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Food Formulation and Ingredient Trends: Health and Wellness

  • February 2013
  • -
  • Packaged Facts
  • -
  • 164 pages

Food Formulation and Ingredient Trends: Health & Wellness

Health and wellness will continue to take center stage in 2013 both because persistent high obesity and chronic illness rates demand it and because food and beverage manufacturers seek higher margins that these value-added products can command. Manufacturers of packaged foods and beverages and chain restaurant operators will demonstrate ongoing commitment to improving the healthfulness of their offerings consistent with evolving consumer interest and building on initiatives undertaken over the last several years.

Formulating foods and beverages to address health and wellness concerns is an important area for food processors in 2013 and beyond primarily because consumers are demanding healthier options but also out of concern over meeting the recommendations spelled out in the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. Delivering against health and wellness objectives also provides a way to enhance competitiveness, particularly in relation to nutrition labeling, increasingly as front-of-pack information.

It is worth noting that consumer perception of health and wellness appears to be undergoing a change from purely personal nutrition and fitness to a view heading into 2013 that considers self in relation to environment and the broader world. As such, local, organic, natural and sustainable are important attributes within the broader context of health and wellness.

Report Scope

The goal of Food Formulation and Ingredient Trends: Health & Wellness is to provide an analysis of the key ingredient trends and formulation approaches anticipated for 2013 that are associated with high profile health and wellness platforms of food manufacturers including more nutritious breakfasts, healthier snacking, alternative protein ingredients, sodium reduction and sweetener selection strategies. The report contains in-depth discussion in each of these areas, with high level focus and findings as follows:

Breakfast’s comeback will continue in 2013, and with it consumer expectations of serious health and wellness benefits associated with one or more of the following: fiber, protein, whole grains, vitamins and minerals, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. Packaged Facts expects continued strong interest in breakfast foods that provide the energy needed to get through the morning without crashing or being hungry, thus continuing to drive interest in high protein and high fiber foods. For this reason, expect to see new whole grain and dairy blends in convenient product formats in 2013. Like the Energizer Bunny, oatmeal’s appeal will keep going and going, both in packaged goods at retail and in food service. Yogurt’s popularity will not wane, with manufacturers planning numerous product launches and yogurt-centric food service outlets opening their doors bright and early in the morning to cater to the breakfast crowd; no longer just dessert and sweet treat eaters.

Snacks as mini-meals and for mindless munching will happily coexist, offering product attributes that address a range of health and wellness concerns in 2013. Nuts, bars, popcorn, cheese, vegetable chips, fresh vegetables, fresh fruit and fruit chips offer more healthful snacking variety packaged to provide greater convenience and portion control.

Consumers aren’t proclaiming to be vegetarians in greater numbers, but more are cutting back on meat and broadening their dietary repertoires to include more plant protein sources. Ancient grains such as quinoa and amaranth, nut butters, nut and seed blends and legumes are all growing in importance, both consumed as is and formulated into processed foods.

Despite periodic rumblings that sodium reduction efforts are misguided and even potentially harmful for the general population, major food manufacturers continue to make progress toward achieving their stated reduction targets both for consumer retail and foodservice product lines. Throughout 2013, Packaged Facts expects ingredient manufacturers will continue to introduce and refine the use of technologies and approaches for reducing the sodium content of processed foods that deliver against both cost and taste expectations. Reshaping salt crystals and use of ingredients to enhance savory character and taste satisfaction are approaches likely to be used more in 2013 in addition to partial substitution with potassium chloride replacers.

Without a doubt, the perfect sweetener is poised to the most sought after and the most despised ingredient simultaneously in 2013 as pressure mounts for reducing total and added sugar content of all foods and beverages. Packaged Facts expects that stevia will see growing competition from monk fruit as a no-calorie natural choice while honey and coconut sugar are likely to outshine agave nectar and its high fructose content when it comes to natural caloric sweeteners. Although some processors are returning to HFCS after reformulating with sugar, anti HFCS sentiment will remain strong in 2013 as evidenced by new product labeling, particularly on food and beverages designed specifically for kids.

Data Sources

The information in Food Formulation and Ingredient Trends: Health & Wellness is based on both primary and secondary research. Primary research included interviews with the Hartman Group, the Kruse Company, Center for Culinary Development, Dairy & Food Communications, Inc., editorial staff of The Packer and Produce Retailer and the National Honey Board in addition to firsthand examination of the retail marketplace. Secondary research involved gathering data from various trade, business and government sources, including company websites and Internet blogs.

Table Of Contents

Food Formulation and Ingredient Trends: Health and Wellness
Chapter 1: Executive Summary
Key Drivers

Consumers Say They Want Healthier Options
Dietary Guidelines Influence Both Manufacturers and Consumers
Top Tier Branded Companies Seek Differentiation
Nutrition Labeling More Competitive
Nutritional Enhancement is More Profitable

A Look Ahead

Better Breakfasts
Sweeteners: Scrutiny and Success
Salt and Sodium: Love-Hate Relationship
More Healthful Snacking
Alternative Proteins

Chapter 2: Better Breakfasts
National School Breakfast Program
Whole Grains

Table 2-1: Examples of Whole Grains from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010

Oatmeal: More, and More Innovative
Whole Grain Blends
Whole Grain and Dairy Blends


Fiber Ingredients
Product Launches Promoting Fiber


The Power of Protein

Cottage Cheese
Milk Matters

Betting on Greek

Yogurt Shops—No Longer Just Frozen
Fighting for Space in the Dairy Aisle
Table 2-2: Recently Launched Greek Yogurt Products with Breakfast Appeal

Yogurt Innovation, Beyond Greek

Authenticity, Simplicity and Quality
Specific Consumer Targets


Segmenting Protein's Appeal
Nutrient Content Claims for Protein
Protein Ingredients—Consumers and Processors Seek New Equilibrium
Protein Enhanced Breakfast Foods

Chapter 3: Sweeteners: Scrutiny and Success

The Calorie Problem (a.k.a. The Obesity Epidemic)
Front of Pack Nutrition Label Puts Sugar Front and Center
Consumers and Sweeteners

High Intensity Sweeteners

Sweetener Strategies

Sugar Alcohols
Honey's Healthy Halo

Table 3-1: Consumer Perception of Naturalness of Select Sweeteners (percent)
Table 3-2: Recent Product Introductions Sweetened with Honey

Plant-based Sweeteners

Monk fruit
Table 3-3: Recent Nutrition Product Introductions Containing Monk Fruit (Luo Han Guo)
Table 3-4: Recent Beverage Product Introductions Containing Stevia (Reb A)
Table 3-5: Recent Tabletop Sweetener Product Introductions Containing Stevia (Reb A)
Table 3-6: Recent Nutrition Bar and Beverage Product Introductions Containing Stevia (Reb A)
Table 3-7: Various Recent Product Introductions Containing Stevia (Reb A)
Table 3-8: Recent Product Introductions Containing Agave - Nutritional and Other Beverages
Table 3-9: Recent Product Introductions Containing Agave - Nutritional and Other Bars
Table 3-10: Recent Product Introductions Containing Agave - Spreads, Cookies and Other
Coconut Sugar

A Tough Slog for Added Sugars and HFCS

Market Maneuvers

Lunchbox Treats and Snacks

Table 3-11: Kid-Oriented Snack Product Introductions Flagging "No High Fructose Corn Syrup"


Chapter 4: Salt and Sodium: Love-Hate Relationship
Consumers and Salt
Technological Approaches to Sodium Reduction

Reshaping Salt
Collaboration and Hard Core Science

Target Products and Market Successes

Baking Ingredients

Taste vs. Health
Implications for the Marketplace
Chapter 5: More Healthful Snacking
Snacking Redefined
Oh, Nuts!

Nut Snacks Targeting Specific Health Needs
Portion Control Packs and Convenience Stores
Hot and Spicy
Nut Bars


Popcorn Product Introductions to Watch

Vegetable Snack Chips and Crackers

Not All Vegetable Snacks are Created Equal
Seaweed—Not Just for Sushi
Sprouted Vegetable Snacks
Table 5-1: Alive and Radiant Foods Kale Krunch Snacks - Key Ingredients by Flavor Variant
Sweet Potato and Other Root Vegetable Snacks
Bean Snacks
Crunchy Pea and Lentil Snacks

Fresh Fruit Goodness—Fast and Fun

Sliced Apples—Platform for Flavor Discovery
Squeezable Fruit
Fruit Chips
Fruit for Dipping
Fresh Fruit Yogurt Parfaits

Snack Vegetables—The Next Junk Food?

Dips as Disguise?
The Power of Variety

Cheese for Snacking

Defining Healthier Cheese
String Cheese

Chapter 6: Alternative Proteins

Consumer Attitudes about Protein
Nutrient Content Claims for Protein

Ancient Grains

Table 6-1: Protein Content of Select Grains and Related Seeds (Without Indication of Protein Quality or Digestibility)

Quinoa Ingredients
Opportunities for Quinoa
Recently Launched Products Boasting Quinoa's Protein Content


Amaranth Ingredients and Food Uses
Opportunities for Amaranth
Recently Launched Products Containing Amaranth that Flag Protein
Grain Blends
Opportunities for Grain Blends
Recently Launched Products Featuring Grain Blends and Protein

Seeds and Nuts


Table 6-2: Protein Content of Select Seeds (Without Indication of Protein Quality or Digestibility)

Recently Launched Products Featuring Seed Blends (with or without nuts)

Bread Products and Crackers
Seed Spreads

Chia Seed Ingredients and Food Uses
Opportunities for Chia Protein Ingredients
Recently Launched Products Containing Chia
Hemp Ingredients and Food Uses
Opportunities for Hemp Protein Ingredients
Recent Product Launches Using Hemp Seed for Protein

Table 6-3: Protein and Fat Content of Select Nuts (Without Indication of Protein Quality or Digestibility)

Nut and Seed Butters
Opportunities for Nuts in Protein Enhanced Foods
Recent Product Launches of Protein Enhanced Foods Featuring Nuts

Pea Protein

Pea Protein Ingredients
Pea Protein Ingredient Innovations
Opportunities for Pea Protein Ingredients
Recent Product Introductions

Dry Beans and Lentils

Table 6-4: Protein Content of Select Dry Beans and Lentils

Bean Ingredients and Food Use

Bean Dips and Spreads
Table 6-5: Protein Content of Processed Legume Flours Relative to Other Flours and Whey Powder

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