2015 will see the near 600 billion tonne ingredients industry continue to advance, with developments to existing trends and new consumer preferences. The following trends are a mix of those which look set to evolve in 2015, and new trends which could break through.
New legislation leading to reformulation
The new Food Information for Consumers (FIC) regulations could unfavourably change EU consumer perception of certain ingredients. Vegetable oils are particularly at risk, since the specific oil type must now be stated. This could lead consumers to reject the ingredient, and therefore the product, on the grounds of health or sustainability. Brands could switch to alternative oils, putting vegetable oil’s forecast absolute growth of 282,823 tonnes in the EU, over 2013 to 2018, at risk. In 2015, any ingredient could face the threat of reformulation, as manufacturers become more aware of the importance of consumer perception.
Clean label driving innovation
The pursuit of a clean label has compelled manufacturers to seek compliant ingredients, without compromising on function. Ingredient suppliers have responded, with an example being functional clean label starches, such as Tate & Lyle’s Claria. These ingredients perform like modified starches, but can simply be listed as starch. This is a blow to modified starch, which has a respectable global forecast volume consumption CAGR of 2% over 2013 to 2018, but still lags well behind starch’s forecast CAGR of 4%, which comes from a much higher base. Expect more innovation, as suppliers try to provide that all-important clean label.
Natural sweeteners to make even greater headway
Natural high-intensity sweeteners, such as stevia and monk-fruit, should benefit from sugar’s recent criticism. While these sweeteners already have an upward trajectory, with stevia having had a global volume consumption CAGR of 93% between 2008 and 2013, and have already gone mainstream with major brands like Coke Life, opportunities remain. This is because research to make the constituent compounds more palatable is ongoing and should provide ingredients which have a better taste and more mass market appeal.
A breakthrough for low FODMAP foods
2015 could see the rise of the low Fermentable, Oligosaccharide, Disaccharide, Monosaccharide and Polyols (FODMAP) diet. The diet reduces consumption of poorly absorbed carbohydrates, and is associated with reduced incidence of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), a common gastrointestinal disorder. The FODMAP diet has been around since 1999, but remains relatively unknown and could use the rise of gluten-free as a template. Ironically, gluten-free products are often purchased by IBS sufferers, so the US$2.5 billion industry could lose out if low FODMAP foods prosper.
Real sugar in the US
In 2015, more US brands could make the switch from high fructose corn syrups (HFCS) to sucrose, the so-called real sugar, sourced from cane or beet. Brands such as Yoplait and Gatorade have already changed, citing consumer feedback. Suggestions that HFCS consumption contributes to an increased risk of obesity and certain cancers are behind the consumer backlash. HFCSs make up 38% of the US sweetener market, compared to less than 1% in Western Europe, where EU sugar quotas remain in place. Many Americans believe they are getting a raw deal and this has hastened the change to real sugar.
Sucrose and HFCS Use By Region
Source: Euromonitor International
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