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Trends and developments in the food industry in 2023

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Trends and developments in the food industry in 2023

Trends and developments in the food industry in 2023
March 20
09:58 2023
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Once again in 2023, many people have set themselves the goal of following a healthier, more balanced diet. Most consumers expect more from food and beverages than just naturalness and good taste: they want the right diet which has a positive effect on their long-term health and general well-being. Demand is constantly rising for products that support certain vital functions or aspects of health, such as the immune system, gut and heart health, or cognitive performance (FMCG Gurus: Proactive Health in a Post-Pandemic Environment Report, May 2022). There has also been a drop in consumption of animal products, with more and more consumers choosing plant-based options (FMCG Gurus, Meat & Plant-based Protein, April 2022, 32 countries, 32.000). A healthy lifestyle always also involves cutting out alcohol. A growing number of consumers are looking for non-alcoholic alternatives that still taste good and provide unique moments of enjoyment.

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.

Outstanding multi-sensory experiences

Taste, sight, smell, touch and sound – delicious food and beverages speak to all five of our senses in perfect harmony. The perfect interplay between all sensory perceptions and emotions creates a symphony of the senses and an outstanding overall impression of the product. Our extensive portfolio of natural ingredients enables us to combine all product properties perfectly in terms of taste, smell, appearance, sound and mouthfeel, achieving a unique multi-sensory product experience. All ingredients are carefully selected and used to allow the ideal interplay between all properties, creating a product that consumers love.

The eyes are the gateway to the stomach!

The first impression that consumers get of a product is the colour. It triggers associations, expectations and emotions, thus influencing the purchasing decision by affecting the consumer’s perception of the product’s naturalness, flavour and sweetness. Our oil-dispersed colouring concentrates enable the creation of end applications that evoke exactly these emotions. Thanks to the homogeneous distribution of the concentrates in the end application, pralines, coatings, fillings, and fat-based glazes and decorations can all be coloured evenly and intensively. Doehler’s oil-dispersed colouring concentrates are also completely free of emulsifiers. On this basis, the colours can be mixed in any ratio required, in order to achieve the perfect shade for individual customer requirements. Our high-performance glazes and polishes give the products their perfect shine and immaculate surface.

Reduced-sugar and reduced-calorie products with an outstanding taste and mouthfeel

Less sugar, full taste! Consumers are looking for low-sugar and sugar-free products that support their healthy lifestyle while also being enjoyable and indulgent. After all, the most important thing for food and beverages is that they taste good and can be experienced with all the senses. Producers are therefore working on new, optimised recipes that contain less sugar and offer a balanced taste profile – not only in order to offer healthier alternatives, but also for cost reasons. As prices for all raw materials rise, the price of sugar has almost tripled over the last year.

Even 30% less sugar in a product means that its taste needs to be compensated. But simply replacing the sugar with sweetener is not enough: the entire taste profile needs to be harmonised and balanced in terms of sweetness, mouthfeel, body sensation and the experience of freshness.

With its extensive portfolio of taste modulation products, Doehler offers contemporary sweetening, flavour and clean label solutions, plus all-in-one solutions for healthy products with an outstanding sensory profile. Its comprehensive application expertise and large team of expert researchers and developers allow the company to work with producers to optimise and develop sugar-free and low-sugar products that impress with a balanced, harmonious taste profile and offer consumers a unique multi-sensory product experience. Doehler is aided in this by its modular system of different natural flavour solutions with regard to sweetness, masking, mouthfeel, taste enhancement and multi-sensory profile for food and beverages that promise full indulgence and comprehensively meet consumers’ quality expectations.

MultiSweet® is the ideal sweetening system for reduced-calorie and calorie-free products. By combining various high-intensity sweeteners (HIS) and masking flavours, Doehler offers a large portfolio of sweeteners for numerous different applications.

MultiSense® Flavours allow a significant improvement to the sensory properties of reduced-sugar products. The MultiSense® flavour range provides solutions for many different requirements:

MultiSense® Sweet flavours help to significantly reduce the sugar content of a product without impairing the full sugar taste of the flavours, and to improve the sensory properties of healthy products. Depending on the flavour, this allows the sugar content to be reduced without having to use additional sweeteners. MultiSense® Masking flavours mask the aftertaste of sweeteners or proteins, while MultiSense® Mouthfeel flavours allow the mouthfeel of calorie-free beverages, for example, to be improved. MultiSense® flavours can also be used to compensate and boost taste sensations such as cooling or burning.

By using backward integration of fruit, vegetables, nuts and pulses, the company uses the very best that nature has to offer for its taste modulation portfolio, while also guaranteeing the most reliable supply possible for producers.

Non-alcoholic indulgence with full taste

Non-alcoholic spirits are in high demand at the moment. A third of consumers worldwide have reduced their alcohol consumption in recent years, and more and more of them want to see authentic-tasting, non-alcoholic spirits, beers and mix drinks (FMCG Gurus: Hard Seltzer Survey September 2021).

Creating non-alcoholic spirits requires in-depth expert knowledge and special products. Doehler is an expert in this field and has spent years developing a portfolio with a wide range of flavours, including natural flavours, extracts, distillates and alcoholic booster flavours.

The latter give non-alcoholic spirits an authentic alcoholic feeling, such as a warming or burning mouthfeel and a long-lasting warming aftertaste. An extensive range of different alcohol boosters enables Doehler to create a range of applications with an authentic alcoholic feeling – from dark spirits like rum and whisky to clear spirits like gin.

Authenticity and naturalness still important to consumers

Pure, authentic, freshand delicious – that is what food and beverages should taste like. The demand is growing for natural products that are processed as little as possible, have good nutritional value, and provide a fresh, authentic taste. With its extensive portfolio of natural fruit and vegetable ingredients from the world’s best growing regions, Doehler offers a huge number of options for meeting exactly these requirements.

Fresh, juicy fruit taste for food

Infused fruits and infused vegetables are versatile products that give foods a fresh, juicy fruit taste. They can be used for a broad range of applications, particularly in the baked goods and ice cream segments. Infused fruits and vegetables have enormous benefits for the baked goods industry in particular, as they remain significantly more stable when baked than air-dried fruits and have a better nutritional value than candied fruits.

As well as retaining the natural fruit structure and natural taste in an outstanding way, they can also achieve a concentrated taste and colour effect thanks to enrichment with named fruit juice concentrates, flavours and colour concentrates. Infused fruits and vegetables are also ideal for clean label positioning. Vertical integration of all value-adding ingredients (from individual quick freezing (IQF) fruits to juice concentrates, flavours and colouring concentrates) allows Doehler to develop natural ingredient solutions especially quickly and efficiently.

Natural fruit taste thanks to state-of-the-art beverage technologies

Consumers increasingly want to see more authentic, more natural products – which is why FTNF (from the named fruit) ingredients are becoming increasingly popular in beverage formulations. The challenge here is to achieve the taste intensity of a classic flavour while also maintaining a consistent price level. State-of-the-art technologies make it possible to create a full-bodied, fresh and authentic taste profile in a sustainable and cost-efficient way.

The new series of 100% FTNF essences is ideal for a large number of beverage applications and captures the full taste of the fruit or vegetable in a gentle, physical, water-based extraction process. This extraction process uses “taste-friendly” low-temperature techniques to capture volatile taste components (essences). The result is the freshest, most authentic fruit profiles that are comparable with real fruit.

Outstanding nutritional science performance with functional and plant-based foods

Today’s consumers are more health conscious than ever before. They are aware that a healthy lifestyle and its close relative – balanced and healthy nutrition – are indispensable for remaining physically fit and agile into old age. “Doehler Nutritional Excellence” is our contribution to ensuring healthy, sustainable nutrition for the world’s growing population. The goal of Nutritional Excellence is to link the latest findings of nutritional science with current trends such as health, naturalness, plant-based nutrition and sustainability, thus making an active contribution to developing healthy food.

Functional food and beverages

Consumers expect far more from food and beverages than just naturalness and a good taste: 60% of consumers worldwide are proactively looking for products that improve their health (Global Data, 2022). After all, healthy nutrition is not only important for general well-being – it can also help prevent illnesses. Alongside foods and beverages with balanced macronutritional values regarding their sugar, fat, or protein content, consumers are increasingly looking for products that boost aspects of their health, such as the immune system, gut health, or the body’s energy resources.

Natural products, rich in phytoactive substances, are excellent at catering to these needs. Minimal processing retains the valuable ingredients of the Natural SuperHEROES, making them the ideal basis for functional food and beverages that support the modern, healthy lifestyle of today’s society.

Supporting gut health naturally

Healthy digestion is crucial to a person’s general well-being and plays a key role in many holistic bodily functions. Consumer awareness and demand for functional foods that promote gut health is therefore increasing all the time.

With its comprehensive portfolio of phytoactive and natural GutHealthHEROES ingredients, Doehler offers the perfect basis for developing numerous foods and beverages that support exactly this positioning.

Baobab is a 100% organic fruit powder made from the baobab fruit, which grows in Africa and is extracted sustainably. After a long ripening phase, the fruit dries completely naturally before it is carefully selected for harvest and gently processed into a powder. Naturally dried, the powder is rich in micronutrients and soluble fibres. GutHealthHERO Baobab has been scientifically tested for its prebiotic properties. It promotes the targeted growth of good gut bacteria, thus supporting gut health. Acid stable, the fruit powder provides the ideal basis for a broad range of uses in high-quality health applications.

Probiotic bacteria can maintain or restore a balanced microbiome and thus have a positive impact on various physiological functions, such as inhibiting the growth of pathogenic bacteria in our gut. These numerous health benefits also positively affect the modulation of the body’s immune system. The positive properties of probiotics are therefore not limited to the gut, but boost general health and wellbeing. Combining probiotics with fruit granules is an innovative form of consumption. Colourful crunchies, for example, impress with their authentic fruit taste and contain live probiotic cultures. The granulates can also be easily processed into numerous foods such as muesli, yoghurt pots and cereal bars.

Doehler`s Natural SuperHEROES are also used in beverages, such as functional powder drinks. These drinks impress with their widely acknowledged physiological functions, their low calorie content and their natural positioning. In addition, they contain standardised plant and fruit powders that retain the rich ingredients of nature. Native active ingredients such as vitamins and polyphenols support a range of healthy positionings and claims.

Doehler provides health-promoting solutions that serve the current demand for functional foods and beverages perfectly. The scientifically based Natural SuperHERO ingredients are extracted sustainably and processed gently so as to retain their function in various food and beverage applications and in dietary supplements. Carefully selected raw materials and excellent formulation enable the company to offer products that combine health benefits with an outstanding taste profile.

Vegetable juices and purées – delicious, nutritious and extremely versatile

From sweet pepper and tomato to carrot – vegetables represent natural, healthy nutrition. Be it in pizza dough or spreads, soups or sauces, hybrid meat or smoothies, vegetables can play a starring role in any product application. 55% of consumers want to integrate more vegetables into their diet in order to live more healthily (FMCG 2022). The increasing demand for low-sugar, nutrient-rich and naturally tasty products therefore requires high-quality natural ingredients.

NFC juices, multiblends, and juice or purée concentrates create unique multi-sensory experiences with bright colours and authentic taste, while also helping to reduce products’ sugar and calorie content. The wholesome plant-based ingredients improve the products’ natural viscosity, optimising the texture, taste, colour and nutritional values of the final application.

Doehler offers an extensive portfolio of vegetable ingredients that are perfect for combining with fruit ingredients. Sustainable cultivation, in-house processing and state-of-the-art technologies guarantee the highest quality and stability in terms of colour, taste, mouthfeel and healthy ingredients.

Individual blends with fruit and vegetable combinations create a superb, balanced taste sensation in functional shots, for example. The shots are extremely colourful and visually appealing, with a high juice content and no added sugar or sweeteners. Enriched with functional active ingredients and health-promoting plant extracts like acerola and prebiotic baobab, these beverages are exactly what today’s consumers want.

Plant-based innovation for new markets and wider range of consumer groups

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.

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.

The taste of real milk, but 100% plant-based

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.

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.

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