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2020 will be a period of ground-breaking innovations in the food and beverage (F&B) sector, with a focus on health and sustainability, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Hakan Demirci, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Over the last couple of years, we have seen vast strides in the development of technology for the F&B sector. This year is set to become a watershed year as these technological innovations experience an expansion in their application across the industry.”

With the year promising a flurry of innovations in the industry – from personalized nutrition to alternative proteins, GlobalData lists five of the top F&B trends to watch out for in 2020, ranked:

5) Personalized Nutrition:

“Personalized nutrition will aim to revolutionize consumption habits among health-conscious consumers using nutrigenomics. The future will see targeted nutrition accounting for both genetic and environmental factors, to maximize the nutritional value of certain diets for consumers.

“One example of this is a company called Sun Genomics, who are currently testing tailored probiotics by sequencing the human gut and analyzing the distribution of the different types of microbes.”

4) 3D Printed Food:

“While 3D-printed food has been around for quite some time, it is an expensive and time-intensive method of producing food. Nevertheless, in 2019, 3D printing of plant-based meat received heavy investment due to its efficiency in comparison to current methods of extrusion, and for its ability to replicate the texture of meat.

“Innovations in 3D-printing technology throughout 2020 will see an increase in speed to delivery, a reduction in costs and an expansion of the types of products that can be created using 3D printing.”

3) Alternative Proteins:

“As veganism continues to become mainstream, so too will efforts in replicating certain animal proteins. This will range from the development of egg white cell cultures to lab grown cultured meat – bypassing the impact on sentient animals.

“Throughout the year, we will see these methods replicating a more diverse and niche variety of meats. For example, Impossible Burgers released their first vegan pork in early January 2020.

“Moreover, investment in this sector will flourish in 2020 as a growing coterie of fast-food conglomerates pour funds into the research and development (R&D) of vegan alternatives to their own meat-based products.”

2) Traceability:

“The next decade will see the transparent documentation of a product’s life cycle. This will improve food safety, as potential bacteria-related hazards can be pinpointed for detection and eliminated with ease and speed. This will be achieved as technological innovations such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain improves in application and efficiency.

“For example, blockchain can map a products lifespan on the chain, providing a transparent chain of ownership for a particular asset. These records cannot be erased or altered, ensuring accountability throughout the whole process, an important aspect of transparency.”

1) Biotechnology:

“The advent of biomolecular sciences and improvements in genetic editing and sequencing will aid in the development of highly nutritious crops, with extended expiration dates and improving resistance against genetic and environmental diseases and infections.

“For example, a current innovation underway aims to improve the shelf life of melons with a non-GMO molecular breeding technique, seeking to halt the ripening process after cultivation whilst simultaneously preventing this from negatively impacting upon the taste of the final product.”

The value of the sports nutrition market is set to grow by around 8 % per year to reach over US$17bn globally in 2021, according to Innova Market Insights’ forecasts. The mainstreaming of the market has led to a surge in interest in plant-based alternatives with the traditional dominance of whey and other dairy proteins now being challenged. In fact, over 40 % growth has been reported in new sports nutrition launches with a plant-based claim (Global, 2014-2018).

Vegan-friendly positionings were used for 6 % of global food and beverage launches recorded by Innova Market Insights in 2018, however, this rises to 14 % for sports nutrition. RTD sports drinks have an even higher level of prevalence for these positionings at 18 %.

Some of the fastest-growing plant-based proteins include soy protein isolate, pea protein, and rice protein. Moving beyond the protein arena there is also increasing use of other plant-based ingredients in sports nutrition NPD. This is led by nuts and seeds, many of which already carry an inherently healthy and nutritious image. In Europe, for example, sports nutrition launches with nuts and seeds had a CAGR of 23 % over the 2014 to 2018 period, with 2018 activity led by almonds, peanuts, and sunflower seeds.

More specialist vegan sports nutrition ranges are starting to appear, while more mainstream companies and brands are greening up their portfolios to attract those increasingly wanting to add more plant-based options to their diets.

As demand for sports nutrition products continues to soar globally, the market has become increasingly mainstream. The concept of active nutrition is developing more widely as interest spreads beyond the traditional core base of bodybuilders, endurance athletes and high- level sportsmen. The focus is increasingly shifting towards everyday health and fitness as a lifestyle choice.

Innova Market Insights data also indicates that global launch activity in sports nutrition has risen particularly strongly over the past three years, reflecting this broadening out of appeal.
Sports nutrition has always had a strong focus on protein content and this has probably grown even stronger as interest has spread into the mainstream food and beverage market. “One of the most interesting developments in protein use in recent years,” according to Lu Ann Williams, Director of Innovation at Innova Market Insights, “has been the move to alternative protein sources, with the traditional dominance of whey and other dairy proteins now being challenged by plant-based products.”

In general, the sports nutrition sector continues to develop and diversify, particularly in terms of target market, with an increasingly wide range of consumers now in its sights, including those interested in different sports, exercise regimes and levels of activity. Growing consumer interest in health, sustainability, and ethics have made plant- derived ingredients and products more popular in sports nutrition in line with the food and drinks market as a whole.

As National Coffee Day (September 29) approaches this weekend, consumers are looking for options beyond their typical cup of joe in favor of ready-to-drink (RTD) varieties offering functional benefits. When asked what their ideal bottled/canned cold coffee drink would include, new research from Mintel reveals that US RTD coffee consumers want options that include antioxidants (47 %), promote brain health (40 %), are anti-inflammatory (35 %) or have added probiotics (30 %).

Aside from functional benefits, there is also potential for coffee that encourages consumption beyond the usual morning or afternoon pick-me-up. More than two in five (42 %) RTD coffee consumers say their ideal bottled/canned cold coffee drink would help them relax, while over one third (35 %) are interested in products with added protein.

Innovation in the RTD coffee segment has contributed to its strong growth. In fact, while roasted coffee is the largest segment of the coffee category (39.2 % market share), RTD coffee continues to drive the category as the fastest growing segment, growing 31 % in the last two years. Overall, total coffee retail sales in the US are estimated to grow 4 % in 2018 to reach $14.4 billion, with steady growth expected to continue through 2023.

“Innovation is vibrant and diverse in the RTD coffee segment and includes new products that are carving out sometimes surprising territory and often taking inspiration from unconventional beverage categories. What’s more, our research shows that iGeneration* consumers are more likely to drink RTD coffee than brewed coffee, indicating this is how they are entering the market. Consumer interest in better-for-you beverages is also shaping the market as demand for organic and non-GMO coffee or functional formulations enhanced with all-natural flavors, protein and vitamins grows. The broader trend of beverage blurring is also opening up opportunity for innovation and brand extension, especially in the RTD segment,” said Caleb Bryant, Senior Beverage Analyst at Mintel.

Non-dairy milk makes a splash

The better-for-you beverage movement extends to consumers’ coffee preferences both at-home and away. As non-dairy milk sales continue to rise, consumers are increasingly looking for it in their coffee, too: more than one third (36 %) of RTD coffee consumers say their ideal RTD coffee would contain non-dairy milk. What’s more, Mintel research shows that just as many dairy milk consumers add dairy milk to their coffee/tea as non-dairy milk consumers add non-dairy milk to their coffee/tea (32 % respectively). Dairy alternatives are making a splash on-premise, as well. According to Mintel Menu Insights, the use of non-dairy milk as an ingredient in coffee drinks on US menus grew 107 % in the last two years**, with almond milk as the standout star, growing 198 % in the same time period.

“Non-dairy milk is a fast-growing segment of the non-alcoholic beverage market, with many consumers, especially iGens and Millennials***, switching from using dairy milk to non-dairy milk on an everyday basis and as an addition to their coffee. While soy milk is the most common non-dairy milk used in both coffee and tea drinks, it is falling out of favor. Meanwhile, almond milk has experienced strong growth on menus across the US, indicating that we can expect to see operators swap soy milk for other non-dairy milks, with oat milk emerging as another rising star to watch,” continued Bryant.

Generation X drives third wave coffee movement

Innovation within the on-premise coffee market is spurring increased consumption among consumers as Mintel research reveals that one quarter (25 %) of those who drink coffee away from home (AFH) say they are buying coffee drinks AFH more often in 2018 compared to a year ago. Those who are ordering coffee AFH more often are not only trying out new drinks (39 %), but are also buying more premium and cold coffee beverages (32 % respectively).

While younger consumers are driving consumption of cold coffee drinks, with 28 % of iGens who drink coffee AFH saying that they most often order flavored iced coffee, Generation X consumers**** are driving the third wave coffee movement. In fact, Generation X consumers who drink AFH are the most likely generation to say they enjoy treating themselves to expensive coffee (38 % vs 33 % overall) and that they would be motivated to visit a new coffee shop for premium coffee beans (31 % vs 21 % overall)—staples of third wave coffee.

“The third wave coffee movement demonstrates that a sizable population of coffee drinkers view coffee as something that should be celebrated. Gen Xers, while a smaller segment of the US population compared to Baby Boomers***** and Millennials, are a prime target for shops offering third wave drinks as they are most likely to treat themselves to drinks made with premium coffee beans. Further, the growing presence of third wave coffee drinks means younger iGens will likely enter the third wave coffee market at a relatively young age. While iGens love flavored and iced coffee drinks now, operators must follow this generation throughout their ‘coffee career’ as many will ‘age out of’ these drinks and eventually join their older counterparts in the third wave coffee movement,” concluded Bryant.

*Aged 11-23 in 2018; in this report, only adult iGens aged 18-23 were surveyed.
**Between Q1 2015-Q1 2018.
***Aged 24-41 in 2018.
****Aged 42-53 in 2018.
*****Aged 54-72 in 2018.

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.

The world’s largest food and beverage ingredients show announces the winners of its coveted Innovation Awards for 2017.

A true barometer of food and beverage trends, the Fi Europe Innovation Awards honour research teams and product developers for their outstanding innovations and invaluable contributions to the industry. Mirroring the market, protein solutions featured high on the winners’ podium this year.

More hotly contested than ever before, the 2017 Awards were presented at a festive ceremony on 28 November at Messe Frankfurt, Germany. There were ten Fi Europe Innovation Awards categories, plus two Start-up Innovation Challenge categories. A total of 17 companies were shortlisted in the Fi Europe Innovation Awards and a further 10 in the Start-up Innovation Challenge.

The winners of the Fi Europe Innovation Awards 2017 are as follows:

The Sustainability Champion Award went to pioneering oils producer IOI Loders Croklaan for its sustainable and transparent supply chain strategy for palm oil.

The Organic Champion Award was won by herba ingredients, an allergen-free producer of organic rice flour for baby food that is fully traceable, from cultivation to final ingredient.

The Future of Nutrition Award (the only category open to non-Fi Europe exhibitors) was presented to Alberts for its Automated Smoothie Machine, Europe’s first fresh smoothie vending machine – now in use at Carrefour outlets in Belgium.

The Clean Label & Natural Innovation Award went to Ingredion, who convinced the jury with its clean label-compatible functional rice flour for use in soups, sauces and ready meals.

Winner of the Life Stages Innovation Award was Novozymes, a leader in biological solutions, for its Formea® milk proteins – a promising ingredient for infant formulas with a reduced risk of allergic reactions.

The Performance Nutrition Innovation Award went to ARLA Food Ingredients for its taste-neutral whey protein isolate for use in protein-enriched sports drinks that are as crystal-clear as water.

The Growth Categories Innovation Award was won by ERIE Foods International for its low-fat milk protein crisps. Containing 90 percent protein, these can be consumed as they are or used as an ingredient in bars and breakfast cereals.

The Reduction & Reformulation Innovation Award went to DSM for an innovative cheese culture that makes it possible to reduce the fat content of cheese by up to 
30 percent and still maintain the texture and mouthfeel of full fat cheese.

For the Expo FoodTec Innovation Award there was no winner, but the company Handary received a high commendation for its biodegradable antimycotic protective film that prevents mould growth in solid, packaged food.

Start-up Innovation Challenge winners

The Best Innovation Award went to Chromologics, a biotech company spun out from the Technical University of Denmark in July this year. Its first product is ChromoRed, a water-soluble, natural red pigment produced from a proprietary non-GMO fungal strain.

The Best Natural Ingredient Award was won by Swiss start-up Alver for Golden ChlorellaTM , a protein-rich, nutrient-dense sustainable micro-algae.
Richard Joyce, Fi Europe Brand Director, and Awards Jury chairman Peter Wennstöm of The Healthy Marketing Team led the celebrations and presented the awards.

Commending the winners for their achievements and successes, Richard Joyce said: “The theme of Fi Europe 2017 is ‘Thought Leadership’, and reflecting this, our Awards winners are concrete proof of how those who are experts in their fields can push boundaries and pave the way for the development of solutions that satisfy consumer demands and drive new trends.”

Peter Wennstöm added his congratulations, saying: “The jury was thoroughly impressed by the diverse ways in which companies are mastering current challenges and trends, such as with all natural and plant-based solutions. The high calibre of the entries as well as the jury members, who had expertise in every field of the industry, are both proof of the quality of the Fi Europe Awards.”