In Innova Market Insights’ recent forecast of food and beverage trends for 2020, one thing was perfectly clear: ingredients matter. Consumers are increasingly interested in what makes up their favorite products. After all, they count on products such as yogurt to help maintain their healthy-but-hectic lifestyles. As we’ll discover, there is one trend set to revolutionize the yogurt market. It’s already in high demand among consumers. And one key ingredient is ready to help your brand succeed.
A Look at Yogurt Trends
According to Innova Market Insights, more than half of all U.S. shoppers purchase yogurt regularly. While it’s still a top choice for breakfast, more consumers are turning to yogurt as a snack. There’s also a shift towards yogurt for dinner, which suggests a growing interest in the more indulgent, dessert-style yogurts. Almost 20% choose yogurt because it’s so convenient, and ambient drinking yogurts are tailor made for the on-the-go lifestyle.
Health claims are also a big part of yogurt’s appeal to consumers. Food Ingredients First reports that more than 60% of all new yogurts made a digestive/gut health claim in 2018 and just about as many claimed to be low fat. Protein is still a megatrend worldwide and yogurt is a great source. However, with many manufacturers striving to reduce sugar, low- and no-sugar claims are on the rise. Over 20% of yogurts launched in 2018 made the low-sugar claim, says Food Ingredients First. That marks a double-digit jump in just four years.
From CP Kelco’s own internal research, we know that consumers want to increase their daily fruit intake, especially in many Asian and developing countries. They are eager to experience new sources, such as fruit yogurt, and combine it with savory flavors, spices and nuts.
The Category to Watch
Industry insiders, including the author of the lifestyle blog Eat For The Planet, call plant-based yogurt “the category to watch in 2019 and beyond.” According to Progressive Grocer, it’s the “new market disruptor,” taking the place of Greek yogurt, and Plant Based Foods Association reports the plant-based yogurt category grew almost 40% in the U.S. in one year – more than plant-based meats and beverages combined! Innova Market Insights says Europe is the leading region for spoonable non-dairy yogurt launches in the first half of 2019. The global non-dairy yogurt market is predicted to increase significantly through 2027, according to Future Market Insights.
The reason? Consumers perceive plant-based foods to be “healthier.”
One look at grocery store shelves will convince you that there isn’t a plant, nut or legume that hasn’t been turned into a dairy alternative. Recent launches seem to favor oat milk with a creamy texture that is well-suited as a yogurt base and coconut cream, which provides rich flavor. There is no clear non-dairy front runner yet, which could make for some interesting competition and lots of choice for consumers.
What Will it Take to Succeed?
Working with plant-based yogurts comes with a unique set of challenges related to taste, texture and formulation. In a competitive market, brands that can master these six criteria will succeed with consumers:
- Clean label
- Low or no sugar fruit preparation
- Interesting flavors
- Creamy texture
- Plant-based protein
- Fresh/fruity taste
The Key Ingredient: GENU® Pectin
Pectin is a familiar ingredient to consumers and produced from citrus peels. As the world’s leading pectin producer with more than 75 years of experience, CP Kelco sources its citrus peels from the juice industry. Pectin provides soluble fiber and can help you meet your clean label formulation requirements.
Pectin adds a nice, creamy texture to your fruit prep with a fantastic shine and a unique flavor release compared to starch. It lets your fruit be the star – consumers see an even distribution of well-preserved, large pieces of fruit. Pectin also has a clean taste that won’t affect your fruit’s natural flavor. It provides a shear-thinning flow to optimize the pumping process without disturbing the fruit. This ensures your fruit prep will remain stable through the manufacturing process – from the transport and processing of the fruit prep itself through your production of stirred, fruit-at-the-bottom, fruit-at-the-top or fruit-on-the-side finished yogurt (with no “floating fruit” migration/reaction to your white mass or thinning down).
We can recommend the following product categories for fruit preparations, based on your needs:
- HM Pectin (high methylated) is great for suspension and rapid setting at higher temperatures. It is used for traditional high-sugar products.
- LM Pectin (low methylated) can be used for low-calorie/low-sugar fruit prep. There are a broad range of LM pectins to choose from. Your LM pectin choice will depend on key variables such as your production process, setting temperature, sugar content, preferred texture and whether organic compliance is a requirement.
In addition to using pectin for your fruit preparation, it’s also an excellent, nature-based ingredient for your white mass. Your pectin choice will depend on the formulation content of soluble solids, amount of culture present, protein source, type of sugar and fruit variety, as well as the texture and viscosity you desire. So, play up your yogurt’s indulgence and sensory profile with beautiful layers of fruit and white mass. Reformulate to reduce sugar and add protein. CP Kelco can help you achieve the results you want.