Trends and developments in the food industry in 2023

Date: 21.02.2023Source: Doehler

Be it for health or cultural reasons, an increased awareness of sustainability, or just based on their personal beliefs, 40% of consumers are already actively choosing a vegetarian or vegan diet. To help them lead a healthier and more environmentally conscious life, more and more people are choosing plant-based dairy alternatives. Demand is therefore growing for innovative concepts that tap new resources and prospects for global supply.

The ideal combination of appearance, scent, taste and mouthfeel remains a crucial factor in successful, healthy and natural food and beverages. Based on the latest findings of nutritional science, the Doehler team is developing the products that combine plant-based nutrition, naturalness and optimised nutritional profiles with unique multi-sensory experiences and meet the needs of environmentally and health-conscious consumers.

With gentle processing methods and state-of-the-art technologies, Doehler develops pioneering plant-based products for the food and beverage industry with impressive sensory and nutritional properties – from single ingredients to the final all-in-one systems. By knowing how to use them in plant-based product recipes and based on comprehensive expertise in plant-based alternatives, the company is creating sustainable solutions to shape the future of  nutrition – good for people, good for planet.

Plant-based drinks still form the largest product category in the field of plant-based dairy products. In addition to almond and oats, other innovative plant-based ingredients and blends unlock even greater diversity in terms of taste and nutritional profiles. Classic drinks, sugar-free versions, organic products, new variations based on cashew, regional grain varieties or sunflower seeds, for example, and functional beverages enriched with proteins, fibres, vitamins and minerals are delivering constant growth worldwide.

Consumers are looking for ever greater variety and new and exciting product experiences, without compromising taste and texture. As a result, the need for plant-based products that go beyond classic dairy categories is growing – from cooking creams, crème fraîche and dressings to desserts such as panna cotta, chocolate mousse, pudding and rice pudding. With double-digit growth rates (22.3 % CAGR 2020-26*) and a highly dynamic cheese spread segment, plant-based cheese alternatives are one of the largest growth markets in the coming years. Convenience, taste and functionality also play an important role here.

The long-term success of plant-based products depends largely on the sensory product experience they offer – driven by taste, texture and mouthfeel.

A consumer study carried out by Doehler Sensory & Consumer Science found taste and texture to be the most important criteria in the decision to purchase plant-based dairy alternatives. Many consumers expect plant-based products to offer the same sensory properties as traditional dairy products, namely a fresh taste sensation and a creamy mouthfeel similar to that of milk. To meet these requirements and reach the broadest possible target group, optimising the sensory product properties is crucial. This requires careful selection of plant-based raw materials, tailored to the specific application. Blends of various plant-based bases also allow the creation of products with a more harmonious sensory profile.

Yet functional solutions are also particularly important in order to minimise off-tastes, improve mouthfeel and create milk-specific top notes – for better product experiences and high consumer satisfaction. Based on innovative fermentation technologies, Doehler offers an ideal solution for this challenge with its clean label plant-based taste modulation. Using oats, rice or peas as their starting materials, these novel products create totally new taste sensations and help to make a plant-based product taste exactly like milk, cheese or yoghurt.

Using its expertise in plant-based ingredients and bases as the starting point, Doehler also offers a broad, effective portfolio of natural MultiSense® flavours for taste modulation and to create targeted taste components and sensory features.

These include natural masking solutions for reducing unwanted off-tastes (MultiSense Masking) such as bitter, grainy or earthy notes, and natural ingredients for a creamy, milky and full-bodied impression (MultiSense Mouthfeel) and to round off the overall sensory characteristics. The impression of sweetness can be enhanced with special natural flavour solutions (MultiSense Sweet) that also help to minimise bitter notes.

The company also uses specific ‘flavour pairing’ to round off the overall impression of the product harmoniously. Vanilla, chocolate, fruit and berry profiles, extracts and botanicals also allow unique taste creations with characteristic classic profiles and trendy taste variants.

It is possible to produce plant-based products with excellent taste, impressive texture, outstanding mouthfeel, a balanced nutritional profile and brilliant colour that can absolutely match traditional dairy products and act as a solution for future market requirements – all on the basis of plant-based raw materials, natural ingredients and product solutions such as cereals, nuts, seeds, peas, natural taste solutions, chickpeas, and fruit and vegetable ingredients. For more or to read the full trend report visit doehler.com

David Cox / IDM

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