Thursday, July 2, 2015

Dairy Foods Innovations: IFT Trend #3 = Clean Label, Non-GMO and Other Trends to Look for at IFT
This is the third and final blog focused on ingredients, technical sessions and themes that dairy foods formulators should focus on at IFT15--Where Science Feeds Innovation. This annual meeting of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) takes place in Chicago July 11 to 14. See you there!

With the organic claim losing power and the natural claim highly scrutinized, many food and beverage marketers have started playing the clean-label and sustainable card. Terms such as “artisan,” “clean,” “earth friendly,” “local,” “pure” and “simple” are being used on product packages and websites. These terms, as well as non-GMO, promise to be talking points at IFT.

Marketers planning to make any of these next-generation label claims should be aware of their lawfulness. For immediate information on this topic, you can access an article I just wrote for Food Business News entitled “Clean Label Claims: A Legal Perspective.” You can access it HERE.

According to Innova Market Insights, the concept of clean label has moved beyond being a trend and is now regarded as standard in the food industry. Consumers are demanding shorter and more recognizable ingredient lists and manufacturers are responding by increasingly highlighting the naturalness and origins of their products.

Innova data show that more than 20% of U.S. products tracked in 2014 featured a clean-label positioning, up from 17% in 2013. However, with growing concerns over the lack of a definition of “natural,” there is a need for more clarity and specificity, with consumers, retailers, industry and regulators all driving the demand for more transparency in food labeling.

Photo source: Ingredion

“This demand for clean labeling has now brought the need for clear labeling equally to the fore,” says Lu Ann Williams, director of innovation at Innova, “resulting in a move to clearer and simpler claims and packaging for maximum transparency and necessitating an industry response in terms of reformulation and new communication strategies.”

“From Clean to Clear Label” was identified by Innova as number one in their top-10 trends for 2015, recognizing that it is no longer a niche area for the food and beverage industry. Clean label will be one of the areas addressed by Innova at its Taste the Trend Pavilion on the IFT expo floor.

Every expo day (Sunday, Monday and Tuesday), the following live presentations will be made:
  • 12:00pm: Clean Label and the Consumer
  • 1:30pm: Top Trends for 2015
  • 3:00pm: The Incredible Rise of “Free From”
Other Must-See Sessions for Dairy Foods Formulators
  • Session #61: Formulating for Clean Label Products: Regulatory, Market Drivers and Ingredient Selection Options for the Product Developer (Monday, July 13, 10:00am to 11:30am)

Photo source: Ingredion

In this session, speakers will explore the market
dynamics, drivers and patterns of clean-label formulating, setting a hierarchy of consumer product attributes within the clean-label space. This will be followed by a look at the regulatory and guidance landscape to help define terms and boundaries with an eye towards future direction of the regulatory bodies. Finally, there will be discussions on clean-label ingredient options for designing product texture and stabilization using gums and starches. Specific application segments such as beverage, dairy, protein drinks, bakery, sauces and dressings will be covered.

Angelina De Castro, senior marketing manager for wholesome innovation at Ingredion will discuss functional clean-label starches. She recently authored a white paper entitled “Novel Clean Label Stability Solutions: Functional Native Starches.” You can download the paper HERE.

She explains how delivering clean-label products on an industrial scale can be challenging, from processing and transportation to storage and preparation. In this white paper, readers learn how functional native starches perform to produce novel clean-label stability solutions within different applications and storage conditions.

 Photo caption: Dairy Pure & Natural Sour Cream now comes in a new squeeze bottle.

“Industry standards are evolving to include clean-label ingredients, specifically those that can withstand the harsh rigors of modern food processing and offer equivalent shelf-life stability to the modified standards, all with a simple, consumer-friendly label,” she writes. “Introduced more than a decade ago, functional native starches are a well-established solution for clean-label formulations. Functional native starch ingredients are different from traditional native starches, such as corn starch. Through proprietary processing, they possess the functionality of modified starches, but can be labeled simply according to their base description (e.g., corn starch, tapioca starch, rice starch, potato starch).”

For more information, please attend her session, as well as download that white paper HERE.  

Photo source: Ingredion

A particularly challenging area is the category of stirred yogurt. For specific formulation information on clean-label stabilization, download a white paper HERE.

My colleague Keith Nunes, editor of Food Business News, recently wrote a comprehensive article on the evolution of clean-label formulating, explaining that the clean-label trend is about establishing trust. You can access his article “Clean Label and the Trust Factor” HERE.

  • Session #82: Formulating from Seed to Shelf: GMO and Non-GMO Considerations (Monday, July 13, 2:15pm to 3:45pm)

Research from the Natural Marketing Institute shows that brands are at risk of losing volume from a majority of consumers (65%) if they do not go GMO-free, with almost one-third saying they would completely stop buying the brand if it contained GMOs. In this session attendees will learn more about the consumer landscape for non-GMO foods and the complex issues ingredient suppliers and consumer packaged goods companies face to ensure their products meet non-GMO standards. This session will also present an overview of identity preservation, from the field to the shelf.


Photo source: Ingredion

In case you missed the past two blogs on must-see sessions and trends at IFT, you can access them here:

  • IFT Trend #1 = Formulating Breakfast Foods. Link HERE to read more. 
  • IFT Trend #2 = Formulating with Colors from Natural Sources—And P.S., There’s an Egg Shortage. Link HERE to read more.

To U.S. subscribers of the Daily Dose of Dairy: have a wonderful Independence Day holiday weekend.

Hope to see all dairy foods formulators at IFT!

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