The future of product development is going to be heavily influenced by the convergence of six important concepts. Each is about empowering customers and consumers with abundant, affordable choices and no compromises. Spotting trends early is crucial to the product development process. However, connecting all the pieces allows for full-circle synergy that spurs innovation.
The idea of ‘clean label’ continues to evolve over time but one thing is, well, clear: Consumer demand for transparency is at the forefront.
Manufacturers can earn the trust of consumers by using powerful but minimally processed and sustainably sourced, nature-based ingredients. In addition to a simple and clear ingredient deck, consumers may be looking for less overall ingredients. They may also prefer products that are organic compliant, non-GMO, and with less fat or sugar. That doesn’t have to mean compromise for you or consumers. It just means ingredient functionality becomes more important. We see this spotlight on ingredients continuing to grow as consumers focus on overall health and wellness.
How many of us have walked into a bakery and been comforted just by the aroma of fresh-baked cookies? Or bought a liquid laundry detergent because the scent reminded us of clean sheets drying on a clothesline in the sun? Let’s face it: a product must look good, smell good, feel and/or taste good to attract consumers. Psychology says some of our most memorable experiences are tied to sensory perception.
Sensory aspects can be the last hurdle for getting consumers to try a new product. Will the plant-based body wash be gentle enough for my sensitive skin? Will my plant-based cheese alternative melt like traditional dairy cheese on my usual Friday night pizza? They may try your product once, but consumers must enjoy – and even prefer – the sensory aspects to make the switch.
We believe health and wellness benefits will be inherent in new product offerings going forward, enabling personalized nutrition to become mainstream along with added physical and mental wellness benefits.
The idea is not limited to food and beverage product development either; there is synergy with the personal care and home care segments. Soothing or invigorating benefits and calming scents are prevalent, with a nod to environmental concerns and skin sensitivities using allergen-free ingredients.
Consumers don’t just want products that are good for them; they want products that are also good for the planet. From small companies to global powerhouses, there has been a noticeable shift towards sustainability as consumers opt for brands that put the environment first.
We envision products in the future will require less water, land and energy to produce, allowing Mother Nature to flourish, along with animal life. Innovation is already driving this movement forward through the exploration of new, alternative proteins and fermentation technology.
For almost 90 years, nature has been CP Kelco’s source and inspiration for dozens of powerful ingredients. Along with a steadfast commitment to sustainable sourcing and minimal processing, new ideas help us bring out the best functionality of our nature-based ingredients.
Fermentation is one of those technologies that nature has given us that will ensure reliable functionality as it helps to create a sustainable, resilient future. For customers, it means quality ingredients in quantities small or large, without worry of scarcity due to natural events. For consumers, it means enjoying the products they love while also preserving plants and animals.
Foods and beverages are more than nutrition; the products and even the preparation and the sharing of meals often has deep meaning attached to it. In addition to family customs, some foods are consumed due to religious beliefs, with strict dietary laws for promoting spiritual health. Many followers of global religions are vegetarians or follow strict prescriptions for the consumption of animal-based foods, such as kosher and halal.
Others pursue vegetarianism or veganism for their own health reasons or over concern for animal welfare. It also underscores a need for vegan formulations in beauty, personal care and home care products as well. In the future, the spectrum of new product offerings will be more sensitive to consumers’ cultural preferences.
The needs of the marketplace and the global demands of consumers will continue to evolve. However, we see a future full of possibilities, where nature holds the key to innovation with no compromises. CP Kelco will continue to unlock its abundant potential through new products, applications and functionalities. We invite you to be a part of it and explore with us!