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According to DataHorizzon Research, the Energy Drinks Market was worth USD 92.3 billion in 2022 and is projected to hit USD 220.9 billion by 2032, boasting a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 9.2 %.

The surge in demand for energy drinks stems from their perceived ability to enhance both physical and cognitive performance. Market participants are promoting beverages devoid of sugar, glucose, and high fructose corn syrups as functional drinks that not only heighten alertness but also offer physical benefits.

Energy drinks have gained significant popularity as a supplement among teenagers and young adults in the United States, with a predominant consumption by men aged between 18 and 34. This surge in popularity can be attributed to the rising awareness of health and wellness, coupled with the increasing prevalence of sports activities among the younger demographic.

Recently, market players in the US have shifted their focus from targeting athletes to catering to the preferences of young consumers, reflecting the growing demand for mental alertness among this demographic.

Energy Drinks Market Report highlights:

  • The global energy drinks market growth is anticipated at a CAGR of 9.2% by 2032.
  • PepsiCo, Inc. announced two new nutrition goals as part of their strategic transformation to reduce sodium and provide essential sources of nutrition in the foods consumers reach for.
  • North America, particularly the US, has the highest per capita consumption worldwide. New product launches like ZOA cater to the increasing trend towards healthy organic diets.

In response to consumer preferences for healthier options, health-conscious brands are introducing a variety of sugar-free and calorie-free energy drinks. These products not only cater to the needs of athletes but also offer benefits for individuals who are overweight or obese. Additionally, sugar-free variants are particularly advantageous for those who are lactose intolerant.

Energy beverages, encompassing a wide range of options such as soft drinks, carbonated beverages, fruit and vegetable juices, beverage concentrates, ready-to-drink tea, and ready-to-drink coffee, are among the most commonly consumed beverages in the market. This diversity reflects the evolving preferences of consumers seeking convenient and functional beverages to support their active lifestyles.

Industry trends and insights:

  • Energy drinks are high-caffeine beverages that claim to improve physical and mental performance. Their popularity has contributed to the growth of the energy drinks market.
  • Monster Beverage Corporation acquired Bang Energy beverages and a production facility in Phoenix, Arizona, for approximately USD 362 million.

Energy drinks market segmentation:

  • By Product: Drinks, Shots
  • By Packaging: Cans, Bottles
  • By Distribution Channel: On-trade, Off-trade
  • By Region: North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa.

Regional analysis

North America held the largest market share, with the US having the highest per capita consumption worldwide. The US has experienced a shifting trend toward a healthy organic diet due to increased awareness about overconsumption of caffeine beverages. Several new product launches, such as ZOA infused with vitamins and antioxidants, sustain the image of healthy energy drinks in the market.

Competitive analysis

The competitive landscape of the industry is characterized by a high degree of fragmentation, with global brands holding the largest market share, leveraging their extensive experience in regional markets. Leading players in this space include Red Bull, Taisho Pharmaceutical Co Ltd., PepsiCo. Inc., Monster Beverage, Lucozade, The Coca-Cola Company, Amway, AriZona Beverages USA, Living Essentials LLC, Xyience Energy, and others.

These companies have established partnerships with numerous retail and chain food service outlets, allowing them to maintain a strong presence across various sales channels. Their sustained market presence is reinforced by continuous product innovation and unique marketing strategies, which set them apart in this fiercely competitive industry.

Plant protein powder is no longer exclusive to vegans and athletes, with significant numbers of mainstream consumers now shopping the category, according to new research commissioned by MycoTechnology, Inc., the mushroom mycelial fermentation specialist.

The survey of 725 plant protein powder users, carried out by Brightfield Group in Q1 2023, found that just 17 % of them identified as vegan. Furthermore, 38 % of the respondents in the survey who declared that they purchase only plant-based protein powders said they mixed them with dairy milk, indicating that they buy such products for reasons other than dietary lifestyle choices.

Meanwhile, fewer than half of the respondents in the survey (46 %) identified as athletes, even though as many as 77 % of them said they exercised at least three times a week. The vast majority (93 %) stated that they exercise to support their mental health.

When asked to describe themselves, 34 % of respondents were identified as ‘early adopter’ consumers. Another 31 % were ‘early majority’ shoppers, indicating a shift for plant protein powder into a more mainstream demographic.

When it comes to product quality, plant-based protein powder consumers are in broad agreement. Nearly all of them (92 %) said they would find a product more appealing if it offered higher quality protein, with 91 % attracted by a protein that is more complete. Beyond nutritional factors, 91 % of respondents said they favour products that promise a better taste.

MycoTechnology’s Marketing Director, Jonas Feliciano, commented: “These findings demonstrate that plant protein is smashing apart outdated stereotypes and is now earning strong support among mainstream consumers. The fact that so many blend their plant protein powder with milk is a strong sign that non-vegans consider plant protein to be a conventional product and a key part of a healthy diet. Most notably, all but a few of the respondents to our survey said that they considered protein quality and flavour to be of the utmost importance. The successful plant proteins of the future will be those which are able to tap into the needs and preferences of these highly discerning consumers.”

Bethany Gomez, Managing Director at Brightfield Group, added: “Plant-based protein users are a young, affluent group that prefers cleaner eating–no sugar added, all natural, preservative free–and they’re willing to pay for high quality products with that strong health profile. This group is also more likely to be using functional ingredients, like mushrooms and adaptogens, so we know they’re open to new and alternative ways to get the types of sustenance and nutrition they’re looking for. Brands that strive to offer high quality products, using cutting edge ingredients, will find a group of users ready and willing to dig in.”

A trailblazer in the development of next-generation plant proteins, MycoTechnology offers a line of plant proteins including FermentIQ PTP – a pea and rice protein blend fermented by mushroom mycelia to deliver superior performance and nutrition. Providing all essential amino acids, it has a PDCAAS (Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score) of 1.0 for ages 3 and above. Its unique fermentation process also enhances digestibility, enabling 99.9 % of the protein consumed to be easily digested. As a result, FermentIQ PTP offers a nutritional value competitive with animal and soy proteins.

MycoTechnology’s proprietary process also deodorises and de-flavours the plant proteins, offering better tasting, more neutral solutions with superior functionality in a range of applications. For those looking to take the taste of their products to the next level, MycoTechnology also offers ClearIQ – a natural, clean-label bitter blocker and flavour clarifier.

Plant protein powder is no longer exclusive to vegans and athletes, with significant numbers of mainstream consumers now shopping the category, according to new research commissioned by MycoTechnology, Inc., the mushroom mycelial fermentation specialist.

The survey of 725 plant protein powder users, carried out by Brightfield Group in Q1 2023, found that just 17 % of them identified as vegan. Furthermore, 38 % of the respondents in the survey who declared that they purchase only plant-based protein powders said they mixed them with dairy milk, indicating that they buy such products for reasons other than dietary lifestyle choices.

Meanwhile, fewer than half of the respondents in the survey (46 %) identified as athletes, even though as many as 77 % of them said they exercised at least three times a week. The vast majority (93 %) stated that they exercise to support their mental health.

When asked to describe themselves, 34 % of respondents were identified as ‘early adopter’ consumers. Another 31 % were ‘early majority’ shoppers, indicating a shift for plant protein powder into a more mainstream demographic.

When it comes to product quality, plant-based protein powder consumers are in broad agreement. Nearly all of them (92 %) said they would find a product more appealing if it offered higher quality protein, with 91 % attracted by a protein that is more complete. Beyond nutritional factors, 91 % of respondents said they favour products that promise a better taste.

MycoTechnology’s Marketing Director, Jonas Feliciano, commented: “These findings demonstrate that plant protein is smashing apart outdated stereotypes and is now earning strong support among mainstream consumers. The fact that so many blend their plant protein powder with milk is a strong sign that non-vegans consider plant protein to be a conventional product and a key part of a healthy diet. Most notably, all but a few of the respondents to our survey said that they considered protein quality and flavour to be of the utmost importance. The successful plant proteins of the future will be those which are able to tap into the needs and preferences of these highly discerning consumers.”

Bethany Gomez, Managing Director at Brightfield Group, added: “Plant-based protein users are a young, affluent group that prefers cleaner eating–no sugar added, all natural, preservative free–and they’re willing to pay for high quality products with that strong health profile. This group is also more likely to be using functional ingredients, like mushrooms and adaptogens, so we know they’re open to new and alternative ways to get the types of sustenance and nutrition they’re looking for. Brands that strive to offer high quality products, using cutting edge ingredients, will find a group of users ready and willing to dig in.”

A trailblazer in the development of next-generation plant proteins, MycoTechnology offers a line of plant proteins including FermentIQ PTP – a pea and rice protein blend fermented by mushroom mycelia to deliver superior performance and nutrition. Providing all essential amino acids, it has a PDCAAS (Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score) of 1.0 for ages 3 and above. Its unique fermentation process also enhances digestibility, enabling 99.9 % of the protein consumed to be easily digested. As a result, FermentIQ PTP offers a nutritional value competitive with animal and soy proteins.

MycoTechnology’s proprietary process also deodorises and de-flavours the plant proteins, offering better tasting, more neutral solutions with superior functionality in a range of applications. For those looking to take the taste of their products to the next level, MycoTechnology also offers ClearIQ – a natural, clean-label bitter blocker and flavour clarifier.

Vitamins, minerals and plant protein have emerged as superstar sports nutrition ingredients in new consumer research.

Prinova, a leading provider of bespoke premixes and blends, surveyed 1277 physically active European consumers. It presented them with a list of 20 common ingredients and asked them to pick the five that they most looked for in sports nutrition products.

By far the highest scoring ingredients were vitamins, picked by nearly two thirds (64 %) of consumers, followed by plant protein and minerals. Meanwhile, many ingredients not traditionally associated with sports nutrition also scored highly. Sixteen per cent of consumers looked for products containing fibre, shortly followed by omega-3 (14 %), botanicals (13 %), probiotics (9 %), and oats (9 %).

Prinova believes the findings reflect the growing body of research on non-traditional ingredients for sports nutrition, and the new diversity of the sports nutrition consumer base.

Tony Gay, Technical Sales Director, Nutrition, at Prinova Europe, said: “Not so long ago, sports nutrition was seen as synonymous with protein, but the landscape is already looking very different. The market has exploded as scientific research has revealed the value of a far wider range of ingredients for athletic performance, and that has cut through to consumers. For example, there’s growing awareness that a deficiency of B-vitamins can reduce athletes’ ability to perform high-intensity exercise, while Vitamin C offers benefits for recovery as well as immune health, and minerals can offer benefits in areas like hydration.”

The research also suggests that the plant-based trend has had a major impact on the sports nutrition space. More than four in ten (42 %) consumers named plant proteins as one of the ingredients they most looked for, compared to 26 % who looked for whey or dairy protein, 15 % who looked for egg protein and 8 % who looked for meat protein.

Prinova offers the world’s largest inventory of food-grade single vitamins and is the leading supplier of Vitamins B and C. Its Aquamin range of marine multimineral-complex products is supported by more than 40 peer-reviewed scientific publications.

It is also a leading distributor of natural high-quality plant proteins from sources such as rice, pea, lentil, and fava bean, and with Europe’s largest inventory of food-grade amino acids, offers a range of BCAAs, EAAs and NEAAs, from single ingredients to bespoke blends.

The full research is available in a new Prinova White Paper, ‘State of Play: New insights into the changing sports nutrition market’. It can be downloaded at: www.prinovaglobal.com/eu/en/

Scientists at Plant & Food Research are using their expertise in horticulture to explore the production of fruit without a tree, vine, or bush – instead using lab-grown plant cells. Initial trials have included working with cells from blueberries, apples, cherries, feijoas, peaches, nectarines and grapes.

Lab grown fruit - scientists aim to break new ground with cellular horticulture research
Lab grown fruit (Photo: Plant & Food Research)

Cellular horticulture, agriculture and aquaculture, the production of plant, meat and seafood products in vitro, is at the cutting edge of food technology worldwide. By growing food from cells in the laboratory there are opportunities to use fewer resources and improve the environmental impact of food production.

Food by Design programme leader, Plant & Food Research scientist Dr Ben Schon says there’s a great deal of interest and development in controlled environment and cellular food production systems, with more than 80 companies worldwide looking to commercialise lab-grown meat and seafood.

“Cellular horticulture currently has a smaller profile than cellular agriculture and aquaculture, but we believe this is a really exciting area of science where we can utilise our expertise in plant biology and food science to explore what could become a significant food production system in the future.”

Ben Schon says the team is now 18 months into the five-year long Food by Design programme, which is funded through Plant & Food Research’s internal Growing Futures™ investment of the MBIE Strategic Science Investment Fund. The research has also gained support from New Zealand company Sprout Agritech, having recently being accepted into their accelerator program designed for agrifoodtech start-ups.

Dr Schon says initial trials have used cells harvested from blueberries, apples, cherries, feijoas, peaches, nectarines and grapes. Much like lab grown meats, the challenge is to create an end product that is nutritious and has a taste, texture and appearance that consumers are familiar with.

“In order to grow a piece of food that is desirable to eat, we will need more than just a collection of cells. So we are also investigating approaches that are likely to deliver a fresh food eating experience.”

“The aim isn’t to try and completely replicate a piece of fruit that’s grown in the traditional way, but rather create a new food with equally appealing properties.”

As well as exploring the viability of cellular horticulture as a future tool for food production, Dr Schon says the research also aims to provide better understanding of fruit cell behavior – these insights could help breed better fruit varieties that would also benefit the traditional growing methods being used by New Zealand’s horticultural sector.

This cellular horticulture research fits within Plant & Food Research’s Hua Ki Te Ao – Horticulture Goes Urban Growing Futures™ Direction, which is focused on developing new plants and growing systems that will bring food production closer to urban consumers.

“Globally, we are seeing rapid growth in both the vertical farming, controlled environment growing as well as cell-cultured meat spaces. It’s possible that cell-cultured plant foods could be a solution to urban population growth, with requirements for secure and safe food supply chains close to these urbanised markets,” says direction co-leader Dr Samantha Baldwin.

According to data released by Fact.MR, a provider of market research and competitive intelligence, the global alcopop market is anticipated to reach a value of USD 8.1 billion by the end of 2033, increasing at a CAGR of 6 % from 2023 to 2033.

Alcopops are Ready to Drink (RTD) beverages that are available in pre-mixed forms containing different flavoured spirits and can be consumed directly. Lesser content of alcohol in alcopops as compared to conventional alcoholic beverages is a key factor driving their consumption.

Increasing per capita disposable income of people around the world is predicted to have a direct impact on the expenditure capacity of individuals. They are spending at a noticeable rate in different lifestyle products, including beverages and food at restaurants & cafés. Increasing inclination for alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages that impart refreshing and unique flavours are expected to bolster the demand for alcopops around the world.

High concentration on R&D activities has resulted in fortifications and innovations in numerous spirit varieties, which is predicted to support in generating lucrative opportunities for market players. Rising population of young people and their inclination towards a wide variety of premium beverages is projected to stimulate the demand for alcopops over the coming years.

Key takeaways from market study

  • Worldwide demand for alcopops is estimated at USD 4.5 billion in 2023.
  • The global alcopop market is predicted to advance at a CAGR of 6 % from 2023 to 2033.
  • The global industry is expected to reach USD 8.1 billion by the end of 2033.
  • Europe held more than 35 % share of global market revenue in 2022.
  • Sales of vodka-based alcopops are anticipated to rise at a CAGR of 4.7 % from 2023 to 2033.

“Rising popularity of alcopops is attributed to the global availability and traction for different flavours. Moreover, increasing popularity of some unique flavours in alcoholic beverages is contributing to the rising share of alcopops in the liquor industry,” says a Fact.MR analyst.

Rising popularity of alcopops among teenagers

In recent years, there is a noteworthy increase in the population of young people. They are inclined to consume premium alcoholic beverages, which are estimated to open up new opportunities for players. Alcopops are sweetened drinks, which are receiving enormous popularity, especially among teenagers worldwide. Youngsters are consuming alcopops due to two main reasons:

  • Alcopops do not taste like alcohol but rather have a sugary-sweet and fruity taste. Alcopops are made more palatable to new drinkers due to their ability to conceal the bitter taste of alcohol.
  • Alcopops are available in attractive packaging with colourful and bright labels, which make them appear more attractive to young consumers.

Awareness about danger caused due to excessive consumption of alcopops and implementation of stringent regulations

Alcopops are not entirely safer compared to other alcoholic beverages. Excessive consumption of alcopops can have fatal results. Even, habitual drinking of alcopops can result in life-changing consequences.

Over the years, excessive consumption of alcopops has increased concerns among healthcare professionals, parents, and government agencies. The attractive advertisement manners in which it seems to be promoted as an underage drink is one of the key factors to stimulate sales of alcopops. Therefore, an increase in the consumption of alcopops is expected which can adversely impact individuals’ health.

Respective governing bodies around the world have imposed certain regulations against the consumption of alcoholic beverages. These regulations are predicted to restrict growth opportunities in the target industry.

Key industry players

Key suppliers of alcopops operating around the world include Asahi Group Holdings, Ltd., Halewood International Limited, Suntory Holdings Limited, Mike’s Hard Lemonade Co., United Brands Company, Inc., Bass Brewery, Pabst Brewing Company, and Molson Coors Brewing Company.

Study reveals environmental benefits of StePac’s modified atmosphere packaging

Addressing the need for extensive reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, StePac, L.A. Ltd. analysed supply chains it is closely involved with to assess how its advanced packaging preserves quality of fresh produce during handling, shipping, and storing, and by doing so reduces waste and saves GHG emissions.

The sustainable shelf-life extension packaging experts commissioned researchers at Wageningen Food & Biobased Research facility, Netherlands, to quantify the GHG emissions associated with the use of its Modified Atmosphere (MAP) products across numerous supply chains worldwide. Results exceeded expectations, with the MAP products demonstrating abilities to reduce CO2 emissions dramatically.

The recent spate of global weather events, from crippling droughts to European heat waves, has pushed climate change worries to the very forefront of consumer concerns. CO2 emissions are recognised as the leading GHG implicated in climate change. Moreover, food waste is a second major concern of today’s eco-savvy consumers, yet few discussions of food waste focus on its negative impact on GHG emissions.

“Food waste contributes c. 8 % of all GHG emissions associated with climate change, the biggest threat to our planet,” states Gary Ward, PhD, Business Development Manager for StePac. “By creating sustainable modified atmosphere packaging solutions which extend produce freshness often by 50 – 100 %, StePac has demonstrated through this research, that it helps lower GHG emissions by reducing waste in the fresh produce supply chain and often facilitating sea transport instead of air transport of produce to distant destinations. The reduction in GHG emissions far exceeds those generated in the full lifecycle of the packaging itself.”

Jan Broeze, PhD, Senior Scientist of Sustainable Food Chains at the Wageningen Food & Biobased Research, has developed a “field to fork” calculator to estimate greenhouse emissions associated with different aspects of fresh produce production and shipping. Calculations took into consideration the GHG emissions associated with the different plastic packaging solutions throughout the lifecycle including the end-of-life (incineration, landfill and recycling). It also included data provided by StePac pertaining to waste reduction based on research and commercial experience. Nine scenarios were examined, including melons from Honduras to the UK (Xtend® Bulk), blueberries from Peru to China (XflowTM), stone fruit from Spain to Brazil (Xtend bulk), and broccoli shipped domestically in Brazil (XgoTM Retail).

Foremost, the results showed that GHG emissions related to plastics production, use and end-of-life are relatively small compared to other GHG emissions along the food supply chain. For example, in the shipping of melons from Honduras to UK, the cultivation, harvest, and postharvest handling represented 41 % of the total GHG emissions of 701 kg CO2/ton of melons. Transportation represented 48 % of the GHG emissions. On the other hand, Xtend packaging represents only 3 % of the total CO2 emissions and the end-of-life represents only 1 % of the total CO2 emissions yet contributed significantly to reducing CO2 emissions by minimising waste. This was typical of all of the scenarios evaluated.

In one example, shipping unwrapped Galia and Cantaloupe melons from Honduras to the UK in 25 + days, resulted in a high waste of nearly 18 %. Due to its low water-vapor transmission rate (WVTR), polyethylene packaging with MAP properties is unsuitable and can result in waste levels of 12.5 % or greater, mainly due to microbial decay. The use of Xtend packaging with relatively high WVTR levels that eliminate excess moisture plays a key role in reducing the waste in sea freight to a minimum of less than 3.5 %. This reduction in waste, when compared to polyethylene packaging, represents a reduction in 6 % of the GHG emissions or 940 kg CO2 equivalents per container loaded with 20 tons of melons. In tangible terms, shipping four containers of melons in Xtend saves the equivalent annual CO2 emissions produced by an average vehicle, estimated at 3020 kg.

“Global warming poses some of the greatest risk to the health of the planet we live on,” states Ward. “In order to combat it, we need to reduce GHG emissions. The outcome of this research demonstrates the value of our bulk and retail packaging in doing so by reducing waste in the fresh produce supply chain and facilitating sea as an alternative to air freight. Based on the research, StePac estimates that across all supply chains in which its packaging is used, it saved in excess of 100,000 tons CO2 emissions in 2022—equivalent to the annual amount produced by 31,000 automobiles.

“This research clearly shows that StePac’s MAP solutions for fresh produce can contribute to reducing global GHG emissions by facilitating sea freight and by reducing waste in the supply chain,” attests Broeze. “The savings associated with their use far exceed the emissions generated in the life cycle of the packaging, establishing that they have a positive environmental impact.”

Aiming to provide fresh insights towards the company’s journey to develop the most sustainable food package

Tetra Pak has commenced ground-breaking research towards advancing fibre-based sustainable food packaging, in collaboration with MAX IV – the most modern synchrotron1 radiation laboratory in the world. The research aims to uncover fresh insights into the nanostructure of fibre materials, with the first application to optimise the composition of materials used for paper straws.

This is the very first industrial research and development experiment at ForMAX, a brand new research station dedicated to studying materials from the forest, located at the MAX IV Laboratory in Lund, Sweden.

As the global demand for safe, nutritious food intensifies, and the scarcity of raw materials increases, the need to develop more sustainable packaging solutions that use less of these scarce resources has become urgent. New materials based on paper will bring novel opportunities, but they need to remain food safe, recyclable, be more durable against liquids and humidity, while meeting the increased sustainability demands.

Eva Gustavsson, Vice President Materials & Package, Tetra Pak, says: “A fundamental understanding of the structure and properties of materials is crucial as we work towards developing the package of the future. Our ambition is to provide the world’s most sustainable food package, and experiments at ForMAX will clearly support us in this mission.

“The package of the future needs to be fully recyclable and have a low environmental impact. Using renewable materials and increasing the use of fibre-based material within packages will be vital. With this research, Tetra Pak is helping to uncover fresh insights into plant-based materials as a basis for future innovations.”

Kim Nygård, Manager, ForMAX beamline, MAX IV says: “The experiment conducted at ForMAX is a milestone for both academia and industry. The research station is the first of its kind and will facilitate both fundamental and applied industrial research on how new, sustainable materials can be used going forward. We are proud to support Tetra Pak in its development of sustainable packaging materials for the future.”

About Tree search
The construction of ForMAX has been funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, and the operating costs are funded by the industry through Treesearch, a national collaborative platform for academic and industrial research in new materials from the forest. As an industrial partner in Treesearch, Tetra Pak is one of the initiators and facilitators of ForMAX.

1Synchrotron radiation is the electromagnetic radiation emitted when charged particles travel in curved paths perpendicular to their velocity

The number of consumers cutting back on their grocery shopping as a result of inflation has grown significantly during the past year, according to new research.

In a survey commissioned by specialist PR consultancy Ingredient Communications, a quarter of respondents (24.9 %) said they had stopped buying a food or beverage product in the previous three months due an increase in price. This is significantly higher than 10 months earlier in late 2021, when the same survey found that 17.6 % of shoppers had traded out of a product because it had become too expensive.

The research, conducted by SurveyGoo, also found that nearly half of respondents (48.4 %) had purchased a product less often, compared with 36.5 % previously. More than half (50.9 %) said they had bought less of a product, compared with 40.8 % before, while 57.8 % said they had switched to a cheaper brand, compared with 47.5 % in 2021.

Retailer brands have benefited from the squeeze, with 35.6 % of respondents saying they had switched to an own label version of a product, versus 25.8 % in the previous survey.

SurveyGoo polled 1,000 consumers in the USA and UK during the first week of October 2022. The previous survey was carried out in early December 2021 when inflation was already on the rise. Since then, prices have soared even higher. Year on year inflation in the UK’s food and beverage category was 14.6 % in September this year.1 In the US, inflation for food consumed in the home was recorded at 13 % over the same period.2

Nearly all respondents to the latest survey (98.1 %) said they had noticed food and beverage prices rising in the previous three months, compared with 94.2 % in the 2021 survey.

Richard Clarke, Managing Director of Ingredient Communications, said: “Since we first conducted our price sensitivity survey in December 2021, the war in Ukraine has exacerbated an already volatile situation. As well as difficulties sourcing certain raw materials, fuel costs have gone through the roof. With winter on the way in the western hemisphere, and no sign of Russia backing down, demand for energy will spike and it’s hard to see any short-term easing of the inflationary pressures that food companies and consumers are facing.”

He continued: “In manufacturing, it’s tempting to look for quick fixes to cut costs but in the food industry there are always risks to this. Consumers are very attuned to recipe changes and pack size reductions and social media means news of these can spread fast. At Ingredient Communications, we’ve always advocated using high quality ingredients that differentiate a product. But in these challenging times, it’s also worth talking to your ingredients suppliers to see how they can help. Many have extensive formulation expertise and might be able to advise on how to reduce input costs without compromising on quality or losing brand equity and consumer trust.”

1https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/inflationandpriceindices/bulletins/consumerpriceinflation/september2022#notable-movements-in-prices
2https://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm#:~:text=percent%20in%20September.-,The%20index%20for%20all%20items%20less%20food%20and%20energy%20rose,items%20less%20food%20and%20energy.

Tate & Lyle PLC, a world leader in ingredient solutions for healthier food and beverages, is delighted to be supporting a new three-year research project by The University of Aberdeen’s Rowett Institute which aims to improve the understanding of the UK food system and help people experiencing food insecurity and living with obesity make healthier, more sustainable food choices.

The University of Aberdeen’s Rowett Institute has been awarded £1.6m funding from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) to carry out the project, which will investigate how issues around poverty, food insecurity and obesity may affect shopping habits.

The data will be gathered from participants from across the UK who will be sharing their experience of living with food insecurity and obesity, and also working with a large UK retailer to study the shopping habits of around 1.6m consumers.

The three-year study will bring together a panel of consumers, policy makers, charities, food and drink producers, processors, and retailers, as well as expert academics to advise, co-develop and test strategies that can support future transformation within the UK food system. The results of the research will be made publicly available at the end of project.

As part of the project, and as the only food and drink ingredient solutions supplier on the panel, Tate & Lyle will provide industry insight on reformulation, as well as share their expertise on nutrition.

Dr Kavita Karnik, Global Head, Nutrition & Regulatory Affairs at Tate & Lyle, said: “We are delighted to be able to offer our guidance, expertise and know-how for this important piece of research.

“We are a science-led organisation which helps big and small brands all over the world make food and drink healthier and tastier. Driven by our purpose of ‘Transforming Lives through the Science of Food’, we believe this research is essential to better understand food systems in the UK and provide real-world strategies of how dietary inequalities can be addressed within the food retail sector in an environmentally friendly way.”

Professor Alexandra Johnstone, Rowett Institute, added: “With the cost-of-living crisis it is only going to get harder for people to make healthy food choices, particularly those who are living with obesity and food insecurity. This is a vital piece of research, and we are very much looking forward to working with this excellent team on this extremely important topic.”

International research into sustainable packaging carried out by global packaging, product, and material test and inspection company Industrial Physics has found that almost half of the 255 global packaging professionals (49 %) surveyed said meeting testing standards was one the biggest challenges they faced in wider adoption of sustainable packaging materials.

The research goes on to reveal that almost three quarters of those surveyed (71 %) reported that they found quality control processes ‘significantly’ or ‘somewhat more difficult’ with sustainable packaging materials.

69 % of respondents cited ‘cost’ as the main supply chain challenge they face in the move to sustainable packaging. Global supply obstacles caused by the pandemic made sourcing more difficult and legacy issues remain, meaning numerous suppliers are often needed rather than one trusted provider. This places additional pressure on quality control processes and greater need for packaging integrity testing.

Full results are revealed in the Industrial Physics Sustainable Packaging Research Report just released.

Jim Neville, CEO at Industrial Physics, said: “Insights from our global network of technical experts provide manufacturers guidance to create innovative and sustainable packaging while ensuring the integrity of their brands and products by proper testing and inspection.”

He added: “Our research highlighted manufacturers face a range of risks. However, these risks can be identified and mitigated by partnering with a packaging testing and integrity solutions partner.”

The Sustainable Packaging Research Survey also revealed that respondents think that new standards (52.5 %) and new legislation/regulatory requirements (41.6 %) will have the most impact on sustainable packaging innovation over the next five years.

These findings come as no surprise to Industrial Physics, as Greg Wright, Global Vice President of Sales & Marketing, explains: “Sustainable packaging involves using completely new materials where there may not be test methods already established. Processes are constantly evolving and our expertise in packaging, product and material integrity testing means we can guide manufacturers through the transition to more sustainable packaging.”

The Survey found that most companies are actively seeking sustainable packaging solutions but, in doing so, they experience a range of additional challenges. These include optimizing material performance to protect goods (53 %), passing increased material costs onto the consumer (50 %), and ability to meet safety and testing standards (49 %).

“Our customers are trying to find the right standards and how to test for those standards,” says Joshua Miller a Product Manager at Industrial Physics. “We can really help customers shape their testing, such as giving them a better way to test a product that gives them better data and still meets internal standards.”

The research offers an insight into the future of sustainable packaging and explores adaptations that manufacturers, and the industry as a whole, will need to make in order to deliver innovation and implementation around sustainable packaging materials.

Sean Kohl, Global Line Product Director for Industrial Physics, adds: “This is what testing is for and why manufacturers must test. It all centers around the idea of being able to confirm that the physical properties, whether it be strength, puncture resistance, life prediction, recyclability, or whatever can meet the performance and durability standards.”

Findings show that paper, paperboard and fiberboard plant-based biodegradable flexible packaging, along with synthetic biodegradable packaging, are the most common materials being used to replace less sustainable alternatives like plastic, paper and foil packaging.

“A lot of new materials mean that we are dealing with limited established test methods,” says Nico Frankhuizen, Manager of Product Management at Industrial Physics. “So, if a customer comes to us thinking they may need a certain type of equipment or test, we may end up advising them that a different tool might be better.”

Results of the in-depth research involved organizations around the world, ranging in size to over £1bn turnover, and follows on the back of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and other legislation in UK, Europe and USA that imposes a tax on plastic packaging items manufactured, imported or imported filled, containing less than 30 % recycled plastic.

Industrial Physics offers a range of packaging, product, and material integrity testing solutions to food and beverage, flexible packaging, medical, pharmaceutical, and coatings markets. The company adopts a collaborative approach with customers to help them work through the challenges of moving to sustainable packaging.

Moving beyond the traditional annual colour forecast, GNT has launched groundbreaking research that empowers food and beverage brands to devise tailormade solutions for the modern market.

The growth of the personalization and customization trends is fueling demand for products that appeal to shoppers on a deeper level. Building on more than 40 years’ experience, GNT has developed ‘The Power of Colour’ to help brands create colouring solutions that will connect with their target consumers.

The research combines consumer psychology and semiotics to deliver unique insights into how color generates meaning across products, brands, and categories, enabling manufacturers to create powerful stories and stand out in their category.

Maartje Hendrickx, Market Development Manager at GNT, said: “It’s clear that a one-size-fits-all approach to colour is rapidly becoming outdated. As a service provider, innovation has always been in our DNA and this trailblazing project enables us to help customers find the cutting-edge colouring solutions they need to strengthen their market position and reach new audiences.”

Created alongside professional semioticians, The Power of Colour explores the many ways in which colour sends out messages on a conscious and subconscious level.

For an inside-out perspective, it uses psychology to explore consumer motivations. It examines the tensions that drive product and brand choices, such as the desire for pleasurable yet permissible food and drink.

The second phase uses semiotics to provide an outside-in perspective, showing how colour can help to deliver on these motivations and needs.

Colour codes and cues create a variety of meanings across different cultures, categories, and situations. For example, colour can indicate how to navigate situations and guide decision-making, as in the case of food nutrition labels. It can also signal personal identity, whether through fashion, cosmetics, or even food and drink. Colours evoke moods and emotions, too – red is seen as an energizing shade, for instance, while yellow is associated with joy.

Together, these two perspectives allow brands to build a comprehensive understanding of how colour can be used to cater to different consumer needs and create a compelling narrative.

Jill Janssen, GNT’s Power of Colour lead, said: “Colour can send out any number of messages about brands and products. It might signal a moment of blissful escapism, tell stories about origins and process, showcase powerful ingredients, or help to highlight healthy formulations. The Power of Colour helps brands think about colour in a new way, delving deeper than ever before into its cultural power while also exploring the psychology behind colour trends.”

Moderate consumption of 100% orange juice should be encouraged in children due to its multiple health benefits and lack of negative impacts on body weight, according to a spate of recent and previous research studies on the topic.

Consuming 100 % orange juice can help supplement the intake of key vitamins, minerals and health-associated bioactive compounds that may be missing in a child’s diet. A growing number of research studies has revealed that children who regularly drink 100 % orange juice have higher intakes of key nutrients, higher quality diets, and may have healthier lifestyle habits, like greater physical activity levels, than children who do not drink OJ.  Plus, recent studies align with past studies which help debunk the myth about 100 % orange juice and weight gain by showing that OJ intake is not associated with weight gain in children.

“Misconceptions about the perceived lack of health benefits of 100 % orange juice are unfortunate and could lead kids to potentially miss out on the nutritional benefits that OJ provides,” said Dr. Rosa Walsh, director of scientific research at the Florida Department of Citrus. “However, study after study confirms that 100 % orange juice not only has a place in the diets of children, but it can also serve as an easy way for parents to provide key nutrients without fear of adverse effect on body weight when served in moderation. By sharing the big picture these results show, we can help correct these misconceptions and empower both consumers and health professionals to make diet decisions grounded in scientific evidence.”

As Americans’ fruit and vegetable consumption continues to erode, particularly among young children, 100 % orange juice could play a key role in providing some of the nutrients kids need. A 4 oz. serving of 100 % orange juice is an excellent source of vitamin C and an 8 oz. serving for older children is a good source of potassium, folate and thiamin while still meaningfully contributing these nutrients at smaller serving sizes. Fortified OJ additionally contributes calcium and vitamin D. Potassium, calcium and vitamin D are considered nutrients of public health concern in the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Research also shows that children who drink 100 % orange juice have higher total fruit consumption, lower intake of added sugar and tend to have higher diet quality and higher physical activity levels compared to those who do not drink OJ.1-4

Further, 100 % orange juice is not being overconsumed by children, despite reports to the contrary. In fact, orange juice consumption by children has declined in recent years along with the amount of key nutrients provided by it. On average, 100 % orange juice accounts for less than 1 % of total daily calorie intake in the diets of children and about 4 % of calories from beverages.2 Children are on average consuming 100 % orange juice well below the 100 % juice limits established by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which supports 4 to 6 ounces for children under age 7 and 8 ounces for older children.

Lastly, consumption of 100 % orange juice is not associated with overweight or obesity in children. In fact, research shows that in some cases, 100 % orange juice consumers had less chance of having elevated body weight and may be taller compared to those who do not consume OJ.1-5 This lack of association between 100 % orange juice intake and body weight is supported by both cross-sectional1-3,6,7 and longitudinal4,5 analyses.

  1. Sakaki et al. Nutrients. 2019;11(11):2687.
  2. Maillot et al. Front Nutr. 2020;7:63.
  3. O’Neil CE et al. Pediatric Research and Child Health. 2020;4(1).
  4. Sakaki JR et al. Public Health Nutr. 2020;1-8.
  5. Sakaki JR et al. Pediatr Obes. 2021;e12781.
  6. O’Neil CE et al. Nutr Res. 2011;31(9):673–682.
  7. Wang Y et al. Public Health Nutr. 2012;15(12):2220-2227.

AGRANA, one of the leading food and industrial goods groups from Austria, is increasing its focus on innovations and investing around € 3.4 million at two R&D sites in France and Austria this year. The annual R&D expenditures of the AGRANA Group amount to around € 20 million. AGRANA employs a total of approximately 300 personnel in the area of research and development.

In a highly competitive environment, the strategic objective of AGRANA is to differentiate itself from competitors by means of new product developments in its fruit, starch and sugar business segments.

Fruit preparations: new development centre in France

For its fruit preparations business, AGRANA maintains 17 development centres around the world which work on new formulations, special ingredients and raw materials as well as new application areas for existing products. Five of these so-called New Product Development Centres are located in Europe, namely in Gleisdorf (Austria), Ostroleka (Poland), Serpukhov (Russia), Vinnytsia (Ukraine) and in Mitry-Mory (France), where the development centre has recently been upgraded for € 2.6 million, including the addition of 700 m2 of laboratory space (see image).

“AGRANA is the global market leader in fruit preparations. That’s why it is important to be an innovator and not a market follower with me-too products. In our role as a first mover in regional markets, we try to pick up on new development trends as early as possible. We develop products in close collaboration with our customers in order to reflect local market requirements and these latest trends. Our global network of product developers enables us to launch over 1,000 new fruit preparation products on the market every year”, explains AGRANA CEO Johann Marihart.

In response to specific regional demands and the latest nutritional trends, the portfolio of fruit preparations ranges from top quality fruit purées and inclusions for dairy products, ice creams and bakery products to the latest solutions for plant-based spoonable and drinkable yoghurt products. In addition to fruit preparations, AGRANA also offers brown flavours such as caramel, coffee or vanilla as well as products with inclusions (e.g. chocolate balls).

€ 800,000 invested in expansion of the AGRANA Research & Innovation Centre (ARIC) in Tulln

The AGRANA Research & Innovation Centre (ARIC) in Tulln is the main research and development subsidiary within the AGRANA Group. On an area of around 4,000 m2 at ARIC, 85 employees work on research projects related to fruit, starch and sugar. ARIC is currently undergoing expansion work, with the aim being to create a further 300 m2 for research purposes by the end of the year. The investment volume amounts to € 800,000.

In its fruit segment, AGRANA conducts research into the development of innovative natural stabilisers for fruit preparations as well as processes for sensitively handling fruit ingredients. The aim is to optimally maintain the natural properties of the fruit.

In the starch segment, AGRANA works in accordance with its specialities strategy on the development of special applications. Current focus areas related to food starches, for example, include the development of organic and clean-label products which have not been chemically modified. In the case of technical starches, the focus is on the development of special starches, such as those for use in tile adhesives or green glues as alternatives to synthetic adhesives, as well as on compostable starch-based films.

In the sugar segment, the focal point of work ongoing is on the development of new, environmentally-friendly and energy-saving processes and process steps in the area of production as well as on maximising the efficiency of sugar beet utilisation and the optimal exploitation of by-products, such as extracting betaine.

Experts will discuss both current and future opportunities for the food industry

Fi Europe & Ni is not only the most important trade show for food and beverage ingredients, it’s also the largest industry platform for information and education. These two events offer the chance to network with the best minds in the industry, explore new market potentials and catch up with the most current industry innovations: The Future of Nutrition Summit will offer the opportunity to network, engage in debate and be inspired by pioneers from within and beyond the F&B industry on 2 December. During the exhibition on 3 and 4 December, the Fi Conference agenda provides a top-class programme exploring cutting-edge innovations and the most current industry solutions.

More than 300 thought leaders and experts from industry, market research and academia will share their knowledge and discuss current topics at the Fi Conferences.

The Future of Nutrition Summit will take place at the Novotel Roissy, the day before the show opens, and is aimed at decision makers from R&D, marketing, brand management, retail and public healthcare. The main focus will be on developments that will shape the industry during the next five years and beyond. After “Open Innovation: Reshaping the Food Systems of Tomorrow,” the afternoon will offer attendees the choice between a stream on sustainable food systems and one providing insights into new food technologies. The speakers will include

  • Albert Meige, CEO of the open innovation platform Presans: “Get Ready to Sail The Winds of Disruption”
  • Prof. Dr Alexandre Mathys, Sustainable Food Processing, ETH Zurich: “In Search of a Circular Economy: Novel Protein Sources to Tackle Food System Challenges”
  • Udi Lazimy, Global Sourcing and Sustainability Director, JUST: “Food Innovation Begins with Breakfast”

The Fi Conference takes place during the first two days of the show and is dedicated to tackling current challenges and identifying immediate opportunities for the F&B industry. In the Discovery Theatre on the exhibition floor, keynote presentations, lectures and discussions on clean label, plant-based ingredients, healthy and functional ingredients, as well as reduction and reformulation, are on the agenda. At the same time, four master classes will concentrate on dairy, beverages, bread & bakery, and confectionery & snacks. Speakers include

  • Dr. Emilia Nordlund, Research Leader VTT: Hybrid Ingredients with High Functionality for Plant-based Foods
  • Eran Blachinsky, CEO, Better Juice: Better Juice: Naturally Reducing Sugar from 100 % Fruit Juices
  • Christian Kalk, Founder of Life Science-Based Innovations: Is it Safe? Regulatory Clearance of Innovative Foods and Ingredients”

More information and tickets for the Future of Nutrition Summit and the Fi Conference: www.figlobal.com/fieurope/conferences.

AROL Group – a world leader for design and production of closure systems – announced the important technological agreement executed on September 30, 2019 with Antares Vision S.p.A. – world leader in the production of technologies for tracking, visual inspection and intelligent data management in packing lines – which, at the same time, has purchased FT System S.r.l. from AROL.

The agreement confirms the ambitious industrial project by AROL which, as a consequence, will be able to accelerate investments and acquisitions focused in the strategic sector of capping and sealing, and will increase integration for inspection and control systems in its machines, thanks to the strong synergy with Antares Vision. FT System S.r.l., specialized in non-destructive inspection and control systems, both in line and in laboratory, will continue its strong technical collaboration thanks to which, throughout the 10 formidable years spent in the AROL Group, new extremely integrated systems have been implemented and placed before or after AROL’s capping machine and great innovations have been introduced in the line completely automatic controls, such as Robo-QCS.

Research and implementation of the ambitious project presented 2 years ago by AROL and FT System with the name of Cyber Physical System (CPS) – which unites packaging lines and digital systems and, therefore, integrates physical and cyber worlds – will be powered and enriched by Antares Vision’s extraordinary competence in Track&Trace and Data Analysis.

The aim that AROL, FT System and Antares Vision intend to pursue with this technological co-development agreement is to make CPS extremely efficient and accessible to every packing line so that CPS might collect, elaborate, interpret real time data and constantly send feedback, also automatically, to packing plants and, as a consequence, maximize the efficiency of lines and single machines, constantly linked to the quality of packed and adequately tracked product.

The new partnership will allow Antares Vision to take advantage of the experience earned with more than 27 thousands AROL Group machines delivered worldwide, in the sectors of beverage, wine and spirit, food, cosmetics, household care, chemical, and also it will allow AROL to rely on Antares Vision’s highly advanced know-how, which makes Antares Vision the undisputed world leader in the pharmaceutical sector, by increasing FT System’s potential and thus guaranteeing a sure technological advantage to its clients in the final customer’s interest.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture has awarded $1.8 million to two Cornell food science research projects.

One project improves the commercial viability of a new food packaging material that actively reduces the need for preservatives, while decreasing food waste; the other project improves juice and beverage production to keep the fresh taste in concentrates.

Ever-increasing food waste represents an emerging threat to the economic and environmental sustainability of the U.S. food system, said Julie M. Goddard, associate professor of food science. Preservatives are added to foods to retain quality with a longer shelf life, but consumers are demanding a reduction in additives.

However, this consumer movement leads to unintended results: food that spoils more quickly, which could cause a surge in food waste.

“We’ve shown that you can introduce preservative functionality into packaging materials, so that we can reduce the additives in foods and beverages without losing product quality,” Goddard said. These “active packaging” materials are a promising new technology, but technological hurdles and consumer-mindsets have so far prevented their successful commercial translation, she added.

Removing the preservatives in food products – such as sauces, mayonnaise or salad dressing – would severely diminish shelf life, even with refrigeration. But by adding chelating agents – compounds that can sequester metal ions – to the jar or bottle itself, the food can last much longer without the additives seeping into the food.

“There is a lot of benefit in having fewer additives but gaining the preservative quality built-in to the package so they don’t migrate to the food,” she said.

During the research phase, the researchers will work directly with consumers and producers to ensure that the packaging material meets food-production, supply chain needs and that consumers are more likely to accept this new technology.

Joining Goddard on this project will be co-principal investigators Randy Worobo, professor of food science, and Motoko Mukai, assistant professor of food science; David Just, professor of applied economics at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management; and Chris Ober, professor of materials science and engineering.

For the other project, Carmen Moraru and Olga Padilla-Zakour, both professors of food science, will lead research on using reverse and forward osmosis filtration and other cold processes to create nutritious, high-quality and tasty juices and beverages in an energy-efficient way. Collaborators include Miguel Gomez, associate professor of applied economics at Dyson, and Robin Dando, associate professor of food science.

Currently, juice processors use heat to create juice concentrate, but heat changes the product’s nutritional and sensory profiles.

“Our combination nonthermal process maintains product quality and makes the juice concentrate taste like it is fresh,” Moraru said.

Also, juice concentration consumes energy. “With this cold process technology, we can save energy and conduct the concentration at a fraction of the thermal evaporation cost,” she said.

The researchers will examine different filtration conditions for specific juices and other beverages. In addition to New York state fruit juices like apple and grape juice, the researchers will also examine concentration of cold-brew coffee and tea.

Juice and beverage concentrates make sense from a financial perspective, Moraru said.

“For commercial purposes,” she said, “it is more economical to transport concentrate rather than move the added weight of water. Concentrate is economical and stable, while water makes juices more prone to degradation.”

The developed processes will be transferred to industry stakeholders. Said Moraru: “Ultimately, this work will benefit consumers and will help boost the competitiveness and sustainability of the U.S. food sector by reducing the energy in food processing.”

These new projects add to the department’s growing research output in improving environmental sustainability in the U.S. and global food production by reducing food waste while improving energy efficiency.

Diana Food has opened a new R&D laboratory to drive its innovation in Consumer Health products.

Located in Québec City, Québec, the center will support a nearby facility where Diana produces nutritional ingredients for use in a range of health solutions. Rob Evans, Director of Research & Development at Diana Food, said, “The decision to create this new lab emphasizes Diana’s commitment to the market, the North American scientific community, and the company’s long-term growth in the consumer health category.”

The Research & Development facility’s location is a strategic one. Its proximity to Diana’s Consumer Health plant not only allows for the easy transfer of knowledge and technology, but also helps transfer laboratory innovation into scalable manufacturing. Additionally, the center is close to Quebec’s little fruits producing region, providing quick access to fresh, natural resources.

The creation of new products and processes will be a key focus at the new facility. The team working here, which includes scientists from Diana’s labs in France, will extract polyphenols from locally sourced materials like cranberries and blueberries and explore their application in health offerings like dietary supplements. As Mr. Evans noted, “These scientists are experts in the consumer health market and those coming from France bring with them prior expertise that will help expedite local development and testing.”

This Research & Development laboratory also echoes Diana’s work with the Institute of Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods (INAF) at Laval University. Launched in November 2018, this Chair of Research is dedicated to researching the effects of fruit and vegetable-derived polyphenols on regulating microbiota in the human gut.

Diana Food’s ingredients are sourced from carefully selected raw materials and their solutions are supported by robust, clinically proven science. The company’s specializations in this category include sports nutrition products, functional food and drink to boost women’s health, and supplements to encourage healthy aging and add energy and vitality.

A new study suggests higher consumption of sugary beverages, including fruit juice, is associated with increased mortality.

Gavin Partington, director-general of the British Soft Drinks Association, said: “This study is inconclusive, and the way its findings are presented is misleading. All age groups in the UK are falling short on their 5 A Day consumption of fruit and vegetables. Therefore, warning against consuming a small 150 ml portion of pure fruit juice – which counts as one of your 5 A Day – risks people foregoing the vitamin and phytonutrient benefits of fruit juice that this study acknowledges.

“Our research shows adults and teenagers who drink fruit juice are about twice as likely to reach their recommended minimum of 5 A Day, than non-drinkers.”

You can read the highly controversial study “Association of Sugary Beverage Consumption With Mortality Risk in US Adults” under: www.jamanetwork.com

Nestlé announced the creation of the Nestlé Institute of Packaging Sciences, dedicated to the discovery and development of functional, safe and environmentally friendly packaging solutions. This is a step further to achieve the Company’s commitment to make 100 % of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.

Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider said, “We want to be a leader in developing the most sustainable packaging solutions for our food and beverage products. To achieve this, we are enhancing our research capabilities to develop new packaging materials and solutions. Through this, we hope to address the growing packaging waste problem, in particular plastics. We aim to minimize our impact on the natural environment while safely delivering to our consumers healthier and tastier products.”

The Nestlé Institute of Packaging Sciences, which is part of Nestlé’s global research organization, will be located in Lausanne, Switzerland. It will employ around 50 people and include a state-of-the-art laboratory complex as well as facilities for rapid prototyping.

In close collaboration with the Company’s global R&D network, academic partners, suppliers and start-ups, the institute will evaluate the safety and functionality of various sustainable packaging materials. Research focus areas will include recyclable, biodegradable or compostable polymers, functional paper, as well as new packaging concepts and technologies to increase the recyclability of plastic packaging. The new solutions will be tested in various product categories, before they are rolled out across Nestlé’s global portfolio.

Nestlé Chief Technology Officer Stefan Palzer said, “Packaging plays a crucial role in helping us deliver safe and nutritious products to our consumers. The new Institute of Packaging Sciences will enable us to accelerate the redesign of our packaging solutions. Cutting-edge science as well as a close collaboration with globally leading academic institutions and industrial partners will deliver a pipeline of highly performing environmentally friendly packaging solutions.”

Mental health is a pressing concern around the world with many consumers turning to health enhancing ingredients to help relieve a range of conditions including stress, anxiety and insomnia.

Whilst the food and beverages industry is awash with products that deliver on health, wellbeing and energy, mental health related new product development (NPD) has lagged behind with demand for these types of products varying amongst regions, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Consumer research from GlobalData’s latest report, ‘Top Trends in Healthcare and OTC Products 2018 – The latest trends in: OTC medication; vitamins, minerals, and supplements; functional food and drink; and sports nutrition’, reveals that 66 % of European consumers say that stress is a pressing mental health concern followed closely by overwork (56 %) and insomnia (55 %).

William Grimwade, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData comments, “There is clearly an opportunity for beverage manufacturers in Europe to develop products with mental health enhancing functionality.

“A high percentage of beverages in the region contain fortified and nutraceutical ingredients and 61 % of consumers say that soft drinks are their preferred method of consuming health enhancing ingredients.”

Health drinks have often been characterised as simply low sugar or energy boosters fortified with caffeine, vitamins or minerals. Mental health is a growing concern, but fortified drinks rarely address this need.

However, ingredients such as Gingko Biloba, Turmeric and Lecithin are increasingly being used in this field with companies like Coca-Cola investing in new emerging ingredients like Cannabidiol or CBD oil.

Grimwade adds, “With stress and overwork being the top mental health concerns in Europe driven by long working hours and the political and economic turmoil in the region creating so much uncertainty, demand for drinks fortified with stress and anxiety relieving ingredients will only increase.”

The Wageningen University & Research Professor Robert David Hall received the Nils Foss Excellence Prize for his pioneering research in plant metabolomics – defining the chemical fingerprint of plant materials. The award consists of 100.000 euro and an art work.

FOSS, supplier of analytical solutions for the food and agricultural industry, introduced the Nils Foss Excellence Prize back in 2016. The purpose is to honour world-class innovative research leading to remarkable improvements in sustainability, quality and safety in the food supply chain. FOSS sponsors the prize, while the nominees are selected by an independent jury of experts from both academia and industry, including chairman of the Technical University of Denmark, rector of the University of Copenhagen, and leaders from the private food sector.

This is the third year in a row the Nils Foss Excellence Prize is awarded, and this year in particular it carries special meaning, as Nils Foss passed away at the age of 90 in May of 2018.

Cell fingerprints to secure global food quality

This year’s winner of the main prize, Robert David Hall Professor of Plant Metabolomics and Deputy Business Unit Manager Bioscience at Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands, is a pioneer within the field of plant metabolomics, which draws on disciplines ranging from analytical chemistry to computer science. Plant metabolomics is a method of analysis studying the metabolic profiles of plant cells – the fingerprint of the plant – with the aim of understanding the biochemical composition of plant and food materials. Ultimately, the goal is to map how genes and the environment influence plants, and thereby understand how the environment affects food quality.

Professor Hall stresses the importance of the research in metabolomics: “I feel very honoured and humbled to receive the Nils Foss Excellence Prize for the advances my team has made in the field of plant and food metabolomics. What is so special about metabolomics is that you can use this method of analysis to test a sample without needing to decide  in advance, what you are looking for. This makes it a powerful discovery tool and facilitates broad and exciting analytical perspectives, which will benefit many scientific disciplines and industries in the future Our particular goal is to support breeders and food producers to deliver plants, and food, of a much higher quality,” says Professor Robert David Hall.

About the winner

Professor Robert David Hall, is a pioneer in developing and establishing metabolomics technologies as a viable approach to study the metabolic profiles of plants, with a particular emphasis on crop species. The aim of his research is to provide us with a better understanding of the biochemical composition of plant and food materials; how this is influenced by genetic and environmental perturbation and especially, how these changes are related to aspects of food quality. For more than 20 years, Robert David Hall and his team has worked on developing and applying analytical technologies, which can help design new strategies for the development of improved food products.

New laboratory facilities in Mierlo put into operation

The GNT Group announced the opening of its brand new laboratory facilities in Mierlo, The Netherlands. With an investment of more than three million euros, one of the global market leaders in Colouring Foods has considerably expanded its capacities for product development and quality control. Over the past years, the GNT site in Mierlo has been constantly growing, now covering six hectares. The new facility makes a crucial contribution to supporting the sustainable growth that is fundamental to the company’s strategic 2020 plan.

Situated adjacent to the production site at GNT’s headquarters in Mierlo, the new laboratories are equipped with state-of-the-art technologies for quality control, as GNT aims to meet the growing and specific demands of its global customer base. The extension of its facilities significantly enhances the company’s core strength of innovation, through integrating the key functions of product development, process development and engineering, the speed of innovation will be increased even further.

Specialists to boost innovation

Since the demand for truly natural colour solutions is constantly on the rise, GNT is also investing significantly in growing its research and development team. The Group currently employs in total 320 people throughout its global network, this number will rise in line with the continuing success which is supported by its exciting innovation pipeline.

Ensuring a sustainable and excellent working environment, the family-owned company is an important employer especially in the area around Mierlo and across the border to its second production facility in Aachen, Germany.