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Consumer Demand for Authentic Cheese Taste Driving Shift in Snack Industry

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Consumer Demand for Authentic Cheese Taste Driving Shift in Snack Industry

Consumer Demand for Authentic Cheese Taste Driving Shift in Snack Industry
July 27
10:27 2018

Consumer demand in the cheese snack category is shifting towards craft and artisan products that are closely linked to real cheese and simple ingredients, according to Kerry Taste & Nutrition. Larger, more established brands are losing market share and shelf space to smaller, more artisanal brands. Consumers perceive these brands are delivering more authentic, premium and innovative snacks. With its extensive dairy heritage and snack expertise, Kerry offers an end-to-end solution for manufacturers to remain competitive in European markets.

Kerry’s consumer research reveals that cheese snacks have one of the highest gaps in desire for authenticity versus current perceptions of the category. Key findings show that consumers:

  • Consumers believe they only get an imitation of cheese in their cheesy snacks, not the real deal that they love and adore (Kerry – The Real Cheese Research 2017)
  • View traditional cheese snacks as artificial, lacking in textural complexity and dimension (Kerry – The Real Cheese Research 2017) and seek new and bold flavours with twists such as sweet and savoury combinations (Kerry Snacking Discovery 2016)
  • Only 29% of consumers stated the last crisp snack they consumed met their needs (Kerry Consumer First 2017)
  • Seek healthy snacks, with 65% wanting options that make them fuller for longer and 53% looking for snacks that contain healthier ingredients (Kerry Snacking Discovery 2017)
  • Care about transparency, provenance and local sourcing of ingredients more than ever before, with 76% saying that their ideal snack is made from simple, honest ingredients (Kerry Snacking Discovery 2017)
  • Consumers feel cheese has the ‘real food’ values that people want as part of trying to be healthier” (Kerry – The Real Cheese Research 2017)
  • Consumers are seeking a multisensorial taste experience – where taste & flavour lingers and is revealed slowly (Kerry – The Real Cheese Research 2017).

Due to this movement in the snacking market, larger manufacturers are losing share and shelf space to smaller, more artisanal brands. The savoury snack category value in Europe and Russia is forecasting twice the growth rate of volume (4.2% CAGR 2017-2022 vs 1.8% volume) as consumers pay more for premium products. Gourmet crisp brands in particular are growing well above the market average, and are outpacing the growth of established brands (Euromonitor Global Data 2017).

Addressing this shift in consumer demand is an opportunity, but also a challenge, for snack manufacturers. Volatility in the cheese market is generating new layers of complexity in managing prices and sourcing named and provincial cheeses. In addition, creating a natural snack that captures the organoleptic properties of real cheese in application, and at scale, can be an obstacle.

Kerry Taste & Nutrition offers a comprehensive solution for snack manufacturers to manage these challenges. The company relies on its dairy experts to source only the highest quality and most cost-effective ingredients through its vertically integrated supply chain. Its cheese powder is produced through a simple and completely transparent process – take real cheese, add water and emulsifying salt (optional), then melt and dry – and can be used across a variety of applications.

The end product retains all of the functionality and labelling specifications of the original cheese used. The taste and textural characteristics of real cheese are also maintained, as backed by testing with sensory experts trained in dairy flavours. This means that cheese snacks do not have to be boring or unhealthy: they can be a nutritious and practical way to eat, offering consumers a premium taste experience filled with the rich, delicious flavour profile of cheese.

“Consumers are passionate about cheese, whatever the application – and at Kerry we agree that it’s one of the fermented arts,” says Jeremy Pugh, Director – Savoury Snack End-Use-Market at Kerry Taste & Nutrition. “With over 40 years of dairy heritage and the know-how of our sensory, applications and flavour teams, we are experts in getting the best from cheese. To meet changing consumer demand, we can help customers deliver the authentic cheese experience across a range of great-tasting, nutritious snacks at scale.”

For more information on Kerry Taste & Nutrition’s authentic cheese taste solutions, visit http://go.kerry.com/real-cheese-snacks.

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