The “Summer Inspiration Series” of Friday blogs is all about stepping out of our comfort zone in terms of innovation. Why not? We’re already operating in an unprecedented manner. Some blogs may explore new concepts in “other” food and beverage categories and discuss how they may apply to dairy, others may focus on new consumer behaviors and brainstorm on how dairy foods processors may respond in coming months.
And yes, Cheetos Mac ‘n Cheese is a real thing. It debuts August 8 in single box and cup format exclusively at Walmart stores nationally.
Many of us became grazers before COVID-19. The boundaries had blurred between what constituted a snack and what was a meal. Snacking had become the most significant food and beverage occasion. And, it still is. Dairy processors are wise to develop products that meet this need.
The International Food Information Council (IFIC) recently published its 2020 Food & Health Survey, which was conducted between April 8 and April 16, about one month into the COVID-19 mayhem. The survey showed that 85% of Americans have made at least some change in the foods they eat or how they prepare food.
Among the 85% who have made any change, 60% of Americans report cooking at home more. Respondents also said they are snacking more (32%). Specifically, 41% of respondents under 35 said they are snacking more than normal (compared to 26% of respondents age 50+). Additionally, 41% of parents with children under 18 are snacking more (versus 29% without children).
Consistent with the 2019 IFIC study, one in four (26%) consumers say they snack multiple times a day and another third snack at least daily. Most often, snacking happens because people simply feel hungry or thirsty. The second most common reason is snacks are viewed as a treat. More than a third (38%) of consumers say they at least occasionally replace meals by snacking, with lunch being the meal most often replaced. Another quarter of Americans sometimes skip meals entirely.
The factors that drive food purchasing decisions have remained quite stable over the past decade, according to the IFIC study. Taste and price are not surprisingly still the top factors for decisions; however, when consumers were asked how their decision-making compares, more than half say healthfulness matters more to them now. Specifically, 54% of all consumers and 63% of those age 50+, care more about the healthfulness of their choices than they did in 2010.
Need assistance with sugar reduction? Plan to attend the virtual “REFORMULATE: Advancing Sugar Reduction Technologies” conference on September 9. This event has a faculty of scientists and industry experts who will explore next-generation, natural sugar reduction-enabling technologies and ingredients. The goal is to connect with R&D decision-makers across food and beverage to provide actionable insights and approaches to successfully reformulate clean-label, consumer-accepted, taste-first, better-for-you, low- and no-sugar food and beverage products. This event will explore future trends, changing consumer priorities alongside technical, formulation and manufacturing considerations to inform the future of your sugar reduction R&D beyond the use of traditional sweeteners.
Whether you have a product in the market to reformulate or are looking to launch into the growing low- and no-sugar, better-for-you market, this meeting will equip you with the information and partnerships to succeed.
Why This is an Unmissable Event:
- Discover the changing consumer trends reshaping the food and beverage industry, and identify the actions needed to positively align your products with future consumer purchasing patterns to gain market share and protect the sustainability of future earnings.
- Determine how to effectively integrate a low- and no-sugar strategy into your current business model by developing a sustainable portfolio and communicating this with the consumer.
- Navigate and overcome the formulation and manufacturing challenges that can arise when replacing sugar to ensure your products do not compromise on taste, function, stability or caloric density.
- Discuss next-generation sugar processing technologies including physical, chemical, enzymatic and microbial methods, to reduce the sugar content of your food and beverage products, beyond the use of traditional sweeteners.
- Explore the cutting-edge scientific research in the field of sugar consumption and metabolism to inform your future R&D decisions.
Access the full event guide HERE for all details on the agenda.
This conference is being produced by Hanson Wade.