Thursday, July 19, 2018

Ice Cream Innovation: Decoding the Latest Healthy Snack Channel through Robust Value-Added Formulation


It was my pleasure to visit with so many of you during IFT18 this past week in Chicago. I hope you had a successful event and will have a chance to relax this weekend.

Thank you Ingredion for inviting me to speak at your Monday afternoon symposium on ice cream innovation. (Thanks Bob, Morgan, Peter, Steve and so many others for attending!) I kicked off the session by identifying five disruptions taking place in retailers’ freezers. The expert panel I shared the stage with provided application information to assist with the development of on-trend frozen desserts.

Here are some highlights.

Disruption #1: Nutrient Claims
High-protein, low-to-no added sugars and lower-calorie ice creams continue to be in the spotlight. I believe marketers would be smart to position them as refuel products targeted to the fitness-focused consumer who wants to increase protein content and is tired of bars and beverages.

Freezers such as this one photographed in a Chicago Jewel are often stocking more than a dozen brands of these products, with nearly 100 SKUs. This includes private-label offerings. Jewel, for example, offers the Open Nature Scandal-Less line.

Most recently, Target has entered the category under its Archer Farms brand. The line is debuting in six varieties. They are: Caramel Maple Bourbon Pie, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Chocolate Pecan Pie, Cookie Dough, Mini Donut and Mint Cookies and Cream. They are all dairy based, but that’s not to say that dairy-free options are not in the pipeline. After all, dairy-free frozen desserts are disruption #3.



Disruption #2: Snacking
Grab-and-go, single-serve and pints, or almost pints, dominate retailers’ ice cream freezers. In many instances, consumer preference for this pack size is to assist with portion control. Other times it’s an invitation to try a new flavor. The smaller size is less of a commitment than a half-gallon or similar carton size.

Smaller containers also allow for more stuff, both better-for-you whole food ingredients such as whole grains, fruits and nuts—ingredients many snackers are looking for in their mini meal—as well as indulgent inclusions, everything from praline caramel to cherry cheesecake cubes.

Disruption #3: Non-Dairy Products
Donna Klockeman, senior principal in food science at TIC Gums/Ingredion provided a step-by-step approach to formulating non-dairy frozen desserts and the considerations that must go into selecting the fluid base, sweetener system, stabilizer/emulsifier blend and bulk solids. She provided two prototype concepts, one a more basic non-dairy frozen dessert; the other one designed to compete in the high-protein, low-sugar segment.

For a copy of her presentation, please reach out to her HERE.


https://www.ingredion.us/applications/Dairy.html?  utm_source=berry_on_dairy&utm_medium=enewsletter&utm_term=728x90&utm_campaign=uscan_  dairy&utm_term=alt_dairy

MaryAnne Drake, professor of food science at North Carolina State University, followed with a sensory analysis comparison of the prototypes. She provided insight into the sensory attributes that are almost always lacking in non-dairy frozen desserts when they are compared to their dairy counterparts.

Even though they are lacking, consumers are often willing to cut the product some slack in order to enjoy a frozen creamy treat.

What’s important to note about the trend in non-dairy is that it is being embraced by dairies.

McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams, a 70-year old, family-owned California dairy has entered the category with a line of Dairy-Free Frozen Desserts. Coming up with a product that met McConnell’s high standards was challenging, but after a process that took the better part of a year, McConnell’s co-owner and chef Eva Ein finally arrived at a product that met the criteria. The secret ingredient? Peas, or more specifically, pea protein.

“There’s nothing interesting or innovative about coconut cream, almond or cashew milk, or soy-based ‘ice creams,’” says McConnell’s co-owner and CEO, Ein’s husband, Michael Palmer, referring to the industry’s standard alternatives to dairy-based ice creams. “These are the same products that have been out there for years, and the results are rarely worth it.” According to Palmer, it’s difficult to remove the coconut or roasted nut taste from a coconut cream or nut-based product. In attempting to do this, companies typically over-flavor their products, along with pumping these products full of air and stabilizers, which results in chalky, crumbly, inconsistent texture.

McConnell’s Dairy-Free Frozen Desserts are made from a proprietary blend of 100% micronized pea protein. Pea protein is a sustainable protein derived from yellow peas, the very same plant-based protein found in many of the food industry’s cutting-edge vegetarian and dairy-free milk substitutes. The result? McConnell’s Dairy-Free Frozen Desserts line, made from a base that is both neutral in flavor and shares the mouthfeel--and many other characteristics--found in McConnell’s super smooth, 18.5% butterfat ice creams. McConnell’s dairy-free is also lower in fat and sugar, cholesterol-free and non-GMO.

“People who crave great ice cream want to taste great ice cream, whether it’s dairy-based or not. The last thing we want to have to do is apologize for giving customers a lesser experience. They shouldn’t have to settle,” says Palmer.

The line comes in five flavors that feature premium ingredients. They are: Cookies & Cream, Dark Chocolate Chip, Eureka Lemon & Marionberries, Toasted Coconut Almond Chip and Turkish Coffee.

Disruption #4: Ingredients
Indeed, ingredient selection is paramount in all frozen desserts, have it be superpremium, traditional, better-for-you or non-dairy.


The final presenter, Angela Spihlman, technical development manager, Balchem Ingredient Solutions, looked at the evolution of inclusions, caramel variegates and other flavorful ingredients. She provided examples of how suppliers have been able to modify such ingredients to meet product claims and ingredient statement targets, namely the removal of chemical-sounding ingredients to have a cleaner-label product. Even caramel, traditionally made with butter and cream, among other indulgent ingredients, can now be formulated to be vegan for that growing category of non-dairy frozen desserts.

Dairy remains the focus, however, for Velvet Ice Cream, which developed a new sweet and slightly savory flavor for the Ohio State Fair. Premium ingredient selection is sure to make new Spicy Caramel a winner at the fair. The concept is sweet caramel ice cream swirled with cayenne-infused caramel sauce, composing an exciting fusion of flavors that first cools the mouth, then warms it with the heat of cayenne pepper.

This imaginative limited-release ice cream is available only at the Ohio State Fair, which runs July 25 to August 5 in Columbus, Ohio. Crafted specifically for the fair, this year’s concoction is the brainchild of a tasting panel consisting of Velvet Ice Cream development pros and Ohio State Fair officials.

“We wanted to create a flavor that ties together classic caramel with an unexpected twist,” says Joanne Dager, vice president. “With our history of more than 104 years in Ohio's dairy industry, Velvet Ice Cream is always proud to be a major part of the Ohio State Fair. Each year we look forward to creating a special flavor just for fairgoers.”


Disruption #5: Processing Method
The last disruption is the de-industrialization of making frozen desserts. It’s the trend towards retailers making more room in their frozen dessert freezers for artisan, small-batch and hand-crafted products made from entrepreneurial or local producers, or those who have a history in the community.

In many instances, these companies are more willing to tell the story about the product’s ingredients, the manufacturing process and even sourcing. Today’s shoppers increasingly want this transparency and it impacts purchasing decisions.

It’s time to disrupt the ice cream category with some on-trend innovations.

https://www.ingredion.us/applications/Dairy.html?  utm_source=berry_on_dairy&utm_medium=enewsletter&utm_term=728x90&utm_campaign=uscan_  dairy&utm_term=alt_dairy



Thursday, July 12, 2018

Making Dairy what’s for Dessert

Photo source: Univerisity of Wisconsin-Madison

Ice cream, refrigerated desserts and baked goods such as cookies, cakes and pies are trending these days. The Specialty Food Association’s 2018 State of the Industry report attributes this to Millenials, who collectively cannot get enough of these sweet treats.

They want dessert, and often at strange times, according to Michael LaVitola, CEO and co-founder of Foxtrot, an upscale convenience store chain and home-delivery service in Chicago that delivers all too often a single pint of premium ice cream—usually Jeni’s or Coolhaus—to your door within 60 minutes of ordering.  
LaVitola spoke at the Chicagoland Food and Beverage Network Innovation Breakfast on July 12th at Fifty Gazelles. Foxtrot caters to the urban Millennial who wants quality and convenience. Foxtrot is the next-generation corner store, curating Chicago’s best craft beer, wine, spirits, fresh eats, gifts and everyday essentials, all available for delivery.

Hint, hint, while in Chicago for IFT this week, if you have a craving, you know who to call! Link HERE to order ice cream.


https://www.ingredia.com/
Visit Ingredia at Booth S704 in Chicago’s McCormick Place.

The dairy industry needs to make sure that dairy products are being served—or delivered--for dessert.
Guess what else the Specialty Food Association’s report says about Millennials? They want high-protein snacks. This explains their obsession with high-protein products such as Halo Top. Yes, it’s available for delivery from Foxtrot.

The entire Foxtrot delivery concept really provides insights into what Millennials want, when they want it. I encourage you to check it out HERE.

Dairy desserts cater to the impulse for indulgence, such that even nutrition and weight-conscious consumers find themselves craving rich and creamy desserts, according to a recent report on the topic from Market Research Future.

The term dairy desserts encompasses a wide range of products, all with milk—and often cream—a dominant ingredient. This includes ice cream, indulgent yogurts, custard, sherbet, pudding and more. Though they are not considered a primary source of nutrition, these products do provide protein, vitamins and minerals, giving them an edge over other sweet treats such as confections and baked goods.

They also contain milkfat, something today’s consumers appear to be welcoming with open arms. And guess what? Science says they are onto something.

New research by The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), published July 11, 2018, in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found no significant link between dairy fats and cause of death or, more specifically, heart disease and stroke--two of the country’s biggest killers often associated with a diet high in saturated fat. In fact, certain types of dairy fat may help guard against having a severe stroke, the researchers reported.

“Our findings not only support, but also significantly strengthen, the growing body of evidence which suggests that dairy fat, contrary to popular belief, does not increase risk of heart disease or overall mortality in older adults. In addition to not contributing to death, the results suggest that one fatty acid present in dairy may lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, particularly from stroke,” said Marcia Otto, Ph.D., the study’s first and corresponding author and assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences at UTHealth School of Public Health.

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans currently recommend serving fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, cheese, yogurt and/or fortified soy beverages. But Otto pointed out that low-fat dairy foods such as low-fat yogurt and chocolate milk often include high amounts of added sugars, which may lead to poor cardiovascular and metabolic health.

To read more on the study, link HERE.

https://www.ingredia.com/
Visit Ingredia at Booth S704 in Chicago’s McCormick Place. 


Rolling out into the marketplace is new oui by Yoplait oui Petites. These dessert-inspired yogurts come in Caramelized Apple, Chocolate with Shavings and Sea Salt Caramel flavors. They are packaged in 3.5-ounce glass jars and sold in packs of two.

They are whole milk yogurts featuring a simple recipe that is slightly sweetened with cane sugar. Each serving is individually cultured in the same glass pot you eat it from using a traditional pot set process.

Looks like dairy desserts make sense all the way around. Number-one, they are delicious. Second, they provide important nutrients, namely protein and calcium. Third, those high-fat ones, might be doing the body great.

On that note, it’s National Ice Cream Month, and Sunday—July 15—is National Ice Cream Day.

Here’s a story about ice cream innovation that speaks to Millennials.

Minneapolis-based Izzy’s Ice Cream, which is owned by husband and wife couple Jeff Sommers and Lara Hammel, is a Twin Cities ice cream shop serving superpremium ice cream handmade from Midwest cream. Izzy’s has more than 150 rotating flavors and is famous for the Izzy Scoop, an extra small scoop on top of every single or double. This is a great way to try something new and always get a little something extra.

Izzy’s teamed up with Periscope, a national creative agency to assist with the development of a flavor for National Ice Cream Day. New Love Potion No. 921 is a blood orange and pomegranate ice cream with a hint of ginger, making it a refreshing treat for the summer. Every ingredient was hand-selected by Periscope employees to reflect the agency’s brand colors and embody its mission to “Do Things People Love,” a motto to infuse passion and empathy into all work from the company.

It’s a motto we could all probably benefit from these days. Love Potion No. 921 is a feel-good dairy dessert.

Pomegranate’s love story began thousands of years ago, and it has been considered a symbol of love by many cultures and countries. Ginger is also a symbol of love, as its scent and spice have the ability to inspire passion. Blood orange just screams passion. It also reflects Periscope’s new brand colors of pink and orange, as well as the blood and heart put into the agency’s work. The 921 is a nod to the agency’s address.

Separately, interested in learning more about formulating high-quality dairy and non-dairy frozen desserts? Plan to attend Session 26 “It’s a New Day in Frozen Desserts: Decode the Latest Healthy Snack Channel Through Robust, Value Added Formulation” at IFT18. The session takes place Monday, July 16, from 3:30pm to 5:00pm (room N427D). Speakers will focus on formulating value- and nutrition-added frozen desserts, including new sensory evaluation research for these on-trend
innovations. A variety of functional ingredients will also be discussed, from stabilization to new technologies in reducing added sugars to protein and fruit and vegetable sources. Manufacturing experts will also discuss formulation and processing challenges.
https://www.ingredia.com/
 Visit Ingredia at Booth S704 in Chicago’s McCormick Place.





Thursday, July 5, 2018

Dairy Foods Innovation: Make “Healthy Living” a Product Development Goal

In less than 10 days, many of you will be in Chicago—my home town—to attend IFT18, the annual meeting and food expo of the Institute of Food Technologists. Experience the newest products, latest trends and cutting-edge innovations when you immerse in the industry’s largest collection of food ingredient suppliers, along with food safety/quality, technology, equipment, processing and packaging suppliers. It is here where you will get a taste of what is next in the science of food.

A dominant theme at IFT18 will be formulating foods for healthy living, a platform that dairy foods plays right into thanks to milk’s nutrient dense composition. Healthy living is also a packaged food megatrend for 2018, as identified by Euromonitor International.

The food industry continues to shift its focus from weight management to nutrition and natural wellbeing, which is why the healthy living trend is broken down into two sub-trends: back to nature and naturally functional. The industry has seen a rise in “back to nature” with a plethora of raw foods and minimally processed foods. Grass-fed dairy also plays into this space as the original plant-based milk. And, with sugar the new villain, processors are exploring ingredients and technologies to reduce or eliminate added sugars in sweetened dairy foods, including flavored milk, ice cream and yogurt. The “naturally functional” sub-trend focuses on gut health, which has links with mental health and performance. The rise in this trend concentrates on fermented foods, probiotics, ancient grains and healthy fats.

https://www.beneo.com/ingredients/human-nutrition/functional-fibres

Visit BENEO at Booth S1440 at IFT18

“Healthy living is at the top of the food pyramid, impacting almost all categories and geographies,” says Pinar Hosafci, head of packaged food research at Euromonitor. “Savory snacks and dairy, in particular, show the fastest rates of innovation in foods, and so lend themselves best to the application of megatrends.”

A product that fits the healthy living megatrend is Pillars drinkable Greek yogurt. With no added sugar, only 100 calories and a whopping 18 grams of protein per serving, Pillars is made with milk sourced from grass-fed cows and has a Nutrition Facts panel you can’t beat.


A 12-ounce bottle contains only 5 grams of naturally occurring sugar (lactose) in each bottle and is loaded with probiotics and prebiotic fiber. Pillars is all-natural, non-GMO and contains nothing artificial. The company just added two new flavors—coconut and mango—to the lineup.

“We are super excited to be expanding from our original four flavors to now a line of six,” says Eric Bonin, founder of Pillars Yogurt. “The mango and coconut are seriously delicious and perfect for the warmer weather. Early feedback has been very positive, lots of smiles and empty bottles.”

Bonin, disappointed by a market filled with products that were loaded with sugar and other unnecessary ingredients, wanted something better and, as a result, founded Pillars Yogurt. After spending years sourcing the best ingredients and perfecting the recipe, grocery stores can now offer a product that not only tastes great but is also good for you. It’s a drinkable yogurt for healthy living.

And drinks is where the action is in the yogurt category. U.S. yogurt retail volume sales were down 3.9% in the first quarter of 2018, according to data from IRI provided to Dairy Management Inc., and courtesy of the Midwest Dairy Association (see table). This rate of decline, however, is more moderate than that observed in full year 2017, which was 4.8%. Yogurt volume began its decline mid-year 2016. This decline was observed quite broadly across regions, channels and segments of yogurt.

There were a few yogurt segments that provided bright spots in the first three months of the year. Drinkables was one of them. Convenience was a likely driver for continued growth in yogurt drinks (+5.9%) and tubes (3.8%).


Powerful, a four-year-old brand credited with launching the brogurt category (manly yogurt), is growing its business with Greek yogurt-based high-protein smoothie pouches. The refrigerated pouch product has a resealable cap and targets consumers looking for a nutritious, satiating, grab-and-go snack. With no added sugar and made with only natural ingredients, including 2% milk, each pouch contains 170 to 180 calories, 4 grams of fat and 11 to 12 grams of inherent sugar, depending on variety.

The fruit base includes chicory inulin, erythritol and stevia, which enables a no-added-sugar claim. The line is making its debut in Coffee, Mixed Berry and Strawberry Banana varieties. Unopened pouches have a 45-day refrigerated shelf life.

Dannon Oikos Protein Crunch pairs Greek nonfat yogurt with crunchy mix-ins to deliver 17 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber with no artificial sweeteners per 5-ounce cup. The four varieties are: Banana with Cocoa Clusters & Chocolate; Coconut with Whole Grain Oats & Almonds; Vanilla with Blueberry Rolled Oats; and Vanilla with Chocolate Oats & Peanuts. Chicory root fiber is the source of fiber and helps keep sugars at 8 grams. Stevia leaf extract also assists with sweetness.

That brings me to the recent ruling on fiber ingredients, which are ready and able to assist with reducing sugar in dairy foods, while boosting intake of fiber, a nutrient of concern.

According to a final guidance published on June 14, 2018, in the Federal Register, inulin and inulin-type fructans, including chicory root fiber; high-amylose starch (resistant starch 2); polydextrose; mixed plant cell wall fibers, including sugar cane fiber and apple fiber; arabinoxylan; alginate; galactooligosaccharide; and resistant maltodextrin/dextrin are now recognized by FDA as fiber.

The approval of these eight non-digestible carbohydrates gives food manufacturers additional clarity in updating their labels as needed ahead of the compliance date for FDA’s new Nutrition Facts label, which is Jan. 1, 2020, for manufacturers with $10 million or more in annual food sales, and Jan. 1, 2021, for smaller manufacturers.

The announcement follows various petitions, many with like-ingredient suppliers joining together to request the addition of beneficial non-digestible fibers to FDA’s definition of fiber, which was issued on May 27, 2016. This was FDA’s first time defining fiber, with the definition being “non-digestible soluble and insoluble carbohydrates (with three or more monomeric units), and lignin that are intrinsic and intact in plants; or isolated or synthetic non-digestible carbohydrates (with three or more monomeric units) determined by the FDA to have physiological effects that are beneficial to human health.”

The eight recently approved fibers fit the second definition. The petitions, and supporting research, clearly showed that the fibers support physiological health benefits as assessed by FDA’s strict criteria, such as lowering blood glucose and cholesterol levels; lowering blood pressure; increase in frequency of bowel movements (improved laxation); increased mineral absorption in the intestinal tract; and reduced energy intake (for example, due to the fiber promoting a feeling of fullness).

To read the FDA published ruling, link HERE.
https://www.beneo.com/ingredients/human-nutrition/functional-fibres
Visit BENEO at Booth S1440 at IFT18


Friday, June 29, 2018

Fancy Foods, Millennials and Fiber...Making Dairy Relevant

Photo source: Baskin-Robbins

Happy 4th of July holiday week!

I’ve been exploring New York City’s food scene these few days before the Summer Fancy Food Show commences on Saturday, July 30. Lots of great finds, fodder for future blogs.

I ate my way through Chelsea, SoHo and the Lower East Side on Thursday (almost 20,000 steps), and today will explore Brooklyn. Three key findings:

1)    Fresh, preferably local dairy is alive and thriving, and in all forms: cheese, cream, milk, ice cream and yogurt. When you premiumize it and make it specialty, it sells. This is true at retail and foodservice.

2)    Dessert is hot, when it’s fresh. Honestly, I’m a bit shocked by the number of bakeries and ice cream shops, carts and trucks. Research from the Specialty Food Association’s 2018 State of the Industry report shows that this is because of Millennials. Compared to other generations, Millennials buy a lot of ice cream and frozen desserts, as well as brownies, cakes, cookies and pies. Calories are ignored. It’s all about the deliciousness and the freshness.

3)    Better-for-you nutrition profiles make a difference at retail. Stores such as Whole Foods Market, Trader Joes and local independents are mealtime destinations. Once again, fresh and local attributes are key, along with comparative callouts such as more protein, less sugar and added fiber.


https://www.inspiredbyinulin.com/
Here are additional highlights from the Specialty Food Association’s 2018 State of the Industry:

  • Sixty-five percent of consumers purchase specialty foods, leading the industry to $140.3 billion in retail and foodservice sales in 2017—an 11% increase over 2015.
  • Foodservice accounts for 21.6% of sales.
  • Specialty food and beverage sales as a share of total market reached 15.8%. Plant-based categories dominate the top four spots and are expected to grow over the next five years.
  • Retail dollar sales for specialty foods grew 12.9%, versus 1.4% growth for all food.
    Foodservice and online are burgeoning bright spots for specialty food Sales. Each grew more than brick-and-mortar retail sales from 2015 to 2017. There continues to be growth potential in the convenience, drug and vending channels.
  • The iGeneration (18-23) has arrived and has a greater awareness of specialty food than its predecessors. This suggests continued growth. 

Source: Specialty Food Association’s 2018 State of the Industry

Specialty foods are defined as foods or beverages of the highest grade, style and/or quality in their respective categories. Their specialty nature derives from a combination of some or all of the following qualities: uniqueness, origin, processing method, design, limited supply, unusual application or use, extraordinary packaging or channel of distribution/sales.

A look at sales and current industry performance shows fresh, refrigerated, frozen, plant-based and health-focused are key words related to growth. Notably, seven of the top-10 categories by retail sales are chilled or frozen foods.

Health is an important consideration when purchasing specialty foods. In fact, a better-for-you formulation might just be what upgrades an ordinary dairy food into a specialty dairy food, a fancy dairy food.  

When it comes to nutritional awareness, more than one in three U.S. consumers are following a specific diet or eating pattern, and they are increasingly averse to carbohydrates and sugar, according to the 13th Annual Food and Health Survey, released May 16, 2018, by the International Food Information Council Foundation.

In an open-ended question, the top eating pattern cited was intermittent fasting (10%). Diets considered at least somewhat restrictive of carbohydrates were well-represented, including paleo (7%), low-carb (5%), Whole30 (5%), high-protein (4%), and ketogenic/high-fat (3%). Younger consumers (age 18 to 34) were more likely to follow a specific eating pattern or diet than those 35 and above.

More Americans than in previous years blame carbs, and specifically sugars, for weight gain. While sugars continue to be the most cited cause of weight gain (33%), carbohydrates ranked second at 25%, up from 20% in 2017. Both of those numbers are the highest since 2011. Fats (16%), protein (3%) and “all sources” (17%) lagged behind when placing blame.

That brings me to the recent ruling on fiber ingredients, which are ready and able to assist with reducing sugar and carbs in dairy foods, while boosting intake of fiber, a nutrient of concern.

According to a final guidance published on June 14, 2018, in the Federal Register, inulin and inulin-type fructans, including chicory root fiber; high-amylose starch (resistant starch 2); polydextrose; mixed plant cell wall fibers, including sugar cane fiber and apple fiber; arabinoxylan; alginate; galactooligosaccharide; and resistant maltodextrin/dextrin are now recognized by FDA as fiber.

The approval of these eight non-digestible carbohydrates gives food manufacturers additional clarity in updating their labels as needed ahead of the compliance date for FDA’s new Nutrition Facts Label, which is Jan. 1, 2020, for manufacturers with $10 million or more in annual food sales, and Jan. 1, 2021, for smaller manufacturers.

The announcement follows various petitions, many with like-ingredient suppliers joining together to request the addition of beneficial non-digestible fibers to FDA’s definition of fiber, which was issued on May 27, 2016. This was FDA’s first time defining fiber, with the definition being “non-digestible soluble and insoluble carbohydrates (with three or more monomeric units), and lignin that are intrinsic and intact in plants; or isolated or synthetic non-digestible carbohydrates (with three or more monomeric units) determined by the FDA to have physiological effects that are beneficial to human health.”
https://www.inspiredbyinulin.com/

All of the eight recently approved fibers fit the second definition. The petitions, and supporting research, clearly showed that the fibers support physiological health benefits as assessed by FDA’s strict criteria, according to Carl Volz, president of Sensus America.

FDA’s examples of beneficial physiological effects include lowering blood glucose and cholesterol levels; lowering blood pressure; increase in frequency of bowel movements (improved laxation); increased mineral absorption in the intestinal tract; and reduced energy intake (for example, due to the fiber promoting a feeling of fullness).

Speaking to inulin, the most commonly used fiber food ingredient in dairy foods, namely yogurt, “The FDA’s inclusion of chicory root fiber as a dietary fiber in its new food labeling regulations allows our customers to continue marketing their products as sources of dietary fiber and to continue to use chicory root fiber as a tool to reduce calories and added sugar,” says Volz.

To read the FDA published ruling, link HERE.

Now…off to Brooklyn I go. Hope to see many of you at the Fancy Food show. 
https://www.inspiredbyinulin.com/




Thursday, June 21, 2018

IFT 2018: Smart Food Development

The Institute of Food Technologists’ annual meeting and food expo is right around the corner. IFT18: A Matter of Science + Food will take place in Chicago July 15 to 18, 2018. For more information, link HERE.


Like with any exposition, in the weeks leading up to the event, editors get inundated with press releases announcing new products and innovative applications, which is what IFT is all about. It goes without saying that plant-based foods will dominate the show floor. Color companies will be coloring them and flavoring companies will be…yep, you guessed it, flavoring them. Nutrient companies will be making them delivery vehicles for everything from caffeine to fiber to vitamins.

I encourage you to explore these innovations. And so do others in the dairy industry.

John Talbot, CEO of the California Milk Advisory Board, authored an excellent column for the June 8, 2018, issue of Cheese Market News. He wrote:

“There are many loyal dairy consumers getting caught up in experimentation, and we must be very careful how we address those who may be a little more adventurous. We find dairy and dairy alternatives in the same refrigerators and consumers don’t seem to have anywhere near the problem with that as we do. They’re already consuming both. Telling consumers they are wrong is not going to gain their loyalty, we must show them how we fit in.”



https://www.ingredion.us/applications/Dairy.html?  utm_source=berry_on_dairy&utm_medium=enewsletter&utm_term=728x90&utm_campaign=uscan_  dairy&utm_term=alt_dairy
Visit Ingredion at Booth S2131 in Chicago’s McCormick Place.




He goes on to write that the industry needs to stop talking about dairy “alternatives” because that just legitimizes them. They are not alternatives to dairy. They are their own product.

“Identifying these products as alternatives and then telling our consumers they are wrong to buy them is not a recipe for success.” 

It’s important to provide consumers options. Give them smart food options. These may be traditional dairy foods, dairy-free foods or dairy foods in a whole new format.

This week General Mills introduced YQ by Yoplait to the yogurt aisle. “Smarter, not sweeter.” That is the philosophy behind the new product made with ultra-filtered milk. It delivers big on protein with an intentionally less sweet taste.

This is the type of smart ingredient technology to explore when you are at IFT.



YQ by Yoplait Plain brings the yogurt category a new 1-gram-sugar-per-serving option, while packing 17 grams of protein in each 5.3 oz. container. The flavored varieties deliver 9 grams of sugar--40% less than the leading Greek low-fat yogurt--and are lightly sweetened with cane sugar, real fruit and natural flavors.

Flavored varieties deliver 15 grams of protein per 5.3 ounce serving and are available in Blueberry, Coconut, Lime, Mango, Peach, Strawberry and Vanilla. Plain and Vanilla are also available in 26 ounce tubs.

“We talked to thousands of people to really understand what they were missing from the yogurt aisle. We heard loud and clear the need for a smart snack option, something made with simple ingredients, less sugar and higher protein,” says Doug Martin, vice president of marketing for Yoplait USA. “What we’ve been able to accomplish with YQ by Yoplait delivers on this desire. Through our use of simple ingredients, ultra-filtered milk and active cultures, we’ve created a protein-packed, less sweet flavor profile with a thick, smooth, extra creamy texture. It’s unlike anything that exists in the yogurt aisle today.”

YQ by Yoplait starts with ultra-filtered milk, which is milk that has been filtered to concentrate the amount of protein while removing much of the milk’s sugar, or lactose. Lactose is a naturally occurring sugar that adds virtually no sweetness. The ultra-filtered milk is then combined with active cultures and goes through a special churning technique, perfected by Yoplait in France. The result is a differential nutritional profile without the tart tang or chalky aftertaste of Greek-style yogurts, according to the company.

YQ by Yoplait is gluten free, 99% lactose free and contains no artificial preservatives, no artificial flavors and no colors from artificial sources. And, its package is eye-catching, just what today’s adventurous consumers want to explore. 

 Here’s another example of a dairy involved with smart product development. Finland-based Valio has developed Valio MiFU, a dairy-based product that substitutes for meat or poultry in recipes. Made from Finnish milk using proprietary technology, MiFU comes in strips and is ready to eat.

“Quite a lot is demanded from even a simple home-cooked dish: it should be healthy, quick to prepare and tasty to the whole family. People get tired of making the same meals and are looking for variety. We had these issues in mind when we set out to develop MiFU. The products inspire people to try something new,” says Business Manager Pia Järvinen. “Valio MiFU is a great example of how milk can be turned into many forms and uses.”

The story of Valio MiFU products started when Valio’s internal innovation team was assigned the task of coming up with a new way to use the casein protein found in milk. The starting point for product development was to find alternative protein sources to meat. Many challenges had to be overcome before the successful end result.

“One of the most important tasks of product development was developing a texture that could be pan-fried. Creating a good texture and mouthfeel, however, wasn’t enough: the product also had to remain the same when heated and be easy to use in food preparation,” says Niko Nurmi, a researcher at Valio. “The nutritional values we aimed for were a high protein and a low fat content, without compromising good taste.”

MiFU is best when used in hot meals as is or after browning in a frying pan. MiFU maintains its texture and mouthfeel well when heated. Valio MiFU is 24% protein and is free of lactose, gluten, eggs and yeast, so the strips are suitable for many special diets.

This week, Valio MiFU strips won the World Dairy Innovation Awards competition in the Best New Brand/Business category. This was the 12th year of the annual awards and the winners demonstrated high levels of innovation across new flavors, concepts, packaging designs and manufacturing technologies.

The U.K.’s Bio-tiful Dairy Kefir-Quark was the winner in two categories: Best Functional Dairy and Best Brand Extension. It was also a runner-up on Best Dairy Snack, which was won by Nanyang Polytechnic for its Aloha Bliss Frozen Yoghurt.

Kefir-Quark is a 150-gram cup of kefir and quark made with British milk. It is free from any artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or added sugars, and contains probiotic cultures, including Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus rhamnosus. The original variety contains 90 calories, 18 grams of protein, 0.6 grams of fat and 3.5 grams of sugar (inherent to the milk). The Cranberry & Chia variety has a dome cup with a topping composed of dried cranberries, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. A cup contains 191 calories, 21.4 grams of protein, 7.2 grams of fat and 6.7 grams of sugar (inherent to the milk and the topping).

Aloha Bliss is a frozen yogurt bite-sized snack made with functional ingredients extracts from fruits, vegetables and even edible flowers. Inside every bite is a chewy center of chia seeds for texture, flavor and extra nutrition.

Nanyang Polytechnic research institute was also a finalist for the Best Dairy Drink with its Fleuryo High Calcium Yoghurt Drink. Made with ingredients such as heat-treated egg shells, yogurt, earl grey tea and chia seeds, a serving of Fleuryo is said to meet the recommended daily intake of calcium for adults aged 19 to 50 years old. The beverage tastes similar to Thai milk tea with chewy bits of chia seeds. Egg shells were used because they are some of the most calcium-rich whole food ingredients in the world. Instead of sugar, the researchers used monk fruit extract, which is 300 times sweeter than sugar and has no calories. The drink is low in fat, high in protein and has live yogurt cultures, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and calcium.

Fleuryo is another example of smart product development.

Link HERE to view the list of all the winners and runner-ups.

This last example of smart product development comes from Tyson Innovation Lab, the Chicago-based team of Tyson Foods Inc., tasked with bringing new consumer products to market in just six months. These out-of-the-box thinkers developed a meat snack designed to help address food waste.

Given the scale of the food waste problem, Tyson Innovation Lab sought partnerships with like-minded food companies. Together they developed Yappah! Protein Crisps, which is a chicken-based snack crafted from rescued and upcycled vegetable and grain-based ingredients that might otherwise be left behind. The brand name was inspired by a tradition in the South American Andes called “yapa,” which refers to the little something extra a merchant gives to a valued customer so that nothing gets wasted.

“The Yappah! brand mission is unique, important and far-reaching,” says Rizal Hamdallah, head of Tyson Innovation Lab. “The brand was created to inspire people and partners to rethink their relationship to food and how it impacts society. Through this launch, we intend to address global food challenges such as food waste. With the Protein Crisps we are taking forgotten ingredients and crafting them into a delicious protein snack.”

The statistics behind food waste are overwhelming. In the U.S., nearly one-third of all food used in food production ends up as waste, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The average person wastes 3.5 pounds of food per week and uneaten food equates to Americans throwing out as much as $218 billion each year, most of which ends up rotting in landfills where it emits harmful greenhouse gases.

It is these statistics that often give animal-based foods, including dairy products, an earth-unfriendly reputation. Here’s what Tyson is doing to change that for chicken. The company uses chicken breast trim that is still full of flavor and protein and combines it with either rescued vegetable puree from juicing or rescued spent grain from beer brewing to create the line’s four flavors, which are: chicken carrot curry, chicken celery mojo, chicken IPA white cheddar and chicken shandy beer.

With all these smart product development ideas, I challenge you to explore this year’s IFT with an
open mind.

Visit Ingredion at Booth S2131 in Chicago’s McCormick Place. 
https://www.ingredion.us/applications/Dairy.html?  utm_source=berry_on_dairy&utm_medium=enewsletter&utm_term=728x90&utm_campaign=uscan_  dairy&utm_term=alt_dairy





Thursday, June 14, 2018

Dairy Foods Innovation Idea: Eating for the Health of It

Cultured dairy products—from cottage cheese to quark to yogurt—can benefit with a side of inclusions. Often times they are the fun factor, they provide consumers the opportunity to interact with their food. What if these inclusions also delivered extra nutrition? Maybe vitamins and minerals? Protein? Fiber?

About one-third (66%) of Americans would like to eat more healthfully by making nutritional changes such as consuming less sugar and eating more protein, according to The Hartman Group’s Transformation of the American Meal 2017 report.

Inclusions are an easy way to do this, as inclusions in cultured products are easily provided via a dual-compartment container or a cup with an attached dome. This eliminates issues with ingredient interactions in the dairy food. When protein or fiber are delivered through inclusions, texture, mouthfeel and other sensory attributes of the white mass are not impacted.

http://www.agropuringredients.com/our-brands/protein-pods/

Inclusions, which can also be a topping or part of a coating system, make sense in ice cream and frozen yogurt, too. All those pints of high-protein, lower-calorie, lower-sugar frozen dairy desserts in the market can become a little more exciting—and nutritious—with better-for-you inclusions. Maybe pints should get a dome. What about ice cream with a side cup of goodies? Consumers love playing with their food. Inclusions make this possible.

Protein-packed inclusions such as whey pods are a highly nutritional extruded form of whey proteins with a clean bland flavor. They are 70% protein, including whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate and hydrolyzed whey protein isolate. These little balls can be included with other inclusion crunchies, such as nuts, chocolate-covered whole grains and fabricated flavored fiber bits.

BREAKING NEWS ON FIBER

Inulin and inulin-type fructans, including chicory root fiber; high-amylose starch (resistant starch 2); polydextrose; mixed plant cell wall fibers, including sugar cane fiber and apple fiber; arabinoxylan; alginate; galactooligosaccharide; and resistant maltodextrin/dextrin are the eight non-digestible carbohydrates additionally being recognized as fiber by FDA, according to a final guidance published on June 14, 2018, in the Federal Register.

The eight approvals give food manufacturers additional clarity in updating their labels as needed ahead of the compliance date for FDA’s new Nutrition Facts Label, which is Jan. 1, 2020, for manufacturers with $10 million or more in annual food sales, and Jan. 1, 2021, for smaller manufacturers.

The announcement follows various petitions, many with like-ingredient suppliers joining together to request the addition of beneficial non-digestible fibers to FDA’s definition of fiber, which was issued on May 27, 2016. This was FDA’s first time defining fiber, with the definition being “non-digestible soluble and insoluble carbohydrates (with three or more monomeric units), and lignin that are intrinsic and intact in plants; or isolated or synthetic non-digestible carbohydrates (with three or more monomeric units) determined by the FDA to have physiological effects that are beneficial to human health.”

All of the eight recently approved fibers fit the second definition. The petitions, and supporting research, clearly showed that the fibers support physiological health benefits as assessed by FDA’s strict criteria, according to Carl Volz, president of Sensus America.

FDA’s examples of beneficial physiological effects include lowering blood glucose and cholesterol levels; lowering blood pressure; increase in frequency of bowel movements (improved laxation); increased mineral absorption in the intestinal tract; and reduced energy intake (for example, due to the fiber promoting a feeling of fullness).

Speaking to inulin, the most commonly used fiber food ingredient in dairy foods, namely yogurt, “The FDA’s inclusion of chicory root fiber as a dietary fiber in its new food labeling regulations allows our customers to continue marketing their products as sources of dietary fiber and to continue to use chicory root fiber as a tool to reduce calories and added sugar.”

To read the FDA published ruling, link HERE.

It’s time to include more protein and fiber in dairy foods, so consumers can eat for the health of it.
http://www.agropuringredients.com/our-brands/protein-pods/







Friday, June 8, 2018

Ice Cream 2018: The Five Biggest Trends this Summer

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen so much activity in the retail ice cream freezer. This is likely the result of numerous start-ups gaining notoriety and the big players defending their space.

The dynamics are quite polarizing, with many players participating in both extremes. This includes private label, which is not the norm, like so many things in the world these days.

Take Albertsons Companies, for example. This retail giant rolled out two private label brands this summer, participating in the top-three trends.

Trend #1: Culinary-Inspired Ice Cream
Albertsons’ Signature Reserve is a new top-shelf culinary presence for the retailer. The brand is intended for life’s special and indulgent moments, offering unparalleled quality and exquisite taste for customers who are obsessed with the exceptional.

http://www.sensoryeffects.com/our-products/frozen-dessert-systems

“Signature Reserve inspires delicious discovery with extraordinary and expertly sourced flavors and ingredients,” says Geoff White, president of Albertsons Companies Own Brands. “Shoppers are more educated and interested in culinary trends than ever before, and Signature Reserve will surprise and delight them with unique and exciting products that are found only in our stores.”

The initial launch of Signature Reserve is seven decadent flavors of ice cream, all featuring globally sourced ingredients that are perfect for entertaining or everyday indulgence. Flavors include Brazilian Guava Cheesecake, Madagascar Vanilla, Colombian Cold Brew Caramel, Bourbon Maple Blondie, Indian Cardamom Pistachio, Caramel Apple Chai and Belgian Chocolate Almond. These ice creams are available now at Albertsons Companies stores, including the namesake Albertsons, Jewel-Osco and Safeway.

The company plans to introduce additional new Signature Reserve products in other categories throughout 2018, including ultra-premium pasta and pasta sauces imported from Italy, single-origin packaged coffees from Sumatra and Nicaragua, and four varieties of hand-picked loose leaf tea.

“We scour the earth for ingredients and unique flavors that meet the exacting standards of Signature Reserve,” says White. “Products earn the Signature Reserve label only after a rigorous selection process, which includes scrutiny by our culinary professionals and expert merchants for top quality craftsmanship.”

Trend #2: High-Protein, Low-Sugar Ice Cream
Albertsons has also rolled out Open Nature Scandal-less Ice Cream. It’s a high-protein ice cream with 67% less fat and 45% fewer calories than regular ice cream. The product relies on a sweetener blend of stevia, cane sugar and erythritol. Because this is under the Open Nature brand, shoppers are assured that only natural ingredients are used to make the ice cream.

The new Open Nature Scandal Less Ice Cream comes in seven flavors all under 380 calories per pint. They are: Chocolate Mocha Chip, Cookies and Cream, Cookie Dough, Mint Chip, Peanut Butter Cup, Sea-Salt Caramel and Vanilla.

This is an interesting category and it will be interesting to see how the numbers play out at the end of the year, as there are way too many players. That’s right, you read it here first. Ice cream marketers looked at retail scanner data from 2017 and saw that the few players in the high-protein, low-sugar segment—one in particular--were doing quite well. What they did not know is that retail sales data shows the scan, not the discount. Many of these products were on “buy-one-get-one free” deals most of 2017. One of the more notable brands issued “one free pint, no purchase necessary” coupons at the register every time you made a purchase as select grocers. I personally received seven free pint coupons last August.  


Trend #3: Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert
Albertsons also has its Open Nature brand participating in the non-dairy frozen dessert segment. These products are made with almonds and cashews.What’s important to note about the trend in non-dairy is that it is being embraced by dairies.

McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams, a 70-year old, family-owned California dairy has entered the growing plant-based food segment. They’ve reinvented everyone’s favorite treat with a line of Dairy-Free Frozen Desserts. Coming up with a product that met McConnell’s high standards was challenging, but after a process that took the better part of a year, McConnell’s co-owner and chef Eva Ein finally arrived at a product that met the criteria. The secret ingredient? Peas, or more specifically, pea protein.

“There’s nothing interesting or innovative about coconut cream, almond or cashew milk, or soy-based ‘ice creams,’” says McConnell’s co-owner and CEO, Ein’s husband, Michael Palmer, referring to the industry’s standard alternatives to dairy-based ice creams. “These are the same products that’ve been out there for years, and the results are rarely worth it.” According to Palmer, it’s difficult to remove the coconut or roasted nut taste from a coconut cream or nut-based product. In attempting to do this, companies typically over-flavor their products, along with pumping these products full of air and stabilizers, which results in chalky, crumbly, inconsistent texture.

McConnell’s Dairy-Free Frozen Desserts are made from a proprietary blend (McConnell’s P3) of 100% micronized pea protein. Pea protein is a sustainable protein derived from yellow peas, the very same plant-based protein found in many of the food industry’s cutting-edge vegetarian and dairy-free milk substitutes. The result? McConnell’s Dairy-Free Frozen Desserts line, made from a base that is both neutral in flavor and shares the mouthfeel--and many other characteristics--found in McConnell’s super smooth, 18.5% butterfat ice creams. McConnell’s dairy-free is also lower in fat and sugar, cholesterol-free and non-GMO.

“People who crave great ice cream want to taste great ice cream, whether it’s dairy-based or not. The last thing we want to have to do is apologize for giving customers a lesser experience. They shouldn’t have to settle,” says Palmer.

The line comes in five flavors. They are: Cookies & Cream, Dark Chocolate Chip, Eureka Lemon & Marionberries, Toasted Coconut Almond Chip and Turkish Coffee.

Trend #4: Making Ice Cream Fun Again
These first three trends are all about better-for-you and indulgence. Remember when ice cream was fun? Ben & Jerry’s has managed, for the most part, to remain entertaining. But many other brands, in efforts to be simpler and more natural, have stopped being whimsical and lost their kid appeal.
 
Nestle Ice Cream is filling that void this summer. Licensing the Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman characters from DC Comics, Nestle Ice Cream has rolled out three light ice creams under both the Dreyer’s and Edy’s brands. In efforts to get mom’s stamp of approval, the ice creams are free from artificial colors and flavors. The three varieties are:

Batman’s Dark Knight Brownie Bite is chocolate light ice cream mixed with bat-shaped chocolatey pieces, brownie chunks and fudge swirl.

Superman’s Krypton Cookie Dough is cookie dough-flavored light ice cream with red and gold cookie dough pieces and blue sprinkles.

Wonder Woman’s Golden Lasso is swirled vanilla- and caramel-flavored light ice cream with star-shaped caramel chips and graham cracker variegate.

There are comics on the back of each package. Consumers collect all four comics from each superhero to read an exclusive adventure.

The company is also selling red, white and blue Sour Patch Kids ice cream exclusively through Walmart. The limited-edition product is a mix of lemon sorbet and vanilla ice cream with a red berry swirl and chunks of blue gummy candy.

Ice Cream Specialties, a division of Prairie Farms Dairy, now offers North Star Pucker Powder Sour Bars. These extreme sour frozen dairy novelties come in Green Apple, Lemon, Watermelon and Wild Cherry flavors.

As mentioned, Ben & Jerry’s leads in the fun ice cream segment. The Unilever brand has partnered with the band Phish for a third flavor: It’s Ice…Cream. (Pictured at beginning of blog.) This flavor features caramel malt ice cream with almond toffee pieces, fudge fish and a caramel swirl. It was one of the original flavor concepts in the running, back in 1997, to become Phish Food.


Ben & Jerry’s is also introducing three new cookie dough flavors for scoop shops and delivery only. Ben & Jerry’s created the first cookie dough ice cream back in 1984, and now the brand is introducing three new dough-riginal flavors.


They are:

Off The DOUGH Block! is chocolate chip and chocolate ice cream with chocolate chip cookie dough and chocolate chip cookies.

P.B. DOUGHble Chocolate is dark and milk chocolate ice creams with peanut butter cookie dough and swirls of peanut butter cookie butter.

Cinn-DOUGH-rella! is cinnamon and caramel ice cream with cinnamon bun dough, shortbread cookies and oatmeal cinnamon cookie swirls.

Trend #5: A New Look with New Flavors
The final trend is as much about the product as it is about the package. A number of companies are giving their ice cream packages makeovers in order to better stand out in what is an extremely crowded retail freezer.

Hiland Dairy Foods is introducing three new ice cream flavors of its premium ice cream in new packages that feature crisp graphics with light blue backgrounds. More importantly, Hiland redesigned the packaging in response to consumer and grocer requests for more food label transparency and less packaging waste.

“The new packages align with our improved transparency in food labeling, which we began implementing earlier this year with double labels on our milk products,” says Rick Beaman, vice president, Hiland Dairy. “We also wanted our ice cream packaging to create less consumer waste in landfills, and that’s part of our commitment to sustainability and preserving the planet for future generations. And, as we celebrate 80 years of Hiland Dairy, we thought a new ice cream package would help celebrate our longevity.”

The three new flavors are:

Hiland Time Traveler was inspired by the revolutionary new Time Traveler roller coaster at Silver Dollar City, billed as the world’s fastest, steepest and tallest pinning coaster. The new ice cream flavor features French silk ice cream spun with marshmallow bonbons, chocolate flakes and thick fudge sauce.

Caramel Waffle Cone is caramel ice cream with milk chocolate swirls and fudge covered waffle cone pieces.

Cherry Chocolate Chunk is cherry-flavored ice cream with pieces of real cherries and chocolate chunks.

Humboldt Creamery also has a new look with new flavors. The company’s latest organic ice cream flavors are Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip. The new-and-improved package design features an increased logo for improved identification and a watercolor illustration of the beautiful Humboldt landscape and two grazing dairy cows.
http://www.sensoryeffects.com/our-products/frozen-dessert-systems