The first step to making any new food or beverage product successful is capturing the attention of the consumer. If they don’t buy it, nothing else matters. Even today’s more health-conscious customer is still an impulse shopper — especially for snacks. Two great ways to get them coming back time and again is with bright, vibrant, eye-catching colors and the tantalizing and tasty flavors to match.
As consumers demand the right colors to catch their eye and the flavors that satisfy, we spoke with Aurélie Jacquet, EMEA NPD Manager, Chaucer Foods and Dale Williams, Technical Manager, UK, Chaucer Foods to learn more about how they work to deliver the colors and flavors consumers want.
In what ways are consumers demanding the inclusion of natural flavors and colors and in what ways can Chaucer partner with others to deliver on those consumer demands?
Jacquet: More and more customers are asking for clean label ingredients, “no artificial colors” or “natural flavor only” as a part of their company policy. Consumers are utilizing technological advancements like nutritional applications to monitor and check the nutritional value of what they buy — and that influences if they buy it. Natural colors and flavors help in all of these instances, including elevating your product over your competition.
At Chaucer Foods, all of our freeze-dried options maintain the nutritional value and the natural colors and flavors so they taste great whether you use them today or later on down the line.
What are the most common challenges in formulating with natural flavors and colors?
Williams: For baked products, because we have a dual-heat process of baking and then drying, natural colors often fade through one or both of these processes. Most natural colors for baked goods are formulated with one heat process in mind. Flavors are usually not an issue for us and we have a range of delicious flavor options to select from.
What consumer trends are you noticing for 2022 that natural flavors and colors could help elevate?
Williams: Consumers tend to have healthy products in mind and so “simple” products are usually preferred — simple processes, fewer and more simplified ingredients, less enhancements. These types of products can be improved and expanded upon by the use of strong flavors that can enhance the food or drink’s taste whilst still being cost effective. By utilizing a freeze-dried option, you are maintaining everything that is good and natural and healthy about the original product and the only changes being made is the removal of water, which actual offers the benefit of extending its shelf life.
How can formulators use freeze-dried ingredients to their advantage when innovating to meet new flavor and color trends?
Jacquet: Following from what Dale said, freeze-dried ingredients are a great option for the supply chain thanks to their longer shelf life. Natural flavors and colors don’t disappear when you use freeze-dried ingredients and we are able to offer our customers a versatile assortment of options. Whole, pieces, powders, inclusions — you can find the right fit for whatever your product needs. Finally, all of the nutritional benefits are still locked inside. When you substitute the artificial ingredients and additives with freeze-drying natural fruits and vegetables, you don’t have to worry that the good stuff has been lost or that ingredients you can’t pronounce have been added in. We deliver a healthy option that also delivers on the look and the taste.