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GNT has achieved a 22 % reduction in carbon intensity at its EXBERRY® factories since 2020, the company’s latest sustainability report shows.

GNT, which creates EXBERRY® colours from non-GMO fruit, vegetables, and plants, has set out 17 ambitious targets to optimise its environmental and social impacts over the course of the current decade.

In 2023, GNT’s total carbon footprint at its production sites in the Netherlands, Germany, and USA stood at nearly 13 thousand metric tons of CO2-equivalent emissions. This means 22 % less CO2 was emitted per ton of product sold compared to the base year of 2020, taking GNT almost halfway toward its ambition to achieve a 50 % reduction by 2030.

The new sustainability report reveals there was important progress in a number of other areas. GNT aims to enhance water efficiency at its factories by 20 % and has already delivered a 13 % improvement compared to 2020 levels. In addition, 74 % of the farmers in the company’s supply chain achieved a minimum of Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) Silver standard. The compliance rate for GNT’s Policy on Sustainable Sourcing, meanwhile, increased from 70 % to 90 %.

GNT also secured an EcoVadis silver medal last year and remains the only food colour supplier to have published a third-party Greenhouse Gas Verification Statement.

To read GNT’s ‘Sustainability report 2023,’ visit: https://exberry.com/en/sustainability-report-2023

GNT has achieved a 22 % reduction in carbon intensity at its EXBERRY® factories since 2020, the company’s latest sustainability report shows.

GNT, which creates EXBERRY® colours from non-GMO fruit, vegetables, and plants, has set out 17 ambitious targets to optimise its environmental and social impacts over the course of the current decade.

In 2023, GNT’s total carbon footprint at its production sites in the Netherlands, Germany, and USA stood at nearly 13 thousand metric tons of CO2-equivalent emissions. This means 22 % less CO2 was emitted per ton of product sold compared to the base year of 2020, taking GNT almost halfway toward its ambition to achieve a 50 % reduction by 2030.

The new sustainability report reveals there was important progress in a number of other areas. GNT aims to enhance water efficiency at its factories by 20 % and has already delivered a 13 % improvement compared to 2020 levels. In addition, 74 % of the farmers in the company’s supply chain achieved a minimum of Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) Silver standard. The compliance rate for GNT’s Policy on Sustainable Sourcing, meanwhile, increased from 70 % to 90 %.

GNT also secured an EcoVadis silver medal last year and remains the only food colour supplier to have published a third-party Greenhouse Gas Verification Statement.

To read GNT’s ‘Sustainability report 2023,’ visit: https://exberry.com/en/sustainability-report-2023

The pioneer of organic, cold-pressed beverages expands into a new category with plant-based protein shake line

Suja Organic, a leader in cold-pressed, organic beverages in the U.S., announced the launch of Suja Organic Protein Shakes, a new line of elevated ready-to-drink (RTD) protein. It offers 16 g of plant-based pea, rice and hemp protein, and convenient, transparent nutrition from plants. Available in three varieties including Vanilla Cinnamon, Chocolate and Coffee Bean. The new product offering marks Suja Organic’s entry into the fast-growing RTD protein market.

Suja Organic’s purposeful protein blends combine powerhouse whole foods, functional ingredients, essential vitamins (Vitamins A, B, C, D and E), minerals (iron, calcium and potassium), and macro-nutrients for foundational nutrition. Each shake is 200 calories, blended with almond milk and coconut cream for rich smoothness, with 3 – 4 grams of Acacia fiber.

Additional flavour details include:

  • Vanilla Cinnamon – The perfect balance of vanilla with a swirl of cinnamon and a smooth finish. Think of the milk you look forward to drinking at the end of a bowl of cereal.
  • Chocolate – Cocoa and salt support a bold chocolatey flavour. A mix of memorable flavours like chocolate pudding and chocolate milk comes through with each sip.
  • Coffee Bean – Subtle coffee flavour with underlying notes of creamy, smooth vanilla and cocoa in a plant-based offering.

Suja Organic was founded in 2012 with a mission to provide foundational nutrition. With the introduction of Suja Organic Protein Shakes, the company aims to further its purpose by providing customers with a healthy, convenient beverage as part of a well-balanced diet. The high-quality, plant-rich concentrated blends harness nutrition straight from nature with protein from real organic plants, vitamins, and nutrients that recharge, balance, and fuel the body.

Suja Organic Protein Shakes will retail for $4.99 per 12oz. bottle and are available in the U.S. in Target stores and on target.com.

About Suja Organic:
Suja Organic is a leading organic, Non-GMO, cold-pressed juice brand and among the fastest growing beverage companies in the U.S. Suja began from a shared dream to help people transform their lives through conscious nutrition and is notably one of the first juice companies to offer organic, cold-pressed juice. Each of Suja’s handcrafted lines are certified organic, Non-GMO project verified and cold pressured to preserve maximum nutrition and taste. With cold-pressed juices and functional shots, there’s a product for every lifestyle. Suja is available for purchase at most major grocery and natural foods stores in the U.S. and select products can be purchased online at SujaOrganic.com.

Avantium N.V., a technology company in sustainable chemistry, is collaborating with Albert Heijn to make packaging more sustainable. To this end, Avantium’s 100 % plant-based and circular material PEF (polyethylene furanoate) is being used for various forms of packaging. Refresco, a global independent beverage solutions provider for Global, National and Emerging (GNE) brands, and retailers, produces Albert Heijn’s new fruit juice bottle made out of PEF. This will be the first PEF application to be introduced in Albert Heijn stores, once Avantium’s commercial plant for PEF is operational. Albert Heijn is the first supermarket chain in the world to introduce PEF packaging for own-brand products.

“As a beverage solutions provider, we are continuously looking for innovative ways to produce soft drinks, fruit juices and other drinks. Reducing, recycling and making packaging more sustainable is an important element of our strategy. With PEF we are able to offer an alternative sustainable packaging solution to our customers. We are therefore pleased that Refresco, Avantium and Albert Heijn are now working together to bring this new fruit juice bottle to market.”, says Alexander van Assouw, Managing Director Refresco Benelux.

Avantium’s PEF is a 100% plant-based and fully recyclable polymer with a wide range of applications including bottles and packaging, films and textiles. In addition to its sustainable packaging benefits, Avantium’s PEF has superior barrier properties, extending the shelf life of beverages and food. Avantium is currently constructing the world’s first commercial plant in Delfzijl for 5 kilotons of FDCA (furandicarboxylic acid), the key building block for PEF, with commercial production expected to start in the second half of 2024. Thereafter, PEF production will be further scaled up to plants of 100 kilotons and more for large-scale production of FDCA and PEF through technology licensing.

GNT will open up an interactive “colour lab” for its plant-based EXBERRY® concentrates at Food Ingredients Europe (Frankfurt, 28-30 November 2023).

EXBERRY® Colouring Foods are edible concentrates made from non-GMO fruit, vegetables, and plants using physical processing methods such as chopping and boiling. They are available in more than 400 shades from across the whole rainbow and can be used in all food and drink categories.

At FiE 2023, GNT (stand 3.1G140) will showcase EXBERRY® concentrates’ versatility by inviting attendees to colour their own dairy, confectionery, and non-alcoholic beverages at special application stations.

The company’s dedicated in-house experts will also be available throughout the event to provide insights and advice into how EXBERRY® can meet consumer demand in different regions around the globe.

Petra Thiele, Managing Director at GNT Europa, said: “EXBERRY® allows manufacturers to achieve vibrant shades in almost any application while maintaining completely clean and clear labels. Our special ‘colour lab’ will give FiE visitors the chance to experiment with the possibilities for themselves and discover the incredible potential of our plant-based concentrates.”

Based on the concept of coloring food with food, EXBERRY® concentrates are classified as food ingredients rather than additives in the EU and many other parts of the world. They are also suitable for vegan, halal, and kosher diets.

To ensure the highest level of quality and year-round availability, GNT has a vertically integrated supply chain, with cultivation and harvesting monitored by GNT’s agricultural engineers.

The UK’s favourite squash is launching a new packaging concept, Robinsons Ecopack – a highly concentrated squash in a plant-based carton. The Britvic brand continues to create innovative products that offer consumers more squash, with less plastic.

Launching exclusively in selected Tesco stores across the nation, the Robinsons Ecopack boasts a super concentrated liquid that contains 60 serves per 500 ml carton and is made from 89 % plant-based material. Robinsons’ new packaging innovation aims to reduce packaging waste with 85 % less plastic per serve, compared to a one litre bottle of Robinsons Double Concentrate. With a higher squash concentration compared to its single or double concentrate drinks, the carton is the equivalent of three single concentrate bottles and results in significantly less packaging per serve.

Fiona Graham, Innovation lead for Robinsons, said: “As a brand, Robinsons is continuously innovating and is committed to improving the environmental impact we have. Squash is already a sustainable product due to its concentrated format. Making Robinsons available in this new format allows consumers to feel confident in the knowledge that the pack they’ve chosen has more serves, but used less packaging per serve, and can be recycled once finished. All packaging types have their own unique benefits and challenges, and we know there is currently no one ‘silver bullet.’ That said, we believe that continuing to innovate with products such as Robinsons Ecopack will bring us one step closer to a solution and provide consumers with a range of options. The brand-new Robinsons Ecopack carton will be available via Tesco to begin with, and we are excited to learn what consumers think about the new format.”

Martin Shaw, Market Unit Manager at Elopak UK & Ireland, said: “We’re happy that Robinsons have chosen our Pure-Pak carton for their super strength squash product. Our renewable and recyclable carton packaging makes a great match with their products.”

The launch marks the latest activity for the brand, following a radical rebrand earlier this year and the launch of its new £4 million marketing campaign Get Thirsty. Robinsons Ecopack is one element of Britvic’s positive packaging strategy which seeks to reduce the need for unnecessary plastic, and make sure packaging doesn’t become waste.

Since 2017, Britvic has reduced the amount of virgin plastic it uses by more than 4,000 tonnes through packaging redesign, and it continues to increase the amount of recycled packaging and sustainably sourced materials it uses across its portfolio.

Last year, the company launched the Aqua Libra Flavour Tap – a sleek tap that reduces packaging waste by 99 %. The launch followed London Essence launching the Freshly Infused fount – offering premium tonic on dispense in 1,200 outlets across the UK and cutting packaging by 96 % when compared with traditionally packaged tonic water.

Just a few years ago, Krones’ subsidiary Steinecker opened a technology center in Freising (GER) where customers can create and test recipes for beer and plant-based drinks. Now, the group is setting another important milestone in the evolution of beverages and processes. In early May, at the company’s headquarters in Neutraubling (GER), a fully-equipped R&D lab was officially inaugurated and dubbed the “Process Technology Center”.

The new Process Technology Center is designed to support Krones customers in their product development processes and meet the flavour demands of the global markets. It makes no difference whether the customer already has a finished recipe for a future product or is still at the start of the product development journey and would like to leverage Krones’ expertise for those first steps.

Krones itself will use the new technology center to more closely analyse the effects of various process parameters on different products. The results will then go into further developing and refining Krones machines and lines.

Expertise for process technology and water design

The technology center is divided into two sections: process technology and water design.
On the process technology side, various process and treatment steps can be realistically simulated on a pilot UHT system. That makes it possible, for example, to compare the thermal impact of indirect heating using a shell-and-tube heat exchanger versus direct heating. For this, customers can choose between two processes: steam injection and steam infusion. For other trials, the facility is also equipped with systems for mixing, flash pasteurisation, deaeration, homogenisation and filling. The results are then evaluated in-house, for example in Krones’ own microbiological and chemical testing labs.

Optimising the flavour profile of water

In the field of water design, customers can fine-tune the flavour of their water by adding just the right amounts of minerals and flavour compounds. The technological possibilities include deaeration, carbonation, electrodeionisation, ionisation, mineral dosing and filling.

A water sommelier provides support throughout the trials. Customers also have access to Krones’ extensive network of experts, with engineers in a variety of disciplines, including food and process engineering, to collaborate on transforming product ideas into real products.

One of the leading plant-based food and beverage companies expands footprint for innovation and to increase manufacturing capabilities, double business by 2025 compared to 2020

SunOpta, a U.S.-based, global pioneer fueling the future of sustainable, plant-based and fruit-based food and beverages, announced the opening of its new plant-based beverage production facility in Midlothian, Texas, bringing up to 175 new jobs to the area. The new mega facility will manufacture the company’s entire suite of plant-based milks and creamers, along with tea and other products. Various package sizes and configurations will be produced including 16-ounce and 32-ounce packages typically used in food service, shelf-stable retail, and e-commerce for plant-based milk products, and 330-milliliter packages used primarily in high-protein nutritional beverages.

“This plant is an important part of SunOpta’s long-term goals and a powerful next step in our company vision,” said Joe Ennen, CEO of SunOpta. “The fully-equipped and state-of-the-art facility will enhance our manufacturing and supply chain capabilities. In addition, through innovation and our dedication to sustainability, we can respond to the increasing nationwide demand for plant-based food and beverages.”

By 2025, SunOpta aims to double its plant-based business and has invested nearly USD 200 million in its plant-based production capacity in the last three years to support the accelerated growth and developing demand for plant- based milk alternatives. This new Midlothian plant will add capacity and new capabilities to accelerate growth and reduce production costs to serve and meet the growing needs of SunOpta’s customers.

Designed with SunOpta’s sustainability objectives in mind, the new Midlothian plant will reduce carbon emissions, conserve water, effciently utilise power and use recycled materials. With the plant strategically placed in Texas, SunOpta will significantly reduce emissions through lower transportation usage. The plant’s regional location will reduce more than 15 million freight miles annually and save 59 million pounds of carbon emissions. In addition, the facility is equipped with water reuse equipment that can save up to 20 million gallons of water a year, an energy-effcient HVAC system that reduces energy consumption by 45 %, LED lights and water heaters that reduce power usage by 95 %, and offces and labs constructed with at least 40 % recyclable materials.

As of now, the new production facility has 285,000 square feet, with the capacity to expand to 400,000 square feet to take on future growth. When fully expanded, the facility will be SunOpta’s largest plant for plant-based food and beverages. The new Midlothian site is located at 4126 Power Way, Midlothian, Texas 76065. In combination with SunOpta’s plants in California, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania, the Texas location creates a competitively advantaged, ‘diamond-shaped’ national network for national distribution.

SunOpta works closely with the City of Midlothian and other key partners to minimise the environmental footprint of the manufacturing process.

The European Commission has granted Novel Food status to pea and rice protein fermented by shiitake mushroom mycelia, trade named FermentIQä PTP and TXP, MycoTechnology’s innovative and highly functional natural plant protein ingredients. FermentIQä ingredients are produced using a patented mycelial fermentation platform that improves the sensory, functional, and nutritional attributes of plant protein. The authorisation follows a positive opinion issued earlier this year by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which said it considered the product to be safe for use in a wide range of food and beverage categories.

With Novel Food authorisation secured, USA-based MycoTechnology is set to accelerate its expansion into Europe, the company’s next major growth frontier. It has hired its first European sales representatives, based in Germany and the Netherlands, and has recently announced a partnership with Brenntag for distribution in the region. The company’s European expansion will be underpinned by its recent Series E fundraise, which generated USD 85 million to fuel growth and proliferation of its technology to address the global need for healthier, more delicious food.

Welcoming the news, Alan Hahn, MycoTechnology CEO, commented: “Authorisation means we can now offer food and beverage manufacturers access to our cutting-edge plant protein in Europe for the first time. FermentIQä is a transformative, game-changing plant protein with multiple application and nutritional advantages over other plant protein ingredients. It enables brands to overcome the technical and taste barriers associated with other plant proteins, providing consumers with a compelling reason to switch.”

The addition of sales and distribution capabilities in Europe means that MycoTechnology’s product portfolio – comprising FermentIQä plant proteins and ClearIQä flavour clarifiers – is now available globally, with sales networks already in place in North America, Latin America, and Asia.

Alan Hahn added: “Harnessing the power of mushroom mycelia to produce high quality plant protein is perfectly aligned with both consumer expectations and the EU’s commitment to sustainability and food security. It’s little surprise, then, that we are already in conversations with leading food industry players in Europe to formulate and commercialise products containing FermentIQä plant protein.”

FermentIQä is a pea and rice protein blend fermented by mushroom mycelia to deliver superior performance and nutrition. MycoTechnology’s proprietary process deodorises and de-flavours the protein, so that it offers a more neutral solution with superior functionality in a range of applications. FermentIQä is available in both powdered and texturised formats. The core powdered offering (PTP) delivers improved nutrition, taste and mouthfeel profiles that make it ideal for protein beverages and dairy alternatives, and the texturised offering (TXP) provides a superior springy and juicy texture in meat analogues.

FermentIQä PTP has a Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS) of 1 for individuals aged 3 and older, signifying that its protein content is of the highest nutritional quality. FermentIQä also offers reduced anti-nutrients and improved digestibility, allowing 99.9 % of protein consumed to be digested. A recent study found that MycoTechnology’s fermentation process improves protein quality by more than 20 % for children aged 3+, adolescents, and adults, based on the Digestible Indispensable Amino Acid Score (DIAAS). As a result, FermentIQä protein ingredients offer a nutritional value competitive with animal and soy proteins.

Latest addition to PlantGuard™ portfolio to debut at FiE 2022

Prinova Europe is launching a potent new plant-based antimicrobial that inhibits the growth of yeasts, moulds and bacteria, addressing the increasing demand for natural preservatives.

PlantGuard™ AM is the latest addition to the company’s botanical-derived range of preservatives, which enable manufacturers to use natural clean-label solutions to minimise food waste. The portfolio will make its first live show appearance at Food ingredients Europe (6-8 December) in Paris.

PlantGuard™ is a proprietary blend of natural extracts from plants that have been used in nutritional supplements for many years due to their antioxidant properties. It is highly effective for extending freshness and shelf life, delaying the onset of rancidity and hindering microbial growth, as well as conserving flavour and colour.

The heat-stable, neutral-tasting preservatives perform well against synthetic alternatives in a range of foods and beverages. PlantGuard™ AM, which can be used in applications including dairy, fish, meat, fruit, vegetables, cereals and juices, will be showcased at FiE alongside the antioxidant PlantGuard™ FS (fat-soluble for high-fat applications such as pastries, fried foods and mayonnaise) and WS (water-soluble for lower-fat products including breads, reduced-fat spreads and sauces).

Because PlantGuard™ can be used in such a broad range of applications, it can replace artificial preservatives across a number of product lines. Prinova’s technical team works with customers to help them select the optimal solution for their brands. The low dose rate and cost-in-use that compares well with alternatives enable further economies of scale.

Despite the brewing geopolitical, economic, and health crises, China’s hot drinks sales are set to increase, as consumers trade up to higher-quality products. The introduction of innovative and customised tea, coffee, and plant-based hot drinks is bolstering the market growth. As a result, the China’s hot drinks market is set to register a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.1 % from CNY 231.4 billion (USD 36.2 billion) in 2021 to CNY 311 billion (USD 48.6 billion) in 2026, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

GlobalData’s report, ‘Chinese Hot Drinks – Market Assessment and Forecasts to 2026’, reveals that while tea remains the mainstay, the coffee culture is growing owing to the evolving lifestyles and preferences of urban consumers. The market growth will be primarily driven by the hot coffee category, which is set to register the fastest value CAGR of 6.5 % during 2021-2026. The category will be followed by other hot drinks and hot tea with a CAGR of 6.2 % and 6.0 %, respectively, over the forecast period.

Naveed Khan, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, says: “The stringent COVID-19 lockdowns in Beijing, Shanghai and in the Hainan province have undermined the on-premise sales of hot drinks. However, consumers are treating themselves to higher quality tea and coffee at home. The growing demand for the new consumption experiences among the urban youth, and the introduction of new brew styles and flavours by international and homegrown companies are powering the growth of the hot coffee category in China.

“Hot tea, the largest category by value sales, continues to expand as new Chinese-style teas, such as yellow tea and scented tea, are gaining traction. The health concerns due to the pandemic are spurring the demand for herbal drinks that are perceived to improve immunity and overall health and wellness.”

According to the report, ‘convenience stores’ was the leading distribution channel in the Chinese hot drinks market in 2021, followed by hypermarkets & supermarkets, and e-retailers. Nestlé, China Tea, and Zhejiang Xiangpiaopiao were the top three companies in the fragmented Chinese hot drinks sector in value terms in 2021, and Nescafe and U.Loveit were the leading brands.

The per capita expenditure (PCE) on hot drinks in China increased from USD 6.5 in 2016 to USD 12.7 in 2021, surpassing the regional average at USD 11.1, but lagging the global level at USD 17.0. China’s PCE on hot drinks will surge to USD 17 in 2026.

Khan concludes: “Multinational and local companies are launching new products with innovative marketing strategies to develop new consumption occasions and expand their base. They are targeting young consumers, who are eager to experiment with innovative brew styles and flavours. However, the strict pandemic control measures, economic slowdown, and political standoff over Taiwan may slowdown the hot drinks sector’s growth momentum in the intermediate term.”

Fooditive, a pioneer in developing plant-based ingredients, is gearing up for a game-changer in the industry: a Novel Food licence from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for its sweetener. The Dutch company has developed from a concept to a company worth of 26 million euros in 2022 and is making significant progress. Founded on the belief that sustainability is more than a trend, Fooditive provides innovative and natural ingredients to food and beverage manufacturers.

The company’s unique process allows them to develop a remarkable sweetener, made from side streams of apples and pears. The production process has been enhanced and evolved from batch to continuous fermentation, to be able to deliver on the high demand from the food industry by producing up to 30 tonnes of sweetener per week. For this purpose, 83 tonnes of apples and pears are being upcycled, raw material that is considered as side streams, third-grade by juice manufacturers or simply the “ugly fruit”.

The sweetener – the first of Fooditive’s cutting-edge products – sparked a sugar-free, plant-based revolution. The company hopes to make a ground-breaking step towards establishing the sweetener in the market by forming a successful collaboration with a production partner in the Netherlands.

Fooditive has already been offering the sweetener for research and development purposes to players in the food industry to determine which applications their sweetener performs best in. After three years’ worth of learning and development, feedback, and support from the food industry, the company will submit the sweetener as 5-D-Keto-Fructose in the process of applying for Novel Food certification from the European Food Safety Authority.

Global competitor

Following the recent study by ReportLinker, Fooditive is the only start-up and Dutch company that is considered as one of the global competitors for food sweeteners in the industry competing alongside with several of the leading ingredient market vendors. Fooditive provides an innovative sweetener to companies, for different product applications where it can deliver not only the sweet taste but also the functions of sugar.

The sweetener is developed from the extraction of fructose through fermentation and its conversion to 5-D-Keto-Fructose through bio-refining techniques. Fooditive has accomplished this through its innovative approach to offer solutions by valorizing side-streams and starting from different raw materials, including cherries and bananas, to transform them into valuable, healthy ingredients.

Exciting journey

The Fooditive team is aware that the road ahead will be long and challenging. However, they know that completing its goal of securing EFSA approval for such a unique ingredient comes with a slew of benefits. Investors, venture capitalists, food attorneys, and consultants are invited to join the company’s journey on this effort to deliver this game-changer to the market.

One of the circular economy agriculture leaders Alvinesa Natural Ingredients has announced the acquisition of Cades Penedes, a leading Catalonian manufacturer of grape-derived sustainable ingredients. The company is based in Penedes, one of Spain’s best wine-producing regions and among the most ancient viticultural areas in Europe.

Alvinesa Natural Ingredients upcycles and transforms plant-based coproducts into valuable natural ingredients that promote healthy living. Alvinesa sells an extensive range of natural ingredients made from wine grape pomace for use in the food, beverage, nutrition, animal nutrition and wine-making industries. The acquisition of Cades Penedes provides Alvinesa access to an excellent source of grape-based raw material that is organic produced and contains higher than average levels of polyphenols (micronutrients with antioxidant activity). These ingredient characteristics are in high demand from dietary supplement, food and beverage consumer product-makers.

Alvinesa controls a sustainable, traceable, and waste prevention supply chain. Cades Penedes will provide important supply chain diversification for Alvinesa, complementing the grape coproducts currently sourced from Spain’s abundant Castilla-La Mancha wine region. With its excellent “terroir” and conducive climate, the Penedes region produces wine grapes of outstanding quality that require little to no use of pesticides. Penedes is better-known for its Cava (sparkling wine) production and while white grape varieties predominate, the region also produces some highly regarded oak-aged red wines. Cades Penedes has supply agreements with bodegas (wineries) across the region, and its manufacturing facility will increase Alvinesa’s production capacity by up to 20 %. This will reinforce Alvinesa’s industry-leading ability to scale production to meet the growth requirements of customers.

Koia announces Thomas DeLauer, world-renowned ketogenic lifestyle expert, will collaborate with Koia on product development for the keto lifestyle and today, introduces the new limited-edition Koia Keto Raspberry Lava Cake. DeLauer, who has been an avid fan and supporter of Koia’s Keto line, will collaborate with the brand on new plant-based keto innovations and nutrition education.

Koia, leader in plant-based shakes, launches new collab product
New limited-edition Koia Keto Raspberry Lava Cake (Photo: Koia)

This plant-forward keto innovation challenges critical believe around the keto lifestyle, showcasing that one can, in fact, reach ketosis healthfully while leading a partial or fully plant-based diet. Koia, being one of the only nutrition shakes on the market to deliver all the 9 essential amino acids needed to replace animal-based protein, provides an ideal solution for those looking to include more plant-based options into their keto regimen. This launch, and investment in the keto space, is a testament to the brand’s continued commitment and mission of making the plant-based lifestyle more accessible for everyone.

When working together on this product, Koia and DeLauer wanted something that tasted indulgent and comforting, so they selected Koia Keto Raspberry Lava Cake as the signature flavour, inspired by DeLauer’s favourite keto-friendly dessert that his wife makes – Chocolate Lava Cake with a raspberry sauce. Raspberries are one of DeLauer’s go-to keto friendly fruits and a key ingredient in his wife’s recipe. The raspberry tartness balances the richness of the chocolate for a delicious flavour that Koia and DeLauer worked closely to capture in this product, with DeLauer tasting many formulations until they landed on the perfect taste.

“Everything we do at Koia is about health, function and taste, so collaborating with Thomas DeLauer is a natural alignment with our brand,” says Chris Hunter, Co-founder and CEO of Koia. “He keeps up with all the latest research in the keto space and really understands ingredients and their functionality. Plus, the fact that the Raspberry Lava Cake is based on his favourite dessert that his wife makes at home, gives the product extra heart.”

Raspberry Lava Cake delivers ideal macro ratios with two high-performing, functional ingredients: macadamia nut milk and pumpkin seed protein. Macadamia nut milk is known to provide a significant amount of palmitoleic acid and is an ideal fat-to-protein ratio (2:1) for enhanced keto support. Pumpkin seed protein is a healthy clean protein source high in zinc, which can support the keto process and recovery. Raspberry Lava Cake contains 3 g net carbs, 8 g C8 MCT oil, 10 g protein, and 0 g added sugar per bottle, the ideal nutrition profile to accelerate ketosis.

Koia’s 100 % plant-based Keto shake line also includes other dessert-inspired flavours like Chocolate Brownie, Caramel Crème, Cookies ‘N Cream and Cake Batter. Consumers can purchase Koia Keto Raspberry Lava Cake, priced at USD 3.99 per bottle, for a limited time at drinkkoia.com.

In line with its goal to transition to 100 % recycled and plant-based PET bottles by 2030, the Suntory Group unveiled a prototype PET bottle made from 100 % plant-based materials partnership. The prototype bottle was developed in collaboration with US-based Anellotech for Suntory’s Orangina and Tennensui soft drinks brands in the European and Japanese markets, respectively. Given Suntory’s claims that its plant-based bottle overcomes several issues associated with bioplastics, it represents a step forward for the beverages industry towards the holy grail of biodegradable packaging, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Bobby Verghese, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Compostable/biodegradable plastics are presently a lower priority than recyclable packaging for Japanese consumers validated by as GlobalData’s Q3 2021 consumer survey. Only 30 % of Japanese respondents in the survey consider compostable/biodegradable an important factor in a product, when compared with 63 % of respondents who prioritize easy to recycle products*.

Verghese continues: “This is partly as consumers are disillusioned by earlier plant-based packaging innovations such as Coca-Cola’s PlantBottle, which failed to take off after the initial hype due to functional and cost challenges. Also, a large section of consumers are unsure how the biodegradable bottles will safeguard its contents.”

While bioplastics are touted as the penultimate solution for the plastic waste problem, most products have hitherto failed to match the performance of conventional oil-based plastics. Additionally, the cost of raw materials and overhauling existing manufacturing lines to accommodate bioplastics remain quite prohibitive. Moreover, bioplastics degrade only under specific ambient conditions, thereby posing an environmental threat. Furthermore, cultivating crops for producing bioplastics locks up agricultural land that could otherwise be used for food production.

Suntory claims its bioplastic material is made from two compounds, namely PTA and MEG, which are made from non-food biomass and non-food-grade feedstock, respectively, which minimizes its impact on the food chain. The plant-based bottle is claimed to be generate far lower carbon emissions than petroleum-derived plastic bottles.

Verghese concludes: “Suntory’s plant-based bottle can attract 39 % of Japanese consumers who consider products with reduced carbon footprint to be quite/extremely important, and 41 % of consumers who say the same for products that are sustainable/made from renewable sources*. However, the pros and cons of the bioplastic will only come to light after the full-fledged market launch.”

*Data taken from GlobalData’s Q3 2021 Consumer Survey – Japan with 527 respondents, published in September 2021

Suntory Group announced that, as a crucial step toward its aim to use 100 % sustainable PET bottles globally by 2030 and eliminate all petroleum-based virgin plastic from its global PET supply, the company has successfully created a prototype PET bottle made from 100 % plant-based materials. The prototype has been produced for the company’s iconic Orangina brand in Europe along with its best-selling bottled mineral water brand in Japan, Suntory Tennensui. This announcement marks a breakthrough after a nearly decade-long partnership with the US-based sustainable technology company Anellotech.

PET is produced using two raw materials, 70 % terephthalic acid (PTA) and 30 % mono ethylene glycol (MEG). Suntory’s prototype plant-based bottle is made by combining Anellotech’s new technology, a plant-based paraxylene derived from wood chips, which has been converted to plant-based PTA, and pre-existing plant-based MEG made from molasses which Suntory has been using in its Suntory Tennensui brand in Japan since 2013.

“We’re delighted with this achievement, as it brings us one step closer to delivering this sustainable PET bottle to the hands of our consumers,” said Tsunehiko Yokoi, Executive Officer of Suntory MONOZUKURI Expert Ltd. “The significance of this technology is that the PTA is produced from non-food biomass to avoid competition with the food chain, while MEG is also derived from non-food grade feedstock.”

This innovation is an additional step towards achieving Suntory Group’s ambition to eliminate use of all petroleum-derived virgin PET plastic bottles globally by transitioning to 100 % recycled or plant-based PET bottles by 2030. The fully recyclable prototype plant-based bottle is estimated to significantly lower carbon emissions compared to petroleum derived virgin bottle.

“This achievement is the result of over ten years of thorough and painstaking development work by Anellotech’s dedicated employees, together with Suntory and other partners,” said David Sudolsky, President and CEO of Anellotech. “The competitive advantage of Anellotech’s Bio-TCat generated paraxylene is its process efficiency (it uses a single-step thermal catalytic process by going directly from biomass to aromatics (benzene, toluene and xylene)), as well as the opportunity it creates for a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as compared to its identical fossil-derived paraxylene in the manufacture of PET, especially as it generates required process energy from the biomass feedstock itself.”

This technology is one of the latest investments from Suntory in the company’s long history of addressing the social and environmental impacts of containers and packaging. In 1997, Suntory established its “Guidelines for the Environmental Design of Containers and Packaging.” For plastic bottles specifically, it has used its 2R+B (Reduce/Recycle + Bio) strategy to reduce the weight of containers, including labels and caps, and actively introduce recycled or plant-based materials in its plastic bottles used globally. Most significantly, it has created the lightest bottle cap, the thinnest bottle label, and the lightest PET bottle produced in Japan to date.

“Suntory has been entrenched in the work to create sustainable packaging solutions since 1997. This plant-based bottle prototype honors our historic dedication while shining a light, not only on our path to achieving our 2030 fully sustainable PET bottle goal, but also towards our ambition to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across the entire value chain by 2050,” said Tomomi Fukumoto, COO of Sustainability Management at Suntory Holdings.

This milestone amplifies the great momentum of Suntory’s continuous work on promoting a plastic circular economy, through the development of sustainable materials, adoption of circular processes, investment to pioneer advanced technologies and promotion of behavioral change for consumers. Suntory aims to commercialize this 100 % plant-based bottle as soon as possible to meet its 2030 fully sustainable PET bottle goal.

ADM, a global leader in nutrition and agricultural origination and processing, announced that it has completed its acquisition of Sojaprotein, a leading European provider of non-GMO soy ingredients. The addition represents a significant expansion of ADM’s global alternative protein capabilities and its ability to meet growing demand for plant-based foods and beverages.

Established in 1977, Serbia-based Sojaprotein exports into 65 countries, offering a wide range of non-GMO vegetable protein ingredients for an extensive list of European and global customers in the meat alternative, confectionary, protein bar, pharmaceutical, pet food, and animal feed segments. The company achieved more than $100 million in sales in 2020.

The addition of Sojaprotein to ADM’s portfolio is the latest significant investment as the company continues to grow in alternative proteins; other additions include the company’s soy protein complex in Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil; its new pea protein plant in Enderlin, North Dakota; its PlantPlus Foods joint venture; and partnerships with innovative startups like Air Protein.

The Coca‑Cola Company’s sustainable packaging journey crosses a major milestone this week with the unveiling of its first-ever beverage bottle made from 100 % plant-based plastic, excluding the cap and label, that has been made using technologies that are ready for commercial scale. The prototype bottle comes more than a decade after the company’s PlantBottle™ debuted as the world’s first recyclable PET plastic bottle made with up to 30 % plant-based material. A limited run of approximately 900 of the prototype bottles have been produced.

“We have been working with technology partners for many years to develop the right technologies to create a bottle with 100 % plant-based content—aiming for the lowest possible carbon footprint—and it’s exciting that we have reached a point where these technologies exist and can be scaled by participants in the value chain,” said Nancy Quan, Chief Technical and Innovation Officer, The Coca‑Cola Company.

PET, the world’s most recycled plastic, comprises two molecules: approximately 30 % monoethylene glycol (MEG) and 70 % terephthalic acid (PTA). The original PlantBottle™, introduced in 2009, includes MEG from sugarcane, but the PTA has been from oil-based sources until now. PlantBottle™ packaging looks, functions and recycles like traditional PET but has a lighter footprint on the planet and its resources.

Coca-Cola’s new prototype plant-based bottle is made from plant-based paraxylene (bPX) – using a new process by Virent – which has been converted to plant-based terephthalic acid (bPTA). As the first beverage packaging material resulting from bPX produced at demonstration scale, this new technology signals a step-change in the commercial viability of the biomaterial. The bPX for this bottle was produced using sugar from corn, though the process lends itself to flexibility in feedstock.

The second breakthrough technology, which The Coca-Cola Company co-owns with Changchun Meihe Science & Technology, streamlines the bMEG production process and also allows for flexibility in feedstock, meaning more types of renewable materials can be used. Typically, bMEG is produced by converting sugarcane or corn into bioethanol as an intermediate, which is subsequently converted to bioethylene glycol. Now, sugar sources can directly produce MEG, resulting in a simpler process. UPM, the technology’s first licensee, is currently building a full-scale commercial facility in Germany to convert certified, sustainably sourced hardwood feedstock taken from sawmill and other wood industry side-streams to bMEG. This marks a significant milestone toward the commercialization of the technology.

“The inherent challenge with going through bioethanol is that you are competing with fuel,” said Dana Breed, Global R&D Director, Packaging and Sustainability, The Coca-Cola Company. “We needed a next-generation MEG solution that addressed this challenge, but also one that could use second generation feedstock like forestry waste or agricultural byproducts. Our goal for plant-based PET is to use surplus agricultural products to minimize carbon footprint, so the combination of technologies brought by the partners for commercialization is an ideal fit with this strategy.”

In 2015, Coca-Cola unveiled its first prototype for a 100 % bio-based PlantBottle™ at the Milan Expo using lab-scale production methods to produce bPX. This next-generation 100 % plant-based bottle, however, has been made using new technologies to produce both biochemicals that make the bottle and are ready for commercial scaling.

Since introducing PlantBottle™, Coca-Cola has allowed non-competitive companies to use the technology and brand in their products—from Heinz Ketchup to the fabric interior in Ford Fusion hybrid cars. In 2018, the company opened up the PlantBottle™ IP more broadly to competitors in the beverage industry to scale up demand and drive down pricing.

As part of its World Without Waste vision, Coca-Cola is working to make all its packaging more sustainable, including maximizing use of recycled and renewable content while minimizing use of virgin, fossil material. The company has pledged to collect back the equivalent of every bottle it sells by 2030, so none of its packaging ends up as waste and old bottles are recycled into new ones; to make 100 % of its packaging recyclable; and to ensure 50% of its packaging comes from recycled material.

This innovation supports the World Without Waste vision, specifically the recently announced target to use 3 million tons less of virgin plastic from oil-based sources by 2025. The Coca‑Cola Company will pursue this 20 % reduction by investing in new recycling technologies like enhanced recycling, packaging improvements such as light-weighting, alternative business models such as refillable, dispensed and fountain systems, as well as the development of new renewable materials.

In Europe and Japan, Coca-Cola, with its bottling partners, aims to eliminate the use of oil-based virgin PET from plastic bottles altogether by 2030, using only recycled or renewable materials. While the majority of plastic packaging material will come from mechanically recycled content, some “virgin” material will still be needed to maintain quality standards. That’s why Coca-Cola is investing in and driving innovation to boost the supply of feedstock from renewable technologies as well as from enhanced recycling technologies. Enhanced recycling “upcycles” previously used PET plastics of any quality to high quality, food grade PET.

“We are taking significant steps to reduce use of ‘virgin’, oil-based plastic, as we work toward a circular economy and in support of a shared ambition of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050,” Quan said. “We see plant-based plastics as playing a critical role in our overall PET mix in the future, supporting our objectives to reduce our carbon footprint, reduce our reliance on ‘virgin’ fossil fuels and boost collection of PET in support of a circular economy.”

The new range of organic cold-pressed juice shots from Irish company Just Juice It were created to satisfy the growing desire for plant-based, vegan, healthy functional foods.

The 3 line organic range includes the ever-popular wheatgrass juice and 2 more specialist health shots; a broccoli shot made from 4 day old sprouted broccoli juice and thirdly, a beetroot shot with added broccoli.

The wheatgrass shot is popular because of its chlorophyll content. The broccoli shot is a great source of sulforaphane that boosts anti-oxidants amongst its many other benefits. The beetroot shot has been created with athletes and sports people in mind who have long recognised the advantages of beetroot juice as a performance enhancer. The range will be a valuable addition to the health and wellness market.

Just Juice It ensures that the juice shots are as nature intended by avoiding heat in the preservation process and using high pressure to ensure the juice stays as fresh as the day it was pressed.

Barry Mylett, Managing Director of Just Juice It, comments: ‘We’re really excited to be leading the way in the juice market and delivering juice shots that tick all the boxes; organic, vegan, ultra-healthy with fully recyclable packaging. I love the branding which I helps to show customers that our range is completely natural.”

On the occasion of the two-day conference of the European Commission on the Agri-food promotion policy review (12-13 July 2021), Freshfel Europe is calling on European authorities to build on the momentum of the policy developments emerging from the Green Deal, the Farm to Fork Strategy, and the EU Beating Cancer Plan to promote fresh fruit and vegetables as part of the solution to climatic and health challenges. The aim is to shape an even stronger, more efficient, and better-funded policy to support European fresh fruit and vegetables to boost fresh fruit and vegetables consumption over the minimum WHO threshold of 400 gr/capita/day while also improving the competitiveness of EU fresh produce for exports to third-country markets.

The momentum to significantly stimulate production, trade and consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables is stronger than ever. COVID-19 pandemic has led consumers to include more fresh produce in their diets to boost their health and immune system. The United Nation’s celebration of 2021 as the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables is the perfect time for Freshfel Europe and the fruit and vegetables sector to speak up for the fresh produce sector and highlight the health and environmental benefits of fresh fruit and vegetables. The strong policy initiatives that started in 2018 through the Tartu Call for a Healthy Lifestyle and signed by three European Commissioners further contribute to the momentum. The Declaration has now been converted into more concrete policy initiatives where fruit and vegetables are considered as part of the solutions to current societal challenges, such as climate change and non-communicable diseases. This is well reflected in the ambitions and strategy of the Green Deal, the Farm to Fork Strategy, the EU Beating Cancer Plan, the upcoming reform of the fruit and vegetable School Scheme, and, most importantly, the current discussion on the reform of the promotion policy with clear views of Freshfel Europe on the relevance of this policy for fresh produce.

Freshfel Europe General Delegate Philippe Binard stressed: “More than ever before there is a momentum to change things significantly. Fruit and vegetables are only granted 3 to 4% of EU agricultural policy budget while contributing to 20% to the European agricultural value. In comparison, the meat sector received up to 53% of coupled agricultural support and milk and dairy 21%. It is time to spend agriculture budget more in line with societal expectations both from a health and environmental perspective” He added: “Fruit and vegetables are among the food baskets the products that best respond to these two ambitions. As the European Union is moving towards sustainable food production and consumption model, fruit and vegetables are an important component contributing to secure this ambition”.

For more than 20 years the sector has embarked in sustainable methods of production, using Integrated Production Method, precision farming and good agriculture practice, strict controls of plant protection usage, rigorous water management, minimizing packaging and many other initiatives to cope with environmental, social and economic sustainability. On the climate and environmental side, fruit and vegetables production are among the agriculture category with the lost CO2 emissions, good record in regard to energy and water usage, protection of biodiversity and restrictive usage of plant protection products and fertilizers. On the health side, the diversity of fruit and vegetables contributes to a healthy diet, full of fibres, vitamins, and nutrients which are important assets for an healthy lifestyle and prevention of many diseases based on a wealth of scientific studies.

It is to be reminded that figures demonstrate that fresh produce are primarily consumed locally and in season, as more than 60% of the fresh produce are consumed in the European Member States where they were grown, while trade -both intra EU and international guarantees the full diversity of the assortment and year-round supply. The efforts of growers to protect their crops and the good temperature control of the supply chain also contribute to minimize food lost and food waste.

The support for a strong promotion policy and the education of consumers towards a more plant-based diets was echoed by Freshfel Europe representative Simona Rubbi (CSO and Chair of the Civil Dialogue Group of Promotion and Quality of the European Commission) during the two days conference on the review of the promotion policy: “It is important for fruit and vegetable to rely on a strong and well-funded promotion policy. Today, the fresh produce sector receives around 30 Mio € of financial support every year for the promotion of EU fresh produce on the domestic market as well as on third-country markets. 15% of the EU promotion budget is therefore dedicated to fruit and vegetables”. She noted: “This is obviously insufficient if the ambitious objective of the EU is to radically change the diet and move towards a more sustainable and plant-based diet. This move should also keep in mind the benefit of a balance and diverse diet including other agriculture product. Securing half of the plate with fruit and vegetables and move over the minimum of 400 g per capita/day for all consumers is the objective. It will be a win-win solution, for the planet and for the health of its citizens alike and for the sector as this will imply to increase the fresh produce supply by close to 15 mio T”.

Freshfel Europe will continue to take the lead towards a more favourable policy-making for fresh produce. It is time to deliver and build on the current momentum by supporting the transition towards a sustainable system and shaping the new policies that best respond to the challenges of the sector. Finding ways to best position fruit and vegetables at the centre of a healthy and sustainable diet should be the main priorities of public and private stakeholders. It should be based on the strong partnership within the supply chain from production, to trade and down to retail and other food services segments and guarantee by the excellence, the quality, the freshness, the convenience and the diversity of all fresh fruit and vegetables made available to consumers on the European markets.

The makers of plant-based functional supplement beverages are hoping to disrupt the functional shot category with the launch of their new line of powerful superfood decoctions.

Launched this spring, URBL is a line of premium plant-based functional supplement shots created by the startup Pebble Roots Inc. The release of their new beverage line comes at a time when functional drinks and shots are exploding within the health and wellness community.

Inspired by the principles of Ayurveda and Traditional Herbal Medicine (THM) and reinforced with evidence-based nutrition science, URBL shots are unique “superfood decoctions” created by extracting healing compounds from the stems, roots, bark, and other parts of botanical ingredients and formulating them into three unique products with different ingredients, different functionalities, and completely different flavour profiles – spicy, green, or a tad sweet.

The current line of products includes “URBL ROAR,” featuring ashwagandha, one of the most potent Ayurvedic adaptogens, to help consumers adapt to a variety of physical and psychological stressors; “URBL SHIELD,” a memory boosting and liver protecting shot with brahmi and milk thistle as the key botanicals; and “URBL GLOW,” a collagen booster made with amalaki and turmeric root, providing antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits.

“Unlike sugar-rich, high-fructose fruit juice shots with excessive amounts of ginger and pepper added only to overemphasize effectiveness, URBL is a botanical nutraceutical packed with 24 varying superfoods to boost your physical as well as mental health – a comprehensive immune support,” said Suhas Verma, the founder and CEO of URBL.

URBL is the first and only product of its kind to be licensed by Health Canada as a Natural Health Product (NHP). URBL products are manufactured in a state-of-the-art GMP and NSF certified manufacturing facility, with every production batch run through more than 15 types of contamination and allergen tests to ensure the supplement beverages are of the highest quality.

URBL is 100 percent non-GMO and gluten-free. It is naturally sweetened with honey and is free of preservatives, caffeine, added-sugar, stevia, allergens, and anything artificial.

URBL’s 2 ounce shots are also shelf-stable and can be easily stowed and consumed, making them perfect for an active, on-the-go lifestyle.

“Whether you’re a fitness buff, yogi, adventurer, corporate jet setter, or a busy mom, you’re going to fall in love with your URBL boost,” Verma said. “Let URBL fuel your daily adventures.”

  • Britvic acquires Plenish, plant-based drinks business
  • Portfolio comprises plant-based milks, cold-pressed juices and functional shots
  • The transaction strengthens Britvic’s offer in the high-growth plant-based milks and organic juice categories

Britvic announces the acquisition of Plenish, the plant-based milks, cold-pressed juices and shots company, and one of the most exciting brands in its category in Great Britain. Plenish joins Britvic’s portfolio of market-leading brands and strengthens the Group’s offering in the fast-growing plant-based segment.

Founded in 2012, Plenish offers a range of plant-based milks and plant-powered juice drinks all made from the highest quality, organic and sustainably sourced ingredients. The products are carried by major national grocery retailers. Plenish’s sales are further boosted by highly effective marketing and a sophisticated direct-to-consumer sales offer.

Kara Rosen set up Plenish in 2012 after looking for alternative solutions to deal with a recurring health issue. A native New Yorker, Kara moved to the UK and soon realised that there were no cold-pressed juices in the British market free of sugar. Kara decided to make her own juices and nut milks using mainly green vegetables from organic origin. Since then, Plenish has become one of the fastest growing plant-based milks brand in the UK, while its juice-led direct-to-consumer business continues to grow at over 100+ % pa. The transaction is closely aligned with Britvic’s strategy of building a portfolio of soft-drinks brands for every consumer occasion and its focus on accessing new spaces in the soft drinks category. Britvic has a long track record of successfully leveraging its scale and capabilities to grow its brands, and it will draw on this experience to fulfil the full potential of Plenish.

Britvic recognises the opportunity presented by the fast-growing plant-based drinks segment, with plant-based milks set to achieve retail sales values of over £500m by 2024. The non-soya plant-based milks market has grown more than tenfold over the past decade and it is fast becoming a mainstream category, with consumers favouring healthier, plant-based products over dairy.

The transaction also serves to strengthen Britvic’s Healthier People, Healthier Planet sustainability agenda. The Group is committed to ensuring its products help consumers enjoy life’s everyday moments, as part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Healthy nutrition is at the core of Plenish’s brand with a range of products containing the highest quality natural ingredients with low calories, that are certified organic by the Soil Association. As an accredited B-Corporation and a certified carbon negative business, Plenish’s approach to environment will contribute positively to Britvic’s Healthier Planet commitments.

PepsiCo and Beyond Meat are joining forces in a new partnership. The goal? Dreaming up a range of snacks and beverages, all made from plant-based protein.

Plant-based proteins are playing an increasingly vital role in modern diets — they’re nutrient-rich and far more sustainable than meat.

Now PepsiCo and Beyond Meat are teaming up to launch The PLANeT Partnership, tapping into growing consumer demand for plant-based proteins that are better for the planet.

Through the PLANeT Partnership, the two companies will develop, produce and market snacks and beverages made from plant-based protein — bringing together Beyond Meat’s innovation expertise with PepsiCo’s marketing and commercial capabilities.

“We look forward to combining their unparalleled expertise with our world-class capabilities in brand-building, consumer insights and distribution,” says Ram Krishnan, PepsiCo Global Chief Commercial Officer.

For PepsiCo, the partnership represents an exciting next step in the company’s ongoing commitment to expanding its portfolio of positive choices for consumers and the planet. Among PepsiCo’s longstanding efforts: doubling down on sustainably sourced ingredients, regenerative agriculture, carbon-emission reduction and other key measures.

Numerous studies have extolled the benefits of plant-based diets, and Krishnan describes Beyond Meat as “a cutting-edge innovator in this rapidly growing category.” The El Segundo, California-based company was founded in 2009 with the goal of creating plant-based products that mimic meat’s taste and texture, with a focus on simple ingredients and no GMOs or bioengineering. Fast forward to 2021, Beyond Meat products are available at approximately 122,000 locations in more than 80 countries.

“With PepsiCo’s unmatched reach and distribution, we’ll be able to accelerate bringing these products to markets around the world as we provide more consumers with the nutritional and environmental benefits of plant-based protein,” says Ethan Brown, Beyond Meat Founder and CEO.

As Krishnan notes, it represents “a new frontier in our efforts to build a more sustainable food system.”

Rising demand for plant-based drinks with added health benefits

Consumer enthusiasm for plant-based foods continues to grow unabated. This is also affecting the beverage market. Market research company Persistence Market Research (PMR) predicts annual growth rates exceeding six percent for plant-based drinks through 2028. And that’s not all: The “plant-based revolution,” as Innova Market Insights terms this top trend, opens further value-add potential. Fortification with micronutrients gives products additional health value. Plant-based alternatives to dairy products are by far the strongest category, according to Innova. SternVitamin has developed special micronutrient premixes for this segment that upgrade plant-based drinks based on oats and other protein sources. Its new SternHeartV, SternGutV and SternBonesV premixes let manufactures align plant-based drinks precisely to the special needs of specific target groups.

For example, SternHeartV addresses athletes, professionals with high-stress jobs and older people. This micronutrient combination of B vitamins, vitamin E, folic acid, iodine and zinc supports normal homocysteine metabolism and the formation of new red blood cells. In addition, it contributes to optimum muscle function and to protecting the cells from oxidative stress. For keeping bones healthy into advanced age there is SternBonesV for plant-based drinks. Its combination of vitamin D, vitamin K2, magnesium and calcium helps maintain bone health, and is appropriate for women in all age groups, vegans, and lactose-intolerant persons who want to be sure of getting a good calcium supply from plant-based products.

Manufacturers of plant-based drinks with SternGutV can reach a broad audience. This premix supports the gut-associated immune system, through a combination of micronutrients for strengthening immune defences, and fibres with prebiotic and immune-modulating properties. Whether stress at work or study, whether professional or weekend athlete, plant-based drinks with SternGutV support the immune system and help it perform well. At the same time they offer good taste and a pleasant mouth feel. According to PMR, one of the main goals in the development of plant-based alternatives is to meet consumers’ nutrition preferences, i.e. to offer added health benefits without compromising on taste. SternVitamin achieves this goal through its close cooperation with Planteneers, whose expertise in plant-based alternatives provides for full flavour enjoyment while SternVitamin supplies the added health benefits. At their own Plant Based Competence Center these sister companies develop attractive combinations of ingredients for a wide range of applications to meet the individual wishes of specific customers. The health benefits of these premixes can be marketed effectively on the drink packages using EU-approved Health Claims.

The shift from fossil-based to renewable bio-plastics requires new efficient methods. New technology developed at VTT enables the use of pectin-containing agricultural waste, such as citrus peel and sugar beet pulp, as raw material for bio-based PEF-plastics for replacing fossil-based PET. The carbon footprint of plastic bottles can be lowered by 50 % when replacing their raw material of PET with PEF polymers, which also provides a better shelf life for food.

“In the near future, you may buy orange juice in bottles that are made out of orange peel. VTT’s novel technology provides a circular approach to using food waste streams for high-performance food packaging material, and at the same time reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” shares Professor of Practice Holger Pöhler from VTT”.

PET (polyethylene terephthalate) and other polyesters are being widely used in food packaging, plastic bottles and textiles. The annual production of PET products is estimated at 30 million tonnes. Replacing fossil-based PET with plant-based PEF (polyethylene furanoate) polymers can lower the carbon footprint of the products by 50 %.

Moreover, the barrier properties of PEF plastics are better than PETs, meaning that the food products have a longer shelf life. PEF is a fully recyclable and renewable high-performance plastic. Therefore, it opens up possibilities for the industries to reduce waste and to have positive impact on the environment.

VTT’s technology has significant advantages for making bio-based PEF plastics. The technology uses a stable intermediate for the production of FDCA (2,5-furandicarboxylic acid), one of the monomers of PEF, which enables a highly efficient process. In addition, utilising pectin-containing waste streams opens up new possibilities for the circular economy of plastics.

VTT’s unique scale-up infrastructure from laboratory to pilot scale ensures that this new technology will be brought to a technology readiness level that will allow polymer manufacturers’ easy transition to full scale.

VTT has patented the technology, and the research has been published in the scientific journal Green Chemistry on 7 December 2020: A unique pathway to platform chemicals: aldaric acids as stable intermediates for the synthesis of furandicarboxylic acid esters

SunOpta Inc., a leading global company focused on plant-based foods and beverages, fruit-based foods and beverages, and organic ingredient sourcing and production, announced it has reached an agreement to sell the Company’s global ingredients segment and related assets to an Amsterdam based global commodity trading company, Amsterdam Commodities N.V. for a debt and cash free consideration of €330 million. The transaction, which remains subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close by January 2021.

“I’m pleased to announce this strategically transformational transaction. This transaction further solidifies SunOpta’s future direction as a high-growth, plant-based company focused on providing value-added products in competitively advantaged categories with consistent, sustainable, above average growth characteristics. The long- term supply agreement negotiated as part of this transaction provides SunOpta with the benefit of a continued strategic relationship with a leading global ingredient player in Acomo. Furthermore, this transaction de-levers and strengthens SunOpta’s balance sheet, enabling the acceleration of near-term expansion plans in our fast-growing plant-based food and beverage segment. The plans include both high-return capital investment projects, as well as synergistic acquisitions, that add to an existing set of strong capabilities in our core plant-based beverage platform. This is a very exciting time for us at SunOpta as we look forward to building on our success of the past four quarters,” said Joe Ennen, Chief Executive Offcer of SunOpta.

“With the exciting acquisition of Tradin, Acomo will realize a highly complementary acquisition, creating a leading global player across organic and conventional unlisted commodities. The company is a leading partner for the organic food industry, benefitting from the rapidly growing global consumer demand for sustainable and healthy foods. Tradin has an attractive financial profile and will continue to be led by a highly experienced management team,” said Allard Goldschmeding, Acomo Group Managing Director.

Under the terms of the agreement, SunOpta will sell processing facilities located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Silistra, Bulgaria; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; and Yirgalem, Ethiopia. These facilities and their employees will continue to operate in ordinary course. Approximately 525 employees will be transferred from SunOpta to Acomo.

The Global Ingredients business being sold contributed approximately US$488 million to SunOpta’s net sales for the twelve months ended September 26, 2020. The transaction valuation represents an approximate 10x multiple of Adjusted EBITDA1 for the standalone business. This transaction is highly tax effcient and is expected to be accretive to the Company’s long-term growth rate and margin profile further focusing the Company on delivering more consistent financial results for our shareholders.

Proceeds from this transaction will be used for capital investment primarily into the core Plant-Based Foods and Beverages segment and to pay down debt.

1Non-GAAP Measures
In addition to reporting financial results in accordance with U.S. GAAP, the Company provides additional information about its operating results regarding segment operating income, adjusted earnings and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (“Adjusted EBITDA”), which are not measures in accordance with U.S. GAAP. The Company believes that segment operating income, adjusted earnings and adjusted EBITDA assist investors in comparing performance across reporting periods on a consistent basis by excluding items that are not indicative of its operating performance. The non-GAAP measures of segment operating income, adjusted earnings and adjusted EBITDA should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for performance measures calculated in accordance with U.S. GAAP.

B1U brand will launch functional infused waters, featuring real ingredients including zinc, vitamin C, black tea caffeine, fiber and protein

Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc., the agricultural cooperative owned by more than 700 farmer families, announced the launch of the B1U brand, a new beverage line featuring on-trend functional benefits, simple ingredients, easy-to-understand nutrition, and recyclable packaging. The B1U brand aims to demystify nutrition so everyone can make educated and personalized decisions for their own unique body and ultimately “Own the One You™”.

Ocean Spray is continuing its expansion into the health and wellness categories as 65 % of consumers report wanting more functionality out of their food and beverage products*. In order to meet this demand; the B1U brand is first unveiling an environmentally conscious, accessible enhanced water as the first product in its line to be followed by further beverage additions in the future.

The B1U brand of functional infused waters features four flavors with no sugar or artificial sweeteners:

  • I need a boost: Watermelon cucumber infused water with 60 mg of black tea caffeine
  • I need rhythm: Strawberry basil infused water with 8 g of plant-based fiber
  • I need immunity: Lemon chamomile infused water with 22 mg of zinc and 128 mg of vitamin C
  • I need power: Peach kiwi infused water with 10 g of protein

The B1U brand is on-shelf in the U.S. at select Target stores this month, will be available at select Walmart stores in December, and is currently available for purchase on Amazon. B1U is available in 16 oz fully recyclable bottles.

*Kerry Group, Proactive Health: Consumer Demand for Functional Benefits, 2019

‘Hive’ will address major global food system challenges

Unilever has invested €85m in the new center, named ‘Hive’ for its location amidst leading academic research centres, start-ups and external partners. From Hive, Unilever will lead its global Foods innovation programs for brands like Knorr, Hellmann’s, The Vegetarian Butcher and Calvė. Areas of research will include: plant-based ingredients and meat alternatives, efficient crops, sustainable food packaging and nutritious foods.

Together with its partners, Unilever aims to transform the food industry into a healthy and sustainable system, driving innovations that are healthier for people and for the planet.

Alan Jope, Unilever CEO, said: “We need a fundamental transformation of the food system if we are to feed more than 9 billion people sustainably and nutritiously. Malnutrition, obesity, climate change and food waste are issues that can only be addressed if we work in partnership to accelerate technology and innovation. Having a global research and development centre in Wageningen will enable us to do exactly this.”

The Wageningen area in the Netherlands is often nicknamed “Food Valley” – a nod to Silicon Valley – in recognition of the breakthroughs in agri-food tech being generated by start-ups, science institutes, NGOs and companies located in the area.

Unilever’s Hive has the highest certification for sustainable buildings: ‘BREEAM-NL Outstanding’. Large parts of the fully circular interior are accessible to the public. Earlier this year, the building won two prestigious design awards: the Global Design Award for Commercial Projects and the Global Public Award.

Increased consumer interest in the stories behind their food and beverage products and their notable influence on purchasing decisions has resulted in companies increasingly paying attention to storytelling in branding strategies. “Storytelling: Winning with Words” leads the list of Innova Market Insights’ Top Ten Trends for 2020. The top five trends for 2020 are:

1. Storytelling: Winning with Words

Although ingredient provenance has always been important, consumer interest in discovering the story behind their foods has risen further and increasingly influencing purchasing decisions. Consumers’ attention is piqued by opportunities to learn more about how products are produced, which promotes an understanding of product benefits and helps build all-important trust in the brand.

As a result, manufacturers are increasingly focusing on ingredient provenance platforms in order to highlight the taste and quality of their products, as well as their uniqueness and sustainability efforts. Provenance platforms can communicate a whole range of messages to the consumer, including flavor/taste, processing methods, cultural and traditional backgrounds, as well as the more obvious geographical origin.

2. The Plant-Based Revolution

Plant-based innovation in food and beverages continues to flourish as a result of consumer interest in health, sustainability and ethics, which ties into the broader consumer lifestyle trend towards cleaner living. As the use of the term “plant-based” moves more into the mainstream, the industry and start-up companies in particular, are taking up the challenge to deliver more clean label meat and dairy alternatives with improved nutritional profiles.

3. The Sustain Domain

Consumers increasingly expect companies to invest in sustainability, with Innova Market Insights research indicating that 85 % of, on average, US and UK consumers expected companies to invest in sustainability in 2019, up from 64 % in 2018. In the area of food waste, upcycling is the new recycling, as companies strive to follow a zero-waste approach by creating value from by-products. Meanwhile in packaging, the focus is on using less of it, as well as developing sustainable alternatives.

4. The Right Bite

Stress and anxiety are key concerns in modern life as consumers manage careers, families and social lives while striving to maintain healthy lifestyles, both physically and mentally. Responses to this vary, although the majority of consumers aim to balance the benefits and costs of busy lifestyles. This, in turn, raises the demand for nutritious foods that are easy to prepare, convenient and portable.Indulgent treats play a role in relaxation and enjoyment.

5. Tapping into Texture

Last year’s leading trend “Discovery: the adventurous consumer” is still prominent, with consumer demand for something new and different being reflected in more product launches with textural claims. Consumers increasingly recognize the influence of texture on food and beverages, allowing a heightened sensory experience and often a greater feeling of indulgence. According to Innova Market Insights research, 45 % of, on average, US and UK consumers are influenced by texture when buying food and drinks, while 68 % share the opinion that textures contribute to a more interesting food and beverage experience.

The other top trends for 2020 identified by Innova Market Insights are:

6. Macronutrient Makeover

7. Hello Hybrids

8. A Star is Born

9. Eat Pretty

10. Brand Unlimited

New culture improves product quality and extends shelf-life and reduces waste

DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences has announced a new ingredient – HOLDBAC® YM VEGE – as the latest addition to the DuPont Danisco® HOLDBAC® line of protective cultures, known for their ability to extend shelf-life and secure the quality of products by holding off yeast and mold spoilage – all without use of synthetic preservatives. Now, HOLDBAC® YM VEGE brings this effective and label-friendly spoilage prevention to plant-based, fermented foods and beverages, at a time when customer demand in this space has never been higher.

“The industry has seen enormous growth for fermented plant-based products in recent years, driven by higher numbers of flexitarian, vegetarian or vegan consumers around the world. These shifts in diets are driven by a number of factors, including a search for improved health that comes with a plant-based diet, ethical choices toward foods with lower environmental impact and which are deemed better for animal welfare, and switching to dairy alternatives for lactose-intolerant consumers,” said Eve Martinet-Bareau, Global Product Manager, Cultures for plant-based fermented food and beverages.

“DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences has been working with customers for decades as consumer demands for plant-based options have increased, and we are constantly looking for ways to innovate in this space,” added Martinet-Bareau. “For example, in May 2018, we launched a new cultures line – Danisco® VEGE Cultures – especially designed for fermented plant-based products, helping customers attain desired taste and texture profiles in a wide variety of plant-based dairy alternatives and beverages.”

However, with that demand came certain challenges for producers of fermented goods, including the need to:

  • Gain market share in the fast-growing plant-based food sector;
  • consistently ensure high-quality products with the desired taste and texture, particularly across regions with differing consumer preferences;
  • secure that quality throughout a product’s shelf-life;
  • address the fast-growing demand for friendly labeled consumer products;
  • make a substantial contribution to the sustainability of the food and beverage sector; and
  • provide consumers with products that improve their health and wellbeing.

“As more consumers look for fermented food and drinks, our HOLDBAC® YM VEGE cultures will help our customers meet that demand.”

This innovative new ingredient also offers customers the ability to make a significant difference in terms of environmental and social impact through reduced food waste and plant-based alternatives. The potential impact is massive: DuPont has estimated that if just 5 percent of the global yogurt market is replaced with plant-based alternatives made with Danisco® VEGE and HOLDBAC® YM VEGE cultures, the carbon dioxide emission saving would theoretically be as high as 3,000,000 tons CO2 annually. This would be roughly equivalent to 1,700,000 EU-based cars off the roads.

“We are thrilled to add HOLDBAC® YM VEGE to our range of plant-based and sustainable offerings,” said Mikkel Thrane, Global Sustainability Lead for DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences. “We look at our environmental footprint through the lens of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and we are proud to say that this culture supports at least three – SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-being), SDG 12 (Responsible Production and Consumption) and SDG 13 (Climate Action). HOLDBAC® YM VEGE is helping us facilitate the transition to a healthier and more environmental-friendly diet.”

DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences announced the debut of naturally sourced GRINDSTED® Gellan VEG 200 stabilizer, enabling high performance results of innovative plant-based and vegan beverages.

Since 2014, the number of new vegan products increased by 35 percent, with beverages as one of the highest growing categories globally. With 6 out of 10 U.S. consumers increasing their consumption of plant-based foods and beverages in their daily diet, so called “alternatives” are becoming mainstream.

Dietary preferences shifting towards plant-based options is becoming more prevalent, and personal health is the key driver of change. In the DuPont-sponsored study conducted by HealthFocus, 42 percent of respondents said that they prefer more plant-based foods in their daily diet and more than half of all consumers said that it “makes me feel healthier.” Also, the environmental component of this dietary shift is not negligible, as 3 out of 4 Millennials are willing to spend more on ethical products.

GRINDSTED® Gellan VEG 200 – advances plant-based and vegan beverages to fit the most demanding consumer expectations. Plant-based/vegan claim, health profile, clean label, premium taste and texture are the most desired features of innovative products in this category.

“Produced by bacteria during fermentation of renewable, bio-based raw materials, Gellan VEG 200 is a purely natural solution. It provides excellent stability and particle suspension and minimal contribution to mouthfeel,” said Lise Stouby, Senior Scientist, DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences.

GRINDSTED® Gellan VEG 200 is suitable for a wide range of plant-sourced raw materials, has low protein reactivity and high performance across a broad pH range. Added directly into the mix, Gellan VEG 200 delivers a stabilizing network throughout the shelf life to maintain a homogenous and stable final product.

“We are proud to launch a product that answers critical manufacturers’ needs – ease of formulation and production. Starting today, it’s available worldwide,” said Kirsten Braüner Nygaard, Business Development Manager, DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences.

The range, which now includes DuPont HOWARU® premium probiotics, is specially designed for fermented plant-based products, responding to key health, wellness and taste and texture trends

DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences (DuPont) announced a new cultures line that contains its premium HOWARU® probiotics which are specially designed for fermented plant-based products to deliver clinically backed health benefits. The DuPont Danisco® VEGE cultures range offers desired taste and texture profiles in non-dairy applications. New additions to this range – HOWARU® Dophilus VG, which contains Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM® and HOWARU® Bifido VG, which contains Bifidobacterium lactis HN019 – have highly documented, positive results in human studies for digestive health and well-being.

Available in single strain form, this range is non-dairy, non-animal, non-allergen, non-GMO, and is suitable for vegan diets. It also is easy to integrate with existing cultures used in plant-based fermented food and beverage formulations.

“Digestive wellness is one of the top global trends for 2019. As consumers continue to make health and wellness part of their daily routines, they’re looking for benefit-focused options,” said Sonia Huppert, Global Product Leader, Plant-Based Products, DuPont. “Digestive health is an area where consumers can feel the benefits immediately. Symptoms like bloating and irregularity are treated with diet changes and with new products. Innovations in fermentation and probiotics can truly deliver solutions in this area.”

DuPont conducted a research study with Global Data Insights to ascertain consumer perception of probiotics. When asked the impact respondents believe that probiotics have on health and wellness, 46 percent of the nearly 12,000 respondents in Europe said probiotics had a positive effect, and 65 percent of respondents in the United States responded positively.

Validated by robust clinical trials, the HOWARU® brand is a high activity, premium probiotic product with high performance, high stability and high functionality as its hallmark traits.

These cultures not only respond to important wellness trends, but also to the increased demand for plant-based foods and the constant desire for great taste and texture. DuPont Danisco® VEGE cultures were developed for a wide-ranging variety of plant-based raw materials, such as soy, peas, coconut, almond, nuts, oat, maize, rice, fruits and vegetables, to satisfy consumer taste and texture expectations – from typical and appealing fresh, clean and mild flavors to new, pleasant unexpected flavors.

“We have the broadest portfolio for plant-based fermented foods and beverages and a deep passion to not only help deliver the food experience consumers desire, but also to bring the health benefits they’re continually seeking,” said Didier Carcano, Global Marketing Leader, Cultures, DuPont. “We aim to continue investing in this area, growing our probiotics expansion efforts and working with our customers to create essential health solutions for growth opportunities across the globe.”

The arrival of alternatives for almost everything in food and beverages has been driven by a number of factors, but health remains the leading reason. According to Innova Market Insights, 1 in 2 US consumers report that health is a reason for buying alternatives to meat or dairy, compared with 36 % who cite variety in their diets, 18 % who are interested in novelty and 17 % in sustainability.

Alternatives to All is one of Innova Market Insights’ Top Trends for 2019, reflecting the rise of replacement foods and ingredients. Dairy alternatives have benefited particularly from this, with 18 % average annual growth in food and beverage dairy free launches (Global, CAGR 2014-2018). Lu Ann Williams, Director of Innovation at Innova Market Insights reports, “More consumers are adopting vegan or lactose free diets, while others are turning to plant-based foods for other perceived health benefits. In the western world, in particular, the market is evolving rapidly and has diversified beyond dairy alternative drinks to include alternatives to yogurt, cheese and ice cream, while at the same time, the range of ingredients used to replace milk continues to expand and advance.”

NPD in dairy alternatives has been increasing across the board, with double-digit CAGRs in launch numbers between 2013 and 2018. The market was largely pioneered by and continues to be led by beverages, with dairy alternative drinks accounting for over 7.6 % of global dairy launches recorded by Innova Market Insights in 2018. Spoonable non-dairy yogurt has also seen strongly rising levels of interest, but from a smaller base, taking its share of dairy launches from less than 0.5 % in 2012 to 1.7 % in 2018.

In the move to offer something new, an increasing variety of non-soy plant-based ingredients are appearing, including cereals such as rice, oats, and barley. We are also seeing an increase in nuts, such as almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, walnuts, and macadamias, as well as coconut and more unusual options such as lupin, hemp, and flaxseed.

Dairy alternatives are thriving across North America and Western Europe but positioning and formulation choices can vary from country to country and national knowledge remains vital to development. For example, some countries are increasingly influenced by a rise in veganism, while others are still driven primarily by lactose concerns.

Williams concludes, “Product choice has never been so diverse and innovators are continuing to deliver more complex, convenient and indulgent options. Key opportunities include the use of a wider range of plant-based ingredients, greater segmentation with the more mainstream, and the development of more indulgent options, while one of the key challenges may be improving sustainability credentials in some instances”.

  • 51 % of Canadians want healthy snacks packaged to eat on the go. (Read more)
  • 3 in 10 consumers are interested in snacks made with plant-based protein. (Read more)
  • 41 % of consumers trust health claims on food and beverage packaging. (Read more)

It seems the traditional three meals a day are facing an evolution in Canada, as new research from Mintel reveals that nearly half (46 %) of better-for-you (BFY) snackers* feel that it is healthier to snack throughout the day than to eat three large meals. In need of constant fuel, many Canadians have snacks at the ready with two-thirds (65 %) of BFY snackers believing it’s important to always keep healthy snacks on hand.

Keeping up with their interest in snacking throughout the day, more than half (51 %) of Canadians agree that they’d like to see more healthy snacks packaged for eating on the go. What’s more, it seems there’s potential for anything to be considered a snack among younger consumers, as 45 % of Canadians aged 18-24 are interested in snack-sized portions of regular foods as compared to 31 % overall.

“Snackers today are looking for ways to satisfy cravings that fit in easily with an increasingly on-the-go lifestyle. The good news is food manufacturers and foodservice providers need not start from scratch. As many consumers have adopted the notion that anything can be a snack, companies can appeal to those looking for better-for-you snacks by rethinking packaging to make items more portable rather than reinventing the wheel. This is especially crucial for foodservice vendors in particular as consumers aged 18-24 are the most likely to dine out, yet also feel the financial impact of it. This highlights an opportunity to offer smaller serving sizes of their dishes at lower price points to appeal to this group,” said Carol Wong-Li, Associate Director, Lifestyles and Leisure Reports, at Mintel.

Younger consumers prioritize protein

As consumers look to make better choices for themselves, it seems fresh and less processed snacks are coming out on top as fresh fruit and vegetables (84 %) are the nation’s top better-for-you snack of choice, followed by cheese (79 %), nuts (69 %) and popcorn (60 %). In fact, Mintel research shows the snack innovation that consumers are most likely to say they would like to see more of is products made from fresh ingredients (55 %).

While fresh snacks are winning out, younger consumers are placing power in protein to keep them full. Three in 10 (30 %) consumers say they eat meat snacks, with younger snackers aged 18-34 the most likely age group to agree (41 %). Although just 16 % of consumers say they are interested in snack bars made with meat, one third (32 %) of men aged 18-34 are keen to see more of this type of offering.

Following the growing flexitarian movement, it seems that plant-based has potential when it comes to better-for-you snacking as three in 10 (29 %) consumers say they are interested in snacks made with plant-based protein, rising to four in 10 (39 %) among women aged 18-34.

“Protein is a key area of interest for younger Canadians when it comes to innovations in healthy snacks, but men and women differ when it comes to the actual source of protein they prefer. While young women show interest in plant-based proteins, men are more likely to turn to meat. This may stem, in part, to the different approaches taken to snacking. Younger women tend to snack because they are too busy to eat meals, whereas young men usually do so as a way to refuel after exercise. Marketers looking to promote plant-based proteins will see success by focusing on how these ingredients work to keep consumers fuller longer, while brands promoting meat can focus on how the quality of the meat protein contributes to muscle building, recovery and/or development,” said Wong-Li.

Healthfulness of BFY snacks comes into question

While Canadians are keen to enjoy healthy snacks, there are significant concerns. Nearly three-quarters (73 %) of BFY snackers believe that many snacks marketed as healthy are not actually healthy, with just 41 % saying they trust the health claims on food and beverage packaging. And for many, there’s confusion when it comes to making a healthy snack choice, as half (49 %) say it is hard to tell if a snack is healthy.

“Many consumers today have difficulty determining the healthfulness of snacks and hold a general distrust of claims on food and beverage packaging. This may be drawing them toward choosing fresh and less processed snacks, rather than processed and/or packaged ones. Marketers can boost perceptions of healthfulness of their products by highlighting whole and/or fresh ingredients the products include and featuring clear packaging to both showcase the ingredients and offer transparency,” concluded Wong-Li.

*Base: 1,959 internet users aged 18+ who have eaten better-for-you snacks in the past 3 months leading to July 2018.

The environmental benefits of SIGNATURE PACK from SIG have been confirmed by a critically reviewed ISO-conformant lifecycle assessment (LCA) – the world’s first for a mass balance product.

The SIGNATURE PACK from SIG is the world’s first aseptic carton pack linked to 100 % plant-based renewable materials. The LCA showed significant reductions in environmental impacts across all 10 categories as a result of the substitution of fossil-based polymers with mass balance plant-based polymers made from tall oil (a by-product of paper manufacturing).

The carbon footprint of SIGNATURE PACK is – on average across Europe – 66 % lower than the carbon footprint of a standard SIG 1-litre carton pack of the same format across its lifecycle, based on the Europe-wide LCA.

World’s first ISO-conformant LCA for a mass balance product

The polymers in SIGNATURE PACK are 100 % linked to plant-based material via a mass balance system, whereby plant-based raw materials are mixed in with conventional fossil raw materials to produce the polymers. The amount of plant-based material included in the mix is equivalent to the amount needed for the polymers used in SIGNATURE PACK and the totals are balanced through recognised and audited certification schemes to ensure strict traceability and accountability.

The SIGNATURE PACK LCA is the first ISO-conformant LCA to take into account the inclusion of materials via a mass balance system. LCAs are traditionally based on the physical contents of a product and the environmental impacts associated with each stage of its production.

The independent, critically reviewed LCA of SIGNATURE PACK was conducted in accordance with recognised international standards, ISO 14040 and ISO 14044 by the Institut für Energie und Umweltforschung (IFEU/Institute for Energy and Environmental Research) in Germany.

IFEU agreed to conduct the LCA when it became clear how valuable SIG’s mass balance approach could be in making mainstream polymer production more sustainable.

Driving more sustainable plastics

SIG chose a mass balance approach because it supports a wider transition from fossil to bio-based raw materials within the conventional and highly efficient polymer industry, instead of using niche small scale producers with a limited number of plastic grades.

The polymers are supplied by plastic producers, Sabic and BASF, using plant-based renewable material from European wood sources. Tall oil was selected as the feedstock because, as a by-product of paper production, it is a waste material rather than an agricultural crop that requires land and resources to grow.

Judges selected the most promising start-ups – Winners will be announced on 27 November at Hi Europe & Ni

For the third time, trade show organiser UBM is providing a platform for forward-looking industry startups. During Hi Europe & Ni, the Startup Innovation Challenge enables newcomers to present their solutions to a professional audience. If they win, they will receive comprehensive expert coaching and marketing support. This year’s 13 shortlisted companies have now been announced.

The companies will pitch live between 15.45 and 17.30 on Tuesday 27 November 2018, the first day of the show, at the Industry Insights Theatre. The winners of the three categories will receive their awards following the live pitches.

Shortlisted for the category “Most Innovative Healthy Food or Beverage Ingredient”:

  • FunGeneX/The Netherlands has developed a technology to produce egg white proteins based on sugar from sugar beet. These products fulfill the need for binding proteins that are neutral in colour, taste and smell for vegan applications, while contributing to reduced global warming and animal suffering.
  • GNUBiotics/Switzerland is a biotech startup active in R&D to reproduce the diversity and complexity of unique structures found in mothers’ milk. It is developing a novel platform for selective microbiota modulation via next generation Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMOs) using up to 130 Microbiota Accessible Carbohydrates (MACs) structures.
  • Magellan Life Sciences/UK is a synthetic biology company creating novel platforms to produce plant-inspired molecules, such as a natural non-caloric protein sweetener called Brazzein that is inspired by the West African fruit Oubli.
  • Renewal Mill/USA is upcycling by-products from food manufacturing into high-quality ingredients and finished products. The pilot project is using okara, the soybean pulp generated during soymilk production to create an organic, non-GMO, low-carb flour.
  • Planetarians/USA makes high protein ingredients from upcycled by-products using patent-pending technology. They add value to overlooked ingredients such as defatted seeds by converting them into a high-protein, high-fibre ingredient, allowing manufacturers to fortify foods. The company’s first product is sunflower chips with more protein and fibre, and less fat than typical potato chips.

Shortlisted for “Most Innovative Plant-Based Finished Product”:

  • Green Banana Food/The Netherlands produces foodstuffs and ingredients from the native cooking green banana, such as a flour that can be used to create high nutrient, low carb, gluten free & high dietary fibre food solutions such as Gabanna pasta.
  • Jet-Eat Printed Food/Israel is currently developing an animal-free meat with the same appearance, texture, flavour and cooking properties of animal meat, from natural, sustainable and healthy ingredients. Based on 3D printing technology, the company creates meat products with 95 % less environmental impact compared to beef, with zero cholesterol and a lower cost.
  • Shileo/Germany is an online food start-up that sells konjac rice and pasta meals. These low-cal and low-carb alternatives to normal pasta and rice are suitable for vegans, high in soluble fibre and can help with weight loss.

Shortlisted for “Most Innovative Technology or Service Supporting F&B”:

  • Ambrosus/Switzerland is a blockchain-powered Internet of Things network for food and pharmaceutical enterprises, enabling secure and frictionless dialogue between sensors, ledgers and databases to optimise supply-chain visibility and quality assurance.
  • Aryballe/France develops and manufactures bio-inspired odour sensors which detect and identify odours in less than 15 seconds, allowing the food industry to quickly assess the olfactive qualities of materials.
  • Better Juice/Israel has created a solution for reducing natural sugars in fruit juices. The patent-pending technology harnesses the activity of non-GMO microorganisms to bio-convert sugars to dietary fibres and non-digestible natural molecules.
  • Embion/Switzerland produces new prebiotic solutions for human, animal and soil microbiome nutrition from agricultural and food processing side-streams. A novel processing technology targets and extracts natural prebiotic ingredients from biomass with lower production costs, higher yield and processing speed than usual.
  • Nucaps/Spain developed a new nanoencapsulation technology for nutraceutical, cosmetic and pharmaceutical uses. This encapsulation process, designed for oral delivery and controlled release of bioactives and microorganisms, is based on the use of food proteins such as casein, zein or soya.

Rahul Shinde, Director of Global Open Innovation at Naturex Ingenium, sponsor of the competition, is on the advisory board at the Startup Innovation Challenge. He says: “Through our partnerships we are hoping to provide additional support, guidance, access and resources that can enable these start-ups to succeed. But, ultimately, it’s their product and their vision that will prevail. We really value their time, commitment and desire to bring innovative solutions to the marketplace, and especially innovations focused on plant-based solutions.“

The three winners will get individual advice from one of the judges. In addition, the successful nominees can choose from various special prizes – from a fully equipped stand at Hi Europe or Fi Europe; a marketing campaign within the Ingredients Network; access to the “Conciergerie” innovation platform from Presans; or intensive consultation with Wageningen University & Research. In addition, one startup will be selected by Naturex Ingenium as their special prize winner. This startup will win €10,000 plus a three month business mentorship with the Naturex Ingenium Open Innovation team.

Doehler Group and Nutrafood S.r.l. have reached an agreement on a strategic partnership.

This transaction further complements Doehler’s range in the area of plant-based food and beverages, where the company currently provides its customers with solutions from smoothies to spoonables to beverages which enable the development of natural nutrition concepts that provide Multi-Sensory Experiences®. The portfolio of pulses, cereal bases and low-calorie bases, such as veggie NFCs, coconut water etc., is now supplemented by nut products. Nutrafood’s extensive expertise and ability to provide plant-based ingredients for food and beverages, combined with the broad product portfolio and the comprehensive industry knowledge of the Doehler Group, will create unique synergy effects. Customers will be able to benefit from a more complete product range and improved efficiency of the two businesses in a global market with regard to customised all-in-one solutions.

Doehler Group and Nutrafood are convinced that this step is a milestone on the path towards a leading position in the plant-based nutrition segment, while simultaneously strengthening their respective positions.

Nutrafood will continue and enhance its core business of plant-based foods and beverages. Both companies will join forces to drive innovative products and solutions that are in line with current consumer trends.

In line with the guiding principle “Turning the best out of nature into Multi-Sensory & Nutritional Excellence”, Doehler will present pioneering ingredients, ingredient systems and integrated solutions which reflect the core topics of naturalness, plant-based nutrition, Nutritional Excellence and Multi-Sensory Experiences® to visitors at the SIAL trade show, held from 21 to 25 October.

Unique taste explosions in beverages

Doehler will present inspiring product ideas for beverages based on the best and natural ingredients for unmistakable taste experiences. Smoothies have been innovation drivers in the beverage aisle for many years. But they are no longer only about puréed fruit. The new generation of smoothies offers a lot more than just pure nutrients, with their sensory properties also part of the impressive package! Tropical fruits, such as goldenberry and guava, add a fresh and fruity taste, chia and flax seeds create an extra-crunchy mouthfeel, while turmeric provides a highly natural shiny colour. That makes the “superfood smoothies” a real highlight in the beverage aisle and a unique indulgence for all the senses!

Through years of experience, comprehensive industry expertise and global networking, Doehler develops customised concepts for the different consumer target groups. At SIAL, Doehler presents its extensive portfolio of Adult Soft Drinks which are specifically tailored to the consumer requirements of the 25+ age group. The innovative Brewed Sodas or Kombucha impress thanks to their reduced sweetness and extraordinary flavours.

Healthy nutritional value through the power of nature

Less sugar – same full taste. Foods and beverages with optimised nutritional value that are exactly in line with a modern, healthy lifestyle are what many consumers want. Doehler will present new beverage concepts at SIAL featuring healthy added value and fewer calories and ranging from innovative energy drinks to premium reduced-sugar lemonades and reduced-calorie fruit and vegetable juices. The company will also introduce its new range of MultiSense® Flavours in addition to numerous sweetening solutions that enable the reduction of sugar content by up to 100%. The MultiSense® Flavours range can be used to achieve significant sugar reduction without having to use sweeteners or to significantly improve the taste and mouthfeel of reduced-sugar products. MultiSense® Flavours create a balanced overall impression for soft drinks and dairy-based beverages and are therefore perfect for a broad range of innovative products.

Botanical diversity – Doehler offers its customers a comprehensive portfolio of high-quality botanical plant extracts and full spectrum powders which provide health-promoting additional benefits, unlock unique taste experiences and are 100% natural. The portfolio includes, among other things, African extracts from baobab, moringa leaves and honeybush. The high-quality extracts impress thanks to a naturally fresh taste, and also provide inspiration for healthy and trendy product positionings. Thanks to state-of-the art processing technology, it is possible to use botanic ingredients in a wide range of applications, from clear, near-water beverages, such as Aqua Plus, up to full-bodied yoghurts or food products, such as cereal bars.

Doehler also offers plant-based proteins, such as pea and rice protein blends, that supply the body with all the essential amino acids it needs, and taste good, too. Thanks to the use of proteins from high-quality raw materials, supported by natural flavour compositions, the end products – from cereal bars to snack drinks – are characterised by outstanding multi-sensory properties.

Plant-Based Nutrition

Be it on health grounds or due to particular beliefs, more and more people are cutting out animal products and choosing a purely plant-based diet. Whereas just a few years ago, plant-based alternatives were the preserve of select specialist shops, they are now a staple found in almost any supermarket.

Based on Doehler’s broad portfolio on plant-based ingredients such as protein, fruit and vegetable ingredients, or dairy-free ingredients from oats, almonds, rice or coconut, the company creates numerous inspiring product concepts that reflect current lifestyles and the spirit of the times. Delicious plant-based desserts with fresh fruit preparations and flavours ranging from apple, pineapple, blueberry or mango that provide a delicious plant-based alternative to traditional yoghurts or creamy plant-based ice cream based on coconut with the subtle taste of turmeric. The new generation of plant-based drinks also create new and exciting taste experiences based on dairy-free ingredients, such as delicious cold brew coffee drinks with plant-based proteins, or fruity rice drinks with exotic tastes.

Hall 5a, Stand H218

62 % increase in plant-based product claims, says Innova Market Insights

Plant-based innovation is flourishing. Growing consumer interest in health, sustainability and ethics is driving plant-derived ingredients and products into high popularity. Innova Market Insights reports that plant-based product claims increased by 62 % globally (CAGR, 2013-2017) with growth occurring on platforms such as plant proteins, active botanicals, sweeteners, herbs & seasonings and coloring foodstuffs.

“The dairy alternatives market has been a particular beneficiary of this trend,” says Lu Ann Williams, Director of Innovation at Innova Market Insights. “With the growing availability and promotion of plant-based options to traditional dairy lines, specifically milk beverages, and cultured products such as yogurt, frozen desserts and ice cream,” she states.

The dairy alternatives category was largely pioneered by and continues to be led by beverages. Global sales of dairy alternative drinks are set to reach US$16.3bn in 2018 and they accounted for over 8 % of global dairy launches recorded by Innova Market Insights in 2017, up from 7 % over 2016. Actual global launches have more than doubled over a five-year period.

Spoonable non-dairy yogurt has also seen strongly rising levels of interest, but from a smaller base, with a 48 % CAGR for the 2013-2017 period taking its share of dairy launches from less than 0.5 % in 2012 to 1.5 % in 2017. According to Innova Market Insights’ consumer research, one in three US consumers have increased their consumption of plant-based milk/yogurt in the two years to the end of 2017.

“In the move to offer something new, we are starting to see an increasing variety of non-soy plant-based ingredients, including cereals such as rice, oats and barley,” notes Williams. “We also noticed an increase in nuts, such as almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, walnuts and macadamias, as well as coconut and more unusual options such as lupin, hemp and flaxseed.”

Interest in plant-based eating is clearly reflected in developments in the meat substitutes market, where global sales are set to grow to US$4.2bn by 2022. The range of ingredients used for meat substitutes includes vegetables and grains, as well as traditional sources such as soy and specialist manufactured brands such as Quorn and Valess.

Gravitation towards plant-based diets in general, along with interest in vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian lifestyles and concerns over animal welfare, have together served to increase interest and NPD has subsequently seen an 11 % CAGR for the 2013-2017 period. Research also indicates that four in ten US consumers increased their consumption of meat substitutes/alternatives during 2017.

Canvas is the first sustainable, plant-based beverage made from ‘saved grain’. Our dream is to bring better nutrition to everyone.

In the wonderful process of brewing, the starch from the barley grain goes into making beer. The leftover fiber and protein is called “spent grain” and billions of pounds of it are produced around the world every year

The challenge is, spent grain is highly perishable.

The Canvas founders, Sarah Pool and Jason Stamm asked themselves, “What if we could find a way to save the grain and turn it into something awesome?”.

Canvas is a sustainable, plant-based barley beverage made from saved grain. Each bottle provides a rich and convenient source of dietary fiber, complete plant protein, medium-chain fatty acids (from coconut), and a blend of delicious ingredients.

Designed to offer balanced nourishment for a health-conscious lifestyle, Canvas comes in one convenient, ready-to-drink size (12 fl oz) and five incredible flavors: Original, Cocoa, Cold Brew Latte, Matcha, and Turmeric Chai.

It is 100 % plant-based (dairy free), contains no refined sugars, no artificial ingredients, and no gimmicks. It’s just good.

In using saved grain in the creation of Canvas beverages, the vision is to upcycle millions of tons of spent grain into saved grain and bring better nutrition to everyone. Canvas Barley Milk is the first step in fulfilling this mission.