.innova-food.com
3 New profit opportunities in health and nutrition to 2009, Reuters Business News
Baby foods – naturally
As would be expected, one of the front runners in the trend for ‘all things natural’ is the baby food and beverage sector. The demand for naturalness is at an all-time high, as parents have become better informed about health and nutrition. With this in mind, rice ingredients like BENEO-Remy’s Remyline® (natural waxy rice starch) have become popular with food manufacturers, as they have the ability to provide clean label, organic, highly digestible and hypo-allergenic (gluten and lactose-free) baby food solutions. Proof of the increase in the popularity of rice ingredients comes from a recent study by Innova into global baby food and beverage product launches. Since the low point back in 2007, when only 130 baby food products were launched worldwide containing rice ingredients, the focus on ‘all things natural’ has seen a significant jump to 243 baby food products launched containing rice ingredients in 2008. This trend appears to be continuing, with 57 products launched in the first three months of 2009 alone.
The largest areas of growth in baby foods and beverages that contain rice ingredients have been in the ‘baby meals’ and ‘cereals and cookies’ sectors. Interestingly, in the baby foods category, Western Europe has stayed relatively stable, representing 49% and 45% of the total new product launches in 2007 and 2008 respectively, but Asia and Latin America have seen increases in their share of the sector rise from 12% to 20% and 4% to 10%. If the first quarter of 2009 is taken into account, we see a huge increase in interest in baby foods that contain rice ingredients in Eastern Europe, jumping from 7% of the year’s total new product launches to 37%.
Bakery foods – naturally
The functional bread market currently accounts for only 2% of the total bread market, but it is growing fast with over 2,400 products launched in 2008, an increase of 14% over last year, with Europe accounting for 45% of total launches. More than ever, consumers are looking for ways to reduce calories and maintain steady blood glucose levels as part of an all-around healthy diet. BENEO-Palatinit has seen a significant increase in the use of its naturally derived sugar replacer, ISOMALT, in snacking products within the bakery and pastry sectors as consumers’ interest in pure ingredients increases. Ingrid Willibald-Ettle, Head of Customer Technical Service at BENEO-Palatinit says: “As consumers look to combine their taste for treats with an increasing focus on healthy living, we are seeing a subsequent growth in the interest amongst food producers for functional ingredients that not only reduce calorie intake, but also come from the most natural derivatives.”
By incorporating modest amounts of BENEO-Orafti’s Orafti® inulin into bread products, manufacturers can produce bakery foods which can have a real benefit on the digestive health of consumers. With regular intake of inulin and oligofructose at levels of 5 grams each day, the body’s own bifidobacteria are stimulated and increased in number by as much as 5-10 times. At the same time, the level of harmful organisms in the digestive tract, such as clostridia, is reduced.
4 Innova 2008-March 2009
5 Innova 2008-March 2009
6 Euromonitor 2008
Ice Creams – naturally
Among many others, Schöller (Germany) and Casty (Spain) have used the growing trend for healthy products to launch highly successful ‘light’ versions of their existing favorites. Ice cream producer Casty, for example, launched a healthy range of ice creams by reducing sugar content and promoting good digestive health. The varieties Cones (vanilla flavor), Sandwich (cream flavor with cookie) and Luxus (vanilla flavor with milk chocolate topping) are all made without added sugars and carry on-pack the BENEO™ Quality Label, which guarantees the presence of Orafti® inulin and oligofructose at a level that helps maintain a healthy and balanced digestive system. The challenges faced by manufacturers wanting to create ‘healthy indulgent’ ice creams means that they require ingredients that can reduce sugar content without a discernable difference in taste, sweetness profile, texture or mouthfeel, while also offering other health benefits to create product differentiation. BENEO-Group, the innovation-partner of choice, is thus helping food producers meet all these challenges –in a natural way.
When BENEO-Palatinit’s ISOMALT is used in ice cream, claims such as "no sugar added" or "reduced calorie" can be used. Minimum changes need to be made to existing ice cream recipes as it is very similar to sugar. The white crystalline raw material replaces sugar in a 1:1 mass ratio and is used where not only the sweetness but the texture and mouthfeel of sugar is required. For those food producers looking to create dairy-free and lactose-free ice creams, BENEO-Remy’s Nutriz M IC 100% vegetable ready-to-use powder is ideal. It is based on rice and its natural derivatives like rice starch. Due to its very small starch granules, which mimic the feeling of fat globules in the mouth, rice starch is the ideal fat replacer in food applications such as dairy desserts and ice creams. Nutriz M IC’s superior mouthfeel and creamy texture also ensure that the ‘indulgence’ factor is retained no matter what dessert it is used in.
With the creation of Orafti®HSI (Highly Soluble Inulin), BENEO-Orafti has created a controlled composition of short chain inulin molecules that is ideal for use in ice cream production. This natural chicory-derived ingredient combines the fat replacing benefits of inulin with the ease of use and sensorial properties of oligofructose. Not only can Orafti®HSI be used to improve the body and mouthfeel of low-fat products while delivering roundness and creaminess, it also offers a better-balanced flavor.
Thanks to the BENEO-Group’s naturally derived ingredients, which are underpinned by decades of sound scientific research, manufacturers can harness the trend for pure simplicity and continue to see increased market development and penetration for many years to come.
The BENEO-Group consists of BENEO-Orafti, BENEO-Palatinit and BENEO-Remy, all successful global companies specializing in food ingredients with nutritional and technical benefits. The BENEO-Group has a turnover of €350 million, employs some 900 people and has production units in Belgium, Germany, Chile and Italy. Throughout the business units there is a unique chain of expertise that can actively support manufacturing partners in the development of more balanced and healthy food products.