Thursday, April 7, 2022

Dairy Foods Innovations: Consider Making a “Keto-Friendly” Claim


Simply Delish Chocolate Keto Pudding is hitting Costco refrigerators in the South-East Region. It’s a vegan, ready-to-eat product. Dairy should be in this space.

I’ve had numerous industry folks reach out to me this week after reading my article “Going Keto” in Baking & Snack magazine. You can read it HERE

Most are surprised that keto remains a buzz word. In fact, one professional friend stated how shocked she was to see even more keto-labeled products at this year’s Natural Products Expo West show. She thought for sure it would have been a fad that died after the 2019 expo. In fact, most food marketers were skeptical on the longevity of its popularity and only a few jumped on the bandwagon with products marketed as keto friendly.

I’ve always believed it would not go away, as the word keto communicates a food’s composition. It’s less about following a keto diet and more about identifying foods that have low or no sugar and are pumped up with protein and fat. Seeing this four-letter word on foods suggests it has this composition. 

People don’t want “diet foods” or “weight loss foods.” Remember, that’s why Weight Watchers changed its name to WW. 

In general, products sporting a keto-friendly label tend to focus on the amount of a nutrient rather than a content claim, such as “contains 2 grams of net carbs” vs. “low sugar.” There’s also almost always a call out of protein content per serving, too. Keto is not about depriving yourself of carbohydrates. It’s about loading up on satiating nutrients that help you lose body fat and build muscle. 

Keep in mind that keto is not legally defined, nor is the term “net carbohydrates.” The latter refers to carbohydrates that the body digests and includes sugars naturally found in everything from fruit to milk, as well as caloric carbohydrates, such as wheat flour and other grains. Most calculations are made by taking the total carbohydrates in a food and subtracting fiber and sugar alcohols. 

The keto weight-loss regime emphasizes a diet that is about 70% fat, 20% protein, and 5% each simple carbohydrates and non-starchy vegetables. Such a diet forces the body into a metabolic state known as ketosis, which is when the body burns fat instead of carbohydrates for energy. The liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies, with the latter traveling to the brain and fueling the body, the traditional role of glucose obtained from carbohydrates. Burning ketones in place of glucose is associated with weight loss, reduced inflammation, sustained energy and more. 

There are a number of keto certifications available, which provide a seal for use on product labels and marketing materials. Trimona, for example, recently updated its yogurt packaging to put its use of A2A2-tested whole milk from grass-fed organic cows up front and center. The company also now includes the Keto Project Verified seal. 

Keto-friendly yogurts make sense. They speak to the trends that nutrition experts say are top of mind. 

The 10th annual Pollock Communications and Today’s Dietitian “What’s Trending in Nutrition” survey provides an in-depth look at the trends for 2022 and beyond, as well as a flashback to the past decade. With 1,173 Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) responding, this is the most comprehensive collection of data from nutrition experts actively working in the field. RDNs agree that the shift from low-carb to high-fat diets like the ketogenic diet is the most surprising change from the past decade, followed by plant-based eating, which is emphasized by the 2022 Top 10 Superfoods. (See infographic below.) 

“With the focus on health and immunity in the next decade, nutrient-dense options will be an important part of consumer diets, as they embrace food as medicine to help prevent disease,” says Louise Pollock, president of Pollock Communications. “In addition, there will likely be an increased interest in functional foods containing ingredients that provide health benefits beyond their nutrient profile.”

This is what yogurt is all about. 
Register HERE for “High Protein Yogurts--Principles, Challenges and Options.” Attendees will learn about market trends for yogurt. They will explore the importance of taste and texture and how to use the different components of milk to help maximize consumer preference. They will learn to overcome the challenges associated with higher-protein, low-sugar yogurts.

Top 10 Takeaways from the 10th annual “What’s Trending in Nutrition” survey 

1. Trends Throwback: In reviewing the past decade of changes in food and nutrition, RDNs are most surprised by the overcorrection in diet culture, from fat-free everything to the rise of the high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diet. Other notable changes include plant-based eating, nutrition misinformation from social media, gluten-free products, intermittent fasting, gut health and immunity, dairy-free and plant-based milk products, vegetarian and vegan diets, online grocery shopping and the multitude of fad diets that have emerged.

2. Purchase Drivers: As a result of the pandemic, RDNs predict the top-purchase drivers of 2022 will be foods and beverages that support immunity, are affordable and value-based and promote comfort and emotional well-being. Also, RDNs predict consumers will be looking for newer functional ingredients such as CBD, collagen and hemp in 2022 and beyond, continuing their rise in popularity.

3. What’s in a Label: “Convenience,” “healthy” and “taste” are the top attributes consumers look for (in that order) when making a food purchase, followed by “lower cost” and “natural.” Healthy first made the top-three list in 2019, as consumers began to better understand the connection between food and overall well-being.

4. It’s a Digital World: Ninety percent of RDNs cite online food shopping as the biggest trend from the pandemic that they believe will continue, compelling marketers to reimagine ways to reach consumers on virtual shopping platforms, including more online promotions, digital coupons and immersive virtual branding experiences.

5. Snack Attack: Due to the pandemic, 95% of RDNs say that consumers are snacking more. RDNs believe that the increase in snacking is related to more consumers working from home, followed by an increased desire for comfort foods.

6. The 2022 Top-10 Superfoods: Fermented foods are once again number one, likely because of their immune- and gut-boosting benefits. Superfood favorites like seeds, nuts and avocados have consistently made the list over the years, while ancient grains make a comeback for 2022 predictions. 

7. Bad Influence(r): “Influencers” show no sign of slowing down, but be wary of who you follow. RDNs say that consumers receive the most nutrition misinformation from social media with friends and family coming in second, and celebrities a close third.

8. Social Pseudoscience: The digital world is fueling false nutrition news according to RDNs who say these platforms are the top-three sources: Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. TikTok is new to the list this year knocking out blogs/vlogs for the number-three spot.

9. Fast Break: According to RDNs, the popular diet trends for 2022 are expected to be: intermittent fasting, ketogenic and clean eating.

10. Eat Your Veggies: Year after year, the top RD nutrition recommendation is to eat more servings of vegetables per day. RDNs also recommend that consumers limit highly processed foods or fast food as well as foods with added sugars, increase fiber intake and reduce saturated and trans-fats in the diet.

“The predictions of RDNs, the frontline experts in food and nutrition, are always reliable to help food and beverage manufacturers and marketers meet the demands of consumers,” says Mara Honicker, publisher of Today's Dietitian. “Our survey has accurately tracked health and wellness trends for a decade.” 

Don’t forget to register for “High Protein Yogurts--Principles, Challenges and Options.” You can use the banner ad below to link to the registration page. 

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