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Winter Regional IFT Event Recap

I recently attended the IFT Aksarben (IFT-A) winter meeting with my colleague Mark Hughes, and with the large turnout of attendees, it provided us a great opportunity to network and engage with other members. We also participated in the annual Silent Auction—an event where all the proceeds go toward scholarships for outstanding students dedicated to food science and IFT. The silent auction was a success with over 50 items donated from companies like ConAgra Foods, Cargill and Corbion.

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In addition to the silent auction, the IFT-A event included two speakers, Drs. Timothy and Deanna Sellnow of the University of Kentucky, both highly esteemed and well-established in their fields. They shared best practices for risk communications as well as strategies to use in the time of a crisis. Their presentation walked us through what they laid out as the IDEA Model: Internalization, Distribution, Explanation and Action.

The discussion covered a lot of the same issues we shared in our Food Science vs. Food Babe—Who Controls the Story series, and the risk communication strategies Drs. Timothy and Deanna provided were very similar to the communication tips we highlighted in our blog post and infographic titled, Top 5 Tips for Fighting the Food Babe and Opinion-driven Activists.

The presentation was a great reminder of the importance of having a communication strategy in place to allow food marketers a way to respond quickly to a crisis and communicate the strong and important food-science story they have to tell.

Connect with Liz Bloyd on Twitter and LinkedIn for the latest updates in food ingredient marketing.

New Website Provides Free Resources for Food Ingredient Marketers

A recently launched website designed around the needs of food ingredient marketing professionals, apfoodingredients.com, aims to help food ingredient companies overcome the challenges of customer engagement. The site provides examples of successful marketing programs that utilize industry best practices—giving visitors strategies and tactics they can utilize within their own marketing plans. It also features a blog devoted to the food ingredient industry, indepth, as well as industry news from a variety of prominent food ingredient publications.

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Developed by Anderson Partners Food Ingredient Marketing (APFIM), the site lets marketing professionals gain insights on a variety of topics including: marketing campaigns, trends, industry events and best practices in food ingredient marketing. A portfolio shows best practice examples that have been pivotal in successful marketing programs. Visitors can also search the site for articles and resources they need to help them identify opportunities to increase brand awareness and drive sales.

Mark Hughes, president of APFIM, stated, “With the launch of this new website, our audience can access resources to help them develop effective marketing campaigns aimed at enterprise-wide customer engagement. Having worked with some of the industry’s largest food ingredient companies, we know what matters most to the different B-to-B audiences and how companies can adapt their marketing communication models in an ever-evolving market landscape.”

2015 Consumer Food Trends Roundup

It’s that time of year when we look ahead as to what’s coming in the new year for the food industry. When it comes to the 2015 consumer food trends, consumer palates are continuing to evolve.insideblogAccording to the Supermarket Guru® Phil Lempert, you’ll see a shift in consumer preference in 2015 toward craft foods and fermented foods. Craft foods—typically associated with foods made in small batches with specialized, local ingredients—will be making their way into kitchens as major companies produce these products in larger quantities. Craft foods are not a new phenomenon by any means with craft beer from companies like MillerCoors® and Anheuser-Busch InBev. In 2015, look for this trend to expand into other beverages and foods as millennials; in particular, continue to seek unique tastes and foods with authentic origin stories. In addition to craft foods, 2015 will be the year fermented foods—foods like yogurt, tempeh and sauerkraut—will take center stage. A survey from ConAgra Foods found that nearly 50 percent of Americans have changed their diet to help improve digestion, with nearly 20 percent doing so in the past year.

According to Innova Market Insights, a move from ‘clean’ to ‘clear’ labeling will be a key trend for 2015 as consumers, retailers, industry and regulators push for more transparency in labeling. Another key focus in 2015 will be meeting the needs of the millennial consumer—those that are generally aged between 15 and 35 and who account for about one-third of the global population. Additional trends in 2015, according to Innova, include targeting the demands of the gourmet consumer at home, re-engineering the snacks market for today’s lifestyles and combating obesity with a focus on positive nutrition. Convenience continues to be of interest to consumers as there is ongoing interest in home cooking, which has driven the demand for a greater choice of fresh foods, ingredients for cooking from scratch and a wider use of recipe suggestions by manufacturers and retailers.

Innova also stated that formal mealtimes will continue to decline in popularity as it has seen a growing number of food and drinks that are now considered to be snacks. Quick, healthy foods tend to replace traditional meal occasions, and more snacks are targeted at specific moments of consumption, with different demand influences at different day parts. Consumers, in addition to ingredient suppliers and food producers, will also continue to be on the lookout for the next protein source—whey protein being popular for many years and still growing, while white pulse protein is rapidly emerging and algae protein applications are expected to surface in the future.

In our next blog post, we’ll look at what flavor trends are being forecasted for 2015.

 

Guest Correspondent Mark Crowell Reports on SupplySide West

From Oct. 6-10, thousands of food and beverage professionals gathered in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Events Center for SupplySide West 2014. This year’s event had the largest show floor featuring more than 1,700 booths, offering more than 10,000 ingredients and services.

This year, we had a guest correspondent, Mark Crowell, principal culinologist from CuliNex. SupplySide WMark Crowellest focuses  largely on ingredients for the supplement market, and the line between food and supplements has been shifting toward food for a number of years. According to Crowell, this was evident at this year’s SupplySide West where many supplement ingredient companies also promoted their products for food uses. Crowell spoke with Hartley Pond, vice president technical sales at FutureCeuticals, and Pond conveyed that, “there is fatigue in the supplement market from too many single active ingredient products having made too many health claims.” This perspective was echoed by Paul Altaffer, chief innovation officer at RFI, LLC. Altaffer stated, “There is almost a retro movement going on in supplements. It is a move away from standardized extracts to more natural, whole food products.”

Altaffer continued, “The three hottest ingredients right now are various forms of turmeric, black garlic and ginger.” These are all clearly food ingredients, but people have been using them in the dietary supplement industry and delivering them as tabs, caps, gels and powders. Both Altaffer and Pond believe the trend toward supplement ingredients being used as food ingredients will strengthen.

Black garlicThanks to Mark Crowell for his report on this year’s SupplySide West. To learn more about his company, CuliNex, visit the website at http://www.culinex.biz/.

Fall Regional IFT Event Full of Flavors

On the evening of Sept. 23, I attended my first IFT Aksarben Section (IFT-A) fall meeting at a local restaurant located here in Omaha, Neb. The event was a great opportunity to socialize and network with others in the food industry from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and companies like ConAgra Foods, International Spices and DuPont Nutrition and Health.

In addition to networking at the event, IFT-A sponsored a guest speaker from FONA International (FONA). FONA delivered a presentation from their Flavor University®, “Keeping Up with What’s Next,” and engaged the audience in an interactive discussion and sampling of emerging flavor trends.

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As part of their presentation, FONA highlighted the new wave of exotic fruits like Huckleberry, which is an up and coming fruit based on FONA’s Flavor Radar®—a flavor-mapping methodology— with a mildly sweet, astringent flavor and is commonly used in jams, preserves and baked goods. Following the new wave of exotic fruits, FONA presented new ingredients and provided samples for the audience to taste, smell and touch as each new ingredient was highlighted onscreen.

One ingredient that stood out to me in the presentation was cupuaçu (pronounced koo-poo-ah-soo). Many of us at the table tasted a flavor profile similar to chocolate. But what caught my attention was how FONA referred to the ingredient as a pharmacy in a fruit. Cupuaçu, from the rain forests in Brazil, provides antioxidants and other benefits to the digestive system. In addition, the theobromides in cupuaçu act like caffeine to provide energy and alertness. Some of its traditional applications include desserts, ice cream, chocolates and beverages like milk and juice.

Other ingredients we sampled were baobab, cherimoya, feijoa, jackfruit, maqui berry and persimmon. FONA has all of these ingredients, including cupuaçu, on their watch list as they see how their uses will be expanded in the future. One thing FONA pointed out was that the availability of some of the ingredients they presented will become a factor as to how quickly they enter the market in the U.S.

FONA did a great job presenting the emerging flavor trends they’re seeing; it will be interesting to watch what new products and applications will be introduced or reformulated with these exotic flavors.

New Website Provides Free Resources for Food Ingredient Marketers

A recently launched website designed around the needs of food ingredient marketing professionals, apfoodingredients.com, aims to help food ingredient companies overcome the challenges of customer engagement. The site provides examples of successful marketing programs that utilize industry best practices—giving visitors strategies and tactics they can utilize within their own marketing plans. It also features a blog devoted to the food ingredient industry, indepth, as well as industry news from a variety of prominent food ingredient publications.

APFIMNewWebsitePressReleaseDeveloped by Anderson Partners Food Ingredient Marketing (APFIM), the site lets marketing professionals gain insights on a variety of topics including: marketing campaigns, trends, industry events and best practices in food ingredient marketing. A portfolio shows best practice examples that have been pivotal in successful marketing programs. Visitors can also search the site for articles and resources they need to help them identify opportunities to increase brand awareness and drive sales.

Mark Hughes, president of APFIM, stated, “With the launch of this new website, our audience can access resources to help them develop effective marketing campaigns aimed at enterprise-wide customer engagement. Having worked with some of the industry’s largest food ingredient companies, we know what matters most to the different B-to-B audiences and how companies can adapt their marketing communication models in an ever-evolving market landscape.”

Ingredient Suppliers Have a Brand Story to Tell, Too

Our industry expert, Mark Hughes, recently spoke to Maggie Hennessy from FoodNavigator-USA and provided his insights for an article about industry best practices in food ingredient marketing. The article, Anderson Partners: Ingredient Suppliers Have a Brand Story to Tell, Too, presents effective branding and marketing opportunities for food ingredient companies to adapt into their marketing communication platforms that will help them demonstrate the value of their ingredients in their customers finished products.

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From industry best practices such as branded sample packaging, featuring ingredient applications, growing an internet footprint and enterprise-wide communications, the article highlights the importance of delivering your brand story and maintaining visibility in as many venues as possible to reach your audience and increase marketplace success.

Mark Hughes will be speaking more to this topic in a workshop titled, Best Practices in Food Ingredient Marketing Communications in London at the Fi Global Summit on Sept. 23.

Fi Global Summit Workshop: Best Practices in Food Ingredient Marketing Communications

From Sept. 23-25, thought leaders from the food and beverage industry across the globe will be brought together at the Fi Global Summit to inspire new ideas around ingredients, innovation and trends.

In his workshop titled Best Practices in Food Ingredient Marketing Communications, Mark Hughes, president of Anderson Partners Food Ingredient Marketing, will share valuable insights about the ever-evolving market landscape for food ingredient companies, and how companies can effectively utilize newer communication platforms for successful business-to-business marketing plans.

During the workshop, attendees will gain real-time knowledge to increase marketplace success in key categories including bakery, beverage, dairy, retail-own brands and confectionary, as well as target audiences within those categories including CEOs, marketing, R&D and purchasing.

Keeping Customers EngagedThe workshop will include specific case histories from leading global companies on successful strategies and tactics. Examples will cover engaging with customers through enterprise-wide communications; successful strategies and tactics to increase brand awareness and drive sales; and incorporating new marketing communication models to execute a fully integrated business-to-business marketing plan.

To learn more about the Fi Global Summit and to view a complete conference program, click here.

Ardent Mills Mobile Innovation Center: Driving Grain Innovation to Customers

Ardent Mills IFT Booth

As mentioned in our IFT ҅14 Round Up blog post, Ardent Mills unveiled their newly formed company that combines the operations of ConAgra Mills and Horizon Milling and introduced their new customer engagement vehicle, the Mobile Innovation Center (MIC).

At 57-feet-long, the MIC is a state-of-the-art culinary center with a multipurpose platform designed to bring on-site culinary creativity, hands-on education and interactive R&D support right to customers’ front doors. A converted NASCAR truck featuring two levels with plenty of storage, the MIC has the flexibility to change out equipment to fit the needs of customers at their locations or at community events that it travels to. The Mobile Innovation Center carries a wide variety of ingredient products, a full suite of culinary and commercial baking equipment and a multipurpose meeting space with audiovisual capabilities to aid in education and ideation when onsite.

Ardent Mills Rig and Trailer BackWith the Mobile Innovation Center, Ardent Mills has a great tool to further engage with customers, helping them turn their next great idea into a reality—right at their doorstep. The Mobile Innovation Center will be driving grain innovation across North America when it goes on the road beginning in the fall of 2014.

Fi Global Summit in London to Feature Industry Experts and Thought Leaders

 

Brought to you by the team behind Food Ingredients Europe, the Fi Global Summit is a brand new event that will provide an unbiased, content-rich meeting place to accelerate new ideas and gain an overview of key trends in the global food ingredients and finished foods markets. With the main agenda on 24 Sept. and 25 Sept., plus a day of pre-Summit workshops and master classes, the Fi Global Summit will combine business networking at the exclusive Marketplace with cutting-edge scientific and technical updates, corporate-strategy case studies and presentations from visionary researchers and thought leaders.

The conference will feature presentations by a number of leading food ingredient experts and senior leaders from major global food companies including Unilever, Nestlé and General Mills. The latest industry research will be presented by Leatherhead Food Research and Innova Market Insights as well as Euromonitor International. A newly developed workshop and master class on Best Practices in Food Ingredient Marketing Communications will be presented by Mark Hughes, president of Anderson Partners Food Ingredient Marketing.

The complete conference program can be viewed online at http://www.figlobalsummit.com.

Carmi Flavors: Best Practices for Exporting US Food & Beverage Products Overseas

As mentioned in a previous blog post, Carmi Flavors does a great job of content marketing through their targeted email newsletters. We’ve recently partnered with them on sharing content. Featured below is an article that was written by Lindsey Radek from Carmi Flavors about best practices for exporting US food & beverage products overseas.

Best Practices for Exporting US Food & Beverage Products Overseas
Author: Lindsey Radek, Carmi Flavors

The US-China Business Council’s (USCBC) annual report on US State Exports to China shows that the world’s second-largest economy continues to be an important market for the economic health of American companies and farmers. In 2013, US exports to China reached $120 billion, making it the third-largest export market for US goods behind Canada and Mexico.

These numbers show the growing potential for US food and beverage companies looking to expand their brand beyond American soil. We recently sat down with Peter Guyer, president of Athena Marketing International (AMI), a leading consulting firm in global food and beverage exportation, and picked his brain on the best way to take advantage of the growing international food and beverage markets.

AMI works in more than 130 countries, importing US food & beverage products, specifically Europe, Asia and South America. Guyer added AMI has seen a recent increase in demand in the Middle East and Africa.

Guyer’s Top Tips for Successfully Exporting your Product:

  1. Comply with packaging regulations: Research the country’s packaging requirements that you are targeting.
  2. Write ingredients in the appropriate foreign language.
  3. Comply with import regulations: Make sure there are no ingredients that are prohibited—a lot of preservatives used in the US are prohibited in foreign countries. For more information, read the recently revised country requirements from the USDA.
  4. Best selling products include mass market items: potato chips, snack foods and meat products—products that are well-known in foreign countries.
  5. Products that are novel, innovative and new do well: The markets are smaller, therefore sales are lower but the growth rate is high.
  6. Europe is hot: They are just getting out of a lengthy recession and their buying power is coming back to where it was five years ago.
  7. Attend/Exhibit major international trade shows: Particularly in Europe—ANUGA Cologne and SIAL Paris. Guyer said Gulfood in the Middle East is a trade show you can’t miss. And, Asia has many major trade shows, but they are more segmented by categories within food and beverage.

More From AMI

 

Summer Food Trends: Food Trucks and Street Food – UPDATE

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][container][text_output]As warmer weather approaches and more consumers look for cuisines they can enjoy while being outdoors, food trucks and street food are lining the curbs and sidewalks. In a recent article onMeat&Poultry.com, TGI Friday’s announced the launch of their Handcrafted America Tour—featuring food sampling trucks that will tour multiple cities in the U.S. that will serve free bites from their new menu. As we’ve reported in previous blog posts and as you’ll see below, food trucks and street food continue to be leading trendsetters in new culinary developments for corporate chefs and the R&D crowd.

As you travel on vacation this summer or if you happen to be out enjoying the day and come across a food truck or sample some street food cuisine, take a photo and send it to us. We’re always on the lookout for interesting examples that we can share.

Street Food in Europe

Originally Posted: Jan. 16, 2013

Author: Mark Hughes

Food trucks and street food continue to receive a lot of attention in the U.S. and have become a leading trendsetter in new culinary developments for corporate chefs and the R&D crowd. With all this national buzz, we thought it would be interesting to take a look at how street food translates in Europe, where there are centuries of history in food markets and street food stalls.

Our international food marketing correspondent took a European river cruise, stopping off at street food markets in several major cities. Looking through the photos that were sent, we noticed several interesting differences in how street food is prepared and presented in Europe, versus major U.S. cities. Onsite preparation of raw ingredients is usually banned in the U.S., while it is a staple of European street vendors. Products like dairy and eggs, that require refrigeration in the U.S., are just as often presented in open air displays without refrigeration in Europe. Wines and liquors, heavily regulated in the U.S., are much more commonly available in European street markets. The photos on the side show several interesting examples.[/text_output][/container][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][rev_slider_vc alias=”streetfoodeurope”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Carmi Flavors Uses Channel-specific Email Marketing to Target Customers and Prospects

We are always on the lookout for good content-marketing campaigns. One of the platforms we look to is email. Email marketing is considered a best practice to use for generating sales leads. Since most people, on average, receive over a hundred emails a day, email marketing can have its challenges. But, those challenges can easily be overcome with the right message, creative visuals and relevant links to sources of information for customers and prospects.

Carmi Flavors E-newslettersCarmi Flavors uses targeted email marketing, broken out by channels like Beverage, Bakery, Pizza and Restaurant, to reach its customers and prospects. We recently received an e-newsletter from Carmi Flavors called Beverage Exchange. The e-newsletter focused on the marketplace and industry news topics that would be of interest to its beverage manufacturer customers and prospects. The e-newsletter had a table of contents, with each headline linking to the relevant article or heading within the e-newsletter, allowing readers to easily navigate the content based on their interest. In addition to interactive and engaging content, Carmi Flavors also incorporated a beverage application photo—another best practice in the food ingredient industry.

Aside from distributing the e-newsletter, Carmi Flavors posts a link to the web version of the e-newsletter on its website, along with the other channel-specific e-newsletters it distributes.

By using targeted email marketing campaigns, Carmi Flavors can showcase its knowledge of each channel and provide relevant information to the specific food manufacturers its sales teams are targeting. Many sales forces find it difficult to penetrate R&D, product development and marketing departments on their own. With the use of email marketing, sales teams are provided a detailed tracking report that shows them who has opened and clicked on links within the email—what we would consider a follow-up list of qualified leads.

Carmi Flavors provides us a great example of the best practice of using email marketing to target customers and prospects to generate qualified sales leads. To learn more about this best practice as well as other industry best practices, click here to request a copy of our Best Practice Research Report for food ingredient marketers, or if email marketing is something you’d like more information on and want help incorporating it into your marketing communications, let us know.

Land O’Lakes Green Chile Queso Sample Packaging Has Some Kick

Over the years, we’ve received numerous product samples from food ingredient companies and routinely, they arrive in plain baggies or boxes with simple product labels. We feel these particular sample packages—ones that land in the hands of customers—are missed opportunities for brand reinforcement and targeted sales messaging. As an industry best practice, branding product sample packaging will make a lasting impression among the customers and prospects who receive your samples.

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A great example of this industry best practice is one we recently received from Land O’Lakes Ingredients. For the introduction of their new Green Chile Queso dairy seasoning, Land O’Lakes Ingredients mailed out a sample package that consisted of a branded box with an engaging call-to-action message that said “Check inside for another bright idea from Land O’Lakes Ingredients.”

Along with the branding on the outside of the box, the inside of the lid contained a strong marketing message and also featured a branded trifold brochure that defined the ingredient product and sample application within the package. The brochure also had a call-to-action that provided customers and prospects the contact information to learn more and/or order the Green Chile Queso dairy seasoning.

In addition to the branded box and collateral, each of the samples contained a branded label that clearly detailed the contents of the container. The Green Chile Queso tortilla chips application sample had a simple white label with the Land O’Lakes Ingredients logo, while the Green Chile Queso dairy seasoning sample had a branded label that matched the look and feel of the brochure and box it was shipped in.

All in all, Land O’Lakes Ingredients’ Green Chile Queso sample package is a great example of turning a product sample package into a customer communication tool that reinforces the brand and delivers a strong targeted message.

Visit our website to learn more about the industry best practice of branding your product sample packaging. To get a detailed analysis of marketing communications in the food ingredients industry, click here to request a copy of our Best Practice Research Report for food ingredient marketers.

Food Fads, Like Greek Yogurt, Often Missed Opportunities – UPDATE

A blog article on food fads was recently published on Harvard Business Review’s Blog Network, and it caught our attention: “Why the Greek Yogurt Craze Should be a Wake-Up Call to Big Food.” Food fads develop quickly as you’ll see below in one of our previous blog posts, Greek Yogurt is the Celebrity Ingredient. With consumers so tightly connected to each other through social media and word-of-mouth, they are more likely to follow advice from others than in the past. According to the Harvard Business Review blog article, major food manufacturers need to consider steps to their marketing approach that are more customer-centric rather than marketer-centric. The Greek yogurt craze left a lot of major food companies to play catch up rather than take off like Chobani, the second largest yogurt seller in the U.S.

Greek Yogurt is the Celebrity Ingredient
Originally posted Oct. 3, 2013

Author: Mark Hughes

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, Greek yogurt is becoming a refrigerator staple as consumers seek healthy, “authentic” foods, even though it’s often pricier. In fact, Greek yogurt now accounts for a quarter of the sales in the total yogurt market. In an article posted by the Los Angeles Times, Greek yogurt, overall, has had one of the fastest growth spurts the food and beverage industry has seen in years.

Ben&JerrysGreekYogurtA social media post introducing Yasso’s Greek yogurt smoothies sparked a lot of discussion around Greek yogurt and its newfound popularity. Greek yogurt is on an accelerated growth spurt and many popular brands are modifying their products to keep up.

The increase in popularity behind Greek yogurt led to Ben & Jerry’s introduction of their line of frozen treats. According to their press release, four flavors contain real Greek Yogurt. The flavors of yogurt, still regarded as indulgent desserts, reap the benefits of containing real Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is made through a traditional straining process allowing more of the whey to drain out, leaving a thicker, smoother yogurt that’s high in protein and low in fat.

Expect to see more brands incorporating Greek yogurt into their health and wellness products. There always seems to be at least one “celebrity ingredient” in the market and Greek yogurt looks to be it for 2013.

 

iTi Tropicals Launches Coconut Water Concentrate Website to Help Developers Take Advantage of the Growing Coconut Water Trend

iTi Tropicals, Inc., a leading U.S. supplier of processed exotic tropical fruits, recently launched a new website to help developers better understand coconut water concentrate and the benefits of incorporating it as an ingredient in their products.

Coconut Water Concentrate - Website

Natural coconut water is the water inside of a coconut. It is naturally filtered for nine to twelve months through the dense fibers of the coconut creating a nutritious, pure and refreshing isotonic beverage. Coconut water is naturally sterile and has five essential electrolytes, more potassium than a banana, no added sugars, no fat, no cholesterol and no preservatives. It is excellent for replacing lost electrolytes from exercise and illness. It may be incorporated into many beverage applications and is regarded as a natural sports drink.

For developers who want to compare the cost and calories for several ingredients, or see a more comprehensive cost and calorie calculation for new beverage development, they can click on the tab for the product ingredient calculator, pictured below. In addition to the calculator, developers can also access FAQs, application ideas and coconut water news on the website.

Coconut Water Concentrate - Calculator

When selecting a source for coconut water, iTi Tropicals, Inc. urges customers to carry out authenticity testing to make sure no sugars, additives and/or preservatives are added. “At iTi Tropicals, nothing is added to our coconut water concentrate—no sugars, no citric acid, no potassium and no sulfur dioxide. We know where and how it is produced, from plantation to coconut water concentrate, and we give our customers confidence in declaring ‘no sugar added’ on their products,” states Gert van Manen, president of iTi Tropicals, Inc.

iTi Tropicals, Inc. has led the way in providing the food industry with conventional coconut water concentrate 60 brix and has added organic coconut water concentrate, young coconut water, acidified coconut water and soon will introduce an acerola acidified coconut water concentrate, providing 100% daily value for vitamin C.

2014 Foodservice Trends Roundup

Foodservice Photo

At the end of 2013, many organizations published foodservice industry trends forecasts for the New Year. We’re rounding up what appear to be the most prominent predictions published. Almost 1,300 members of the American Culinary Federation were surveyed for the The National Restaurant Association (NRA) 2014 Culinary Forecast. Looking at the trends, it is easy to see that “local/sustainable” will be buzzwords in 2014. Six of the top 10 trends relate to local/sustainable foods: Locally sourced meats and seafood, locally grown produce, environmental sustainability, hyper-local sourcing, sustainable seafood and farm/estate branded items. Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the NRA’s research and knowledge group, stated, “Today’s consumers are more interested than ever in what they eat and where their food comes from, and that is reflecting in our menu trends research.”

Technomic agrees in its 10 Trends for 2014, diners’ interest in the origin of their food will continue to grow in 2014. Consumers not only want to know their food is local and sustainable but also want to know that it is authentic, with the report stating, “If the restaurant positions itself as authentically Italian, for instance, it must use ingredients sourced from Italy and/or prepared using authentic Italian methods.” Politics are also predicted to influence consumers’ restaurant choices in 2014. Technomic believes that in 2014, consumers will be more likely to visit restaurants that align with their views and values, whether the decision is deliberate or not.

Sterling-Rice Group’s Cutting-edge Dining Trends 2014 point to more specific local and sustainable ingredients we can expect to see on menus. According to the report, small scale-produced protein sources like goat, rabbit and pigeon will be touted as “feel good” meat options, while seaweed will be a sustainable snack and seasoning. Many of Sterling-Rice Group’s trends revolve around innovative ways to increase nutritional content and maintain high impact flavors—from exploring nut milk applications in sauces and ice creams to poaching meats and vegetables in coffee. Chefs will also utilize tea for its ability to bring flavor to dinners and desserts without increasing fat content. However, not every trend is health conscious; the report states refined classic American items, like steak tartar and creamy bleu cheese drenched salads, will satisfy consumer cravings for full-fat food. What interesting foodservice trends have you seen? Feel free to share your thoughts and predictions in the comment section.

2014 Consumer Food Trends Roundup

Grocery Shopping

In last year’s blog post regarding 2013 consumer trends predictions, we commented on a theme we were seeing: health and wellness. As we researched and read industry news on consumer trend predictions for 2014, we found the theme to be similar with the addition of convenience.

Recent research shows the number of Americans who grab food on the run, without differentiating between meals or snacks, is growing. However, consumers are raising the bar and demanding healthy snacks made with natural ingredients. The SuperMarket Guru, Phil Lempert, predicts that brands and nutritionists will embrace snacking for better health in 2014, and food manufacturers will expand their offerings to ensure healthier snacks are available to consumers. In his 2014 food trend predictions, the SuperMarket Guru also states that consumers will be taking a fresh look at the companies who produce their food—but not just for the products they make. Consumers want to buy products from brands that give a sense of purpose to their product and align with their own core values.

According to another report put out by the market research firm, RTS Resource, consumers are increasingly looking for convenient, prepared products that allow them a “feel-good” experience by performing the last step of the preparation, unlike straight ready meals that go directly in the oven. By having these products available, it may absolve some of the guilt felt by consumers who say they do not want to spend any more than an average of 25 minutes preparing a meal. They also see a trend in consumers seeking out natural protein within convenient products as interest in high protein diets continues to grow. RTS Resource also predicts a trend in consumers seeking healthy alternatives of recognizable products that push interesting ingredients and exciting flavor blends as opposed to being marketed as a health food.

Consumers have heard a million times over, breakfast is the most important meal of the day as it jump-starts their metabolism for the rest of the day. In a recent ConAgra Foods survey, more than 75 percent of the respondents have stated they regularly eat breakfast at home. Mintel reports that consumers are looking more to foods like eggs, meats and Greek yogurt, as well as whole grain products for their breakfast, to help them live a healthier lifestyle without compromising taste and indulgence. In 2014, brands will adjust their products in response to this trend and expand the category of morning meal offerings.

In the era of social media—where we can connect through culture, news, stories and experiences from all over the world at lightening speeds—there is great opportunity for the food industry. Social media allows consumers to learn about the products they love to eat and connect with brands on a social level like never before. The SuperMarketGuru predicts that in 2014, we will see technology shape how consumers shop, influence their food preferences and change what product brands offer to meet consumer needs. To read more on the SuperMarket Guru’s food trend predictions for 2014, clickhere.

 

2014 Flavor Trends Roundup

Flavor Trends

Emerging flavors from Latin America and India, as well as consumers’ growing fascination with chilies will have a big impact in 2014, according to McCormick & Co., Inc.’s Flavor Forecast 2014.

McCormick’s annual report highlights five top food trends and more than a dozen emerging flavors that their experts from around the world predict will impact the way consumers eat in the coming years. One such trend is the growing obsession with chilies. Chilies continue to influence culinary trends as consumers experiment with different varieties and heat levels. Another trend McCormick highlighted was the multiuse of ingredients that can be used in clever new ways such as tea, which is gaining popularity beyond sipping into rubs, broths and marinades; versatile cilantro/coriander; and as well as noodles, which can be incorporated into soups, casseroles, stir fries and salads. McCormick also predicts the emergence of Indian cuisine as a global phenomenon and the growing interest of Brazilian flavors with the World Cup and Summer Olympics approaching as connectivity through social media helps drive adoption of flavors and trends from around the world. Rounding out the top five trends for 2014 are compact cooking and Mexican cuisine as regional dishes from Mexico are coming to the forefront allowing consumers to discover new dimensions of this cuisine south of the border.

According to Spicetec Flavors & Seasonings’ Mainstreaming Global Flavor Trends Market Brief, the world’s cuisine is coming to us. Peruvian cuisine is forecast as having the most impact on menus across the country in 2014. With Peruvian food, many dishes combine the flavors of Asia and South America with bold and spicy being common themes, according to Shane Maack, executive chef, Spicetec Flavors & Seasonings.

As we continue to read about and share with you more interesting predictions for 2014 food industry trends, feel free to leave us a comment with your thoughts and predictions on what trends you think the food industry will see in 2014.

 

SupplySide West Expo Round-up: Bioenergy Life Science, Solazyme and Trends from the Show

From Nov. 12-16, nearly 12,000 leaders and decision makers from around the world attended SupplySide West in Las Vegas—an 11 percent increase from 2012’s record-breaking turnout. The Expo Hall Floor was the show highlight and featured over 1,700 booths offering more than 10,000 ingredients, technologies and services.

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I was able to attend this year and walk the floor of the expo. I had the opportunity to visit the Bioenergy Life Science booth. Aside from featuring their Olympic-gold athletes, Susan Francia and Billy Demong, they featured their food and beverage ingredient, Bioenergy Ribose. Bioenergy Ribose is a functional ingredient that is easy to incorporate into food and beverage formulation and enhances a product’s nutritional profile. It has been proven effective as a functional ingredient by providing faster energy recovery, increasing energy reserves, building ATP in skeletal and cardiac tissue, maintaining healthy energy levels in heart and muscle tissue, and regenerating energy. With over 1,700 booths to walk around, I was definitely reenergized with their samples of dark chocolate truffles and fruit chews.

Another booth I visited was Solazyme, where they were featuring their Whole Algal Flour—a nutrient and lipid rich-whole ingredient. The ingredient is an alternative to allergenic ingredients such as dairy and eggs and allows for a significant improvement in nutrition, while maintaining the overall texture of full fat foods. I was impressed with the test and control chocolate beverage sampling of the ingredient. The first sample I tried was the control, which I found out was a brand-name chocolate milk and the second sample I tasted was the test, which was a chocolate beverage made with the Whole Algal Flour. After tasting both samples, I preferred the test sample because the texture was a lot smoother and silkier than the name-brand chocolate milk and the taste was delicious.

Solazyme

In the two days I walked the show floor, I noticed a few ingredient trends: an emphasis on natural colors and flavors; probiotics with GRAS affirmation and for use in a wider range of product applications; omega-3s from both vegetarian and marine sources; and botanical ingredients. As we get closer to 2014, it will be interesting to see if these trends continue at trade shows and/or what new trends will surface.

Chiquita Fruit Solutions Wins Best Sustainability Initiative in Juice Award

Sustainability is one of the most important themes for all parts of the food and beverage industry—and juice is no exception. FOODNEWS World Juice recently awarded Chiquita Fruit Solutions the Best Sustainability Initiative in Juice Award for their passion fruit small-grower initiative. FOODNEWS World Juice held their annual conference in Cologne, Germany on Oct. 2-4 where their esteemed judging panel recognized Chiquita Fruit Solutions as the organization that has done the most to enhance the impact of the juice industry on the environment and society.           

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Chiquita Fruit Solutions won the award for developing the passion fruit small-grower initiative to improve the resource efficiency, minimize carbon footprint and to better share economic benefits throughout the supply chain. Through their initiative, Chiquita Fruit Solutions demonstrated impact on environmental performance and society and were innovative in finding solutions to common industry problems.

Revolutionizing the juice and fruit industry with their passion fruit small-grower initiative, Chiquita Fruit Solutions teamed up with the Rainforest Alliance to teach hundreds of Costa Rican farmers how to grow passion fruit for a living wage as opposed to subsistence farming. With the project underway for the past three years, farm families have strengthened as they’ve learned how to better protect the environment and gain financial control of their lives. For more information on the passion fruit small-grower initiative, visit the Chiquita Fruit Solutions website and watch their video to see firsthand how this win-win project has benefited customers, Chiquita Fruit Solutions as a supplier, and most importantly the lives of their farmers.

Land O’Lakes, Inc. Hires Anderson Partners for Business-to-Business Marketing Communications of Ingredients

Land O’Lakes, Inc. has hired Anderson Partners to help with their global business-to-business marketing communications efforts.

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Land O’Lakes, Inc., headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., offers food manufacturers worldwide quality dairy ingredients. With a continuous milk supply from their 3,200 dairy farmer members and control over a vast supply chain, Land O’Lakes, Inc. ensures a consistent, quality supply of dairy ingredients for its customers. Its ingredient offerings include cheese, milk powder, butter, whey, cheese powders and seasonings.

Jim Jarman, marketing and sales leader for the Ingredients Team at Land O’Lakes, Inc., stated that Anderson Partners Food Ingredients was hired “because we were very impressed with their depth of food ingredient experience and past successes. We know that their knowledge will be a valuable asset for our company and for our marketing communications goals.”

Mark Hughes, president of Anderson Partners, said, “We are very proud to have been chosen as Land O’Lakes, Inc.’s marketing communications partner. We are excited to be part of the Land O’Lakes team and are looking forward to helping them communicate the quality of their ingredients and value of their expertise to their global audience.”

Greek Yogurt is the Celebrity Ingredient

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, Greek yogurt is becoming a refrigerator staple as consumers seek healthy, “authentic” foods, even though it’s often pricier. In fact, Greek yogurt now accounts for a quarter of the sales in the total yogurt market. In an article posted by the Los Angeles Times, Greek yogurt, overall, has had one of the fastest growth spurts the food and beverage industry has seen in years.

A social media post introducing Yasso’s Greek yogurt smoothies sparked a lot of discussion around Greek yogurt and its newfound popularity. Greek yogurt is on an accelerated growth spurt and many popular brands are modifying their products to keep up.

Ben&JerrysGreekYogurt

The increase in popularity behind Greek yogurt led to Ben & Jerry’s latest introduction of their line of frozen treats. According to their press release, four flavors contain real Greek Yogurt. The flavors of yogurt, still regarded as indulgent desserts, reap the benefits of containing real Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is made through a traditional straining process allowing more of the whey to drain out, leaving a thicker, smoother yogurt that’s high in protein and low in fat.

Expect to see more brands incorporating Greek yogurt into their health and wellness products. There always seems to be at least one “celebrity ingredient” in the market and Greek yogurt looks to be it for 2013.

Salt Swap Initiative is Leading the Way in Australia’s Sodium Reduction

Recently we received a newsletter from Nu-Tek Salt Australasia—Nu-Tek Food Science’s Australasia partner— highlighting a new program, Drop the Salt Lithgow and its exciting health initiative, Salt Swap Lithgow. This program has been featured in the Lithgow Mercury news and is supported by The George Institute for Global Health, Lithgow City Council, local business and Nu-Tek Food Science, to help address Australia’s excessive salt consumption levels.

Pictured (from left to right): Jason Cummings, Nu-Tek Salt Australasia; Lithgow Black Panther; Maree Statham, Lithgow mayor; and Mary-Anne Land, The George Institute for Global Health.
Pictured (from left to right): Jason Cummings, Nu-Tek Salt Australasia; Lithgow Black Panther; Maree Statham, Lithgow mayor; and Mary-Anne Land, The George Institute for Global Health.

The Salt Swap initiative is an innovative campaign to reduce salt intake by “swapping” household table salt for Salt for Life™ Sea Salt Blend—a new sea salt blend with 70 percent less sodium than table salt. The campaign also includes reformulation of locally produced processed foods and using the FoodSwitch Smartphone application to help people make better food choices in the supermarket.

Drop the Salt Lithgow aims to reduce salt intake by 10 percent and is part of a broader initiative—supported by the World Health Organization (WHO)—seeking to identify scalable and sustainable salt-reduction policies that can be applied nationally and internationally.

To learn more about the Drop the Salt Lithgow community initiative and to join in their discussions, “Like” their Facebook page.

New iTi Tropicals YouTube Channel: A Great Source for Information on Exotic Tropical Fruits

iTi Tropicals has launched a YouTube channel for food product developers that contains lively and informative videos—providing an in-depth look at some of the on-trend and timely issues regarding popular tropical fruits being used in various food and beverage formulations and applications.

iTi Tropicals - YouTube

“Our new YouTube channel will allow us to share our worldwide knowledge on exotic tropical fruits with our customers and industry friends,” said Gert van Manen, president of iTi Tropicals.  Some of the new videos on the iTi Tropicals YouTube channel are:

– Guava – The Video—a five-minute overview of the Chiveria guava fruit that begins on the largest plantation in Ecuador and shows details of the sustainable farming and harvesting practices behind this premium fruit. The video also includes information on processing and production along with packaging of the Chiveria guava in convenient forms like purees, concentrates and essences flavored by product developers for a variety of food and beverage applications.

– Foodnews Juice Asia Address on Coconut Water Product Purity and Sustainability—the video of van Manen’s speech to the May 2013 symposium in Bangkok, Thailand, covers current coconut water trends including issues of ethical sourcing, sustainability and authenticity.

– Red Dragon Fruit Plantation in Thailand—a video showing what a red dragon fruit plantation looks like.

– Coconut Water and Coconut Meat—a lab demonstration showing how to utilize coconut meat for coconut water applications.

“We plan to introduce new videos on a regular basis that will feature more information on the variety of exotic tropical fruits available to product developers from around the world,” said van Manen. “We hope our customers and friends will visit the YouTube channel often to see our latest offerings.”

The iTi Tropicals YouTube channel is available at http://www.youtube.com/user/iTitropicalsInc.

Nu-Tek Food Science Wins Advertising Excellence Award

Nu-Tek Food Science was recently awarded an Advertising Excellence Award by Baxter Research Corp. for its trade magazine print ad introducing Nu-Tek Food Science’s Advanced Formula Potassium Chloride sodium-reduction ingredient product. The award was presented to Nu-Tek Food Science in recognition of outstanding overall readership of this advertisement as compared to all other advertisements appearing in the March 26, 2013, issue of Food Business News.

Dan and Dave Award

The Baxter Research ad study reports on ad performance in the context of three steps recognized as essential to the brand-building experience: exposure, engagement and involvement.

“We are very proud of this award,” said Dan Swoboda of Anderson Partners-Food Ingredients, “since it is recognition of the effectiveness of our creative strategy and presentation for Nu-Tek Food Science and their revolutionary, new sodium-reduction technology.”

Baxter Research Corp. (BRC) conducts original advertising and market survey research for firms operating in U.S. domestic and global markets. The privately held company is headquartered in Austin, Texas, and has been located there since 1989.

Food Business News is the food industry’s leading news and ingredient markets publication.

Pictured: Dan Swoboda, creative director at Anderson Partners-Food Ingredients and Dave Hickey, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Nu-Tek Food Science with the Advertising Excellence Award.

IFT ’13 Round-up: ConAgra Mills, Nu-Tek Food Science, Bioenergy Life Science and Land O’Lakes

From July 13-16, over 23,500 of the world’s top food professionals attended the IFT Annual Meeting and Food Expo in Chicago, Ill. At this year’s Food Expo, there were over 1,100 exhibitors showcasing their products through a variety of samples and product literature. I had the opportunity to walk the Expo floor all three days. While I wasn’t able to visit all the booths, I did get to visit quite a few that allowed me to sample their products in unique and flavorful applications. In the list of booths I was able to visit, there were a few exhibitors that really stood out:

Next-thing Thinking

  • ConAgra Mills—the go-to-source for innovative grain ingredients and Next-thing thinkingSM—had a team of experts available to guide attendees through four focus areas around their sampling counter: Fiber & Nutrition, School Foodservice and Kids’ Menus, New Ingredient Innovations, Food Safety & Cost Savings. With an impressive online culinary menu that was displayed on monitors around the booth and accessible by scanning a QR code, attendees had the opportunity to sample a variety of applications, such as Southern-style Biscuits and Sausage Gravy made with 51% Ultragrain® Whole Wheat Flour and Sustagrain® Flour; Puebla Macaroni & Cheese featuring Ultragrain Pasta PlusTM Elbows; and Chocolate Chip Cookies featuring SafeGuardTM Ready-to-Eat Flour.

Mini Chicago-style Hotdogs

  • Nu-Tek Food Science—the world leader in sodium reduction—invited attendees to taste the technology that’s winning over the experts. At the top of every hour during the Expo, reduced-sodium mini Chicago-style hotdogs, with a 35% reduced-sodium bun, 50% reduced-sodium hotdog and a Chicago-style giardiniera made with their new retail and foodservice product Salt for LifeTM Sea Salt Blend, were available for sampling. Through patented, single-crystal technology, Nu-Tek Food Science offers food manufacturers, foodservice operators and the food industry a cost-effective, clean-label solution to help meet the growing demand of sodium reduction.

Bioenergy Ribose

  • Bioenergy Life Science brought the sweet taste of innovation to IFT with their all-natural functional ingredient, Bioenergy Ribose. Visitors at the booth were able to sample a variety of energizing applications containing Bioenergy Ribose such as fruit chews, granola bars and dark chocolate truffles. Perfect for formulation in a variety of food and beverage applications, Bioenergy Ribose helps accelerate energy recovery, reduce muscle stiffness and provides greater endurance.

 

  • Land O'Lakes Team at IFT 13Land O’Lakes—the trusted name in dairy ingredients—brings food manufacturers the resources and dairy solutions that provide a real competitive advantage to the marketplace. During my visit with the Land O’Lakes team, they had me sample what I consider my favorite tasting of the entire Expo—hot buttery, cinnamon-flavored puffs. The hot buttery cinnamon flavor was fantastic and left my taste buds wanting more.

 

In our next blog post, we’ll share with you what we thought were the trends that dominated the Food Expo. In the meantime, feel free to leave us a comment below and share your thoughts on which exhibitors you think are bringing innovative ingredients and solutions to the food industry.

iTi Tropicals President Gives Important International Address on Coconut Water Sustainability and Purity

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][text_output]Gert_20130516In an important address at the May 16 Foodnews Juice Asia 2013 symposium in Bangkok, Thailand, iTi Tropicals, Inc. President Gert van Manen advocated that coconut water is a compelling ingredient with a bright future in the food and beverage market if it is labeled accurately. Van Manen’s speech, “Coconut Water: Fad or Sustainable Ingredient?” discussed the availability, benefits, technical challenges, market expansion and methods of delivery for coconut water. He also talked about issues of ethical sourcing, sustainability and authenticity.

iTi Tropicals Inc., a food ingredient company specializing in premium tropical flavors, has been developing and importing coconut water for the past nine years. Van Manen believes that coconut water is not a fad; it is here to stay. In his address, he also noted issues that, without proper attention, could derail coconut water’s long-term success in the marketplace. While consumer interest remains strong, he expressed concern that not all coconut water beverages are labeled accurately. Some products appear to have added sugar that is not disclosed on the label.

Van Manen said, “There is a big market for sugar-added beverages––much bigger than the market for 100% juice. But these products need to be labeled correctly.” Van Manen fears that consumers who don’t want the added sugar will be unhappy if they discover they are drinking a sugar-added beverage. He believes that regulators won’t be happy either. “This is why we spend so much time traveling the world to select and understand supply. It’s crucial for us to know who we’re doing business with. And we always test for authenticity.”

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Chiquita Fruit Solutions is Spinnovating

Chiquita Spinnovator

To help promote fresh ideas in fruit flavors, Chiquita Fruit Solutions launched their online interactive tool, the Chiquita SpinnovatorTM, at the RCA show in Charlotte, NC back in March.

Housed on the Chiquita Fruit Solutions website, the Spinnovator allows users to experiment and open their imaginations to develop unique applications using Chiquita’s five fruit ingredients: banana, passion fruit, mango, pineapple and papaya.

The first step to the Spinnovator is selecting a fruit ingredient—the inner wheel. Based on the fruit ingredient you’ve selected, the middle wheel populates a colorful arrangement of flavors that complement the fruit ingredient. The outer wheel has a multitude of top-trending applications to choose from that are broken out by meal and daypart categories: Breakfast, Entrée (Lunch/Dinner), Side, Dessert, Beverage and Condiment.

Another feature of the Spinnovator is the random spin. If you’re looking for a specific application or flavor, you can lock the applicable wheel on your selection and let the wheel spin its way to something innovative. If you’re inspired by what you’ve created, you can save it to a list and email it to yourself or share it through social media.

Visit the Chiquita Fruit Solutions website to Spinnovate a fresh idea and comment below on what unique application has opened your imagination.

 

Favorite Chefs on the Internet

“Chefs are incredibly important future leaning reflectors of where food flavors, preparation and health are headed. Chefs are the food educators of our time.” That’s according to Food Culture 2012, a report from the Hartman Group. Chefs have always played an important role in new food product development and their role in the commercial ingredient channels of the food industry has continued to grow. We previously wrote about a trade show hit for Sunkist Growers who featured a celebrity chef’s new dishes at the PMA Show in California.

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Chefs have also taken a leading role in using the Internet to communicate with their fans and followers as well as with their peers and colleagues. We see leading chefs everywhere on Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and of course the ubiquitous Facebook. Recently we posted a tweet to our Twitter feed @markhughesfood that asked the question “Who is your favorite chef on Twitter?” The tweet drew far more comments, re-tweets and favorites than normal. In response, here are our favorite chefs on the Internet:

Mario Batali

Molto Mario uses a great recipe for his Internet activity and gets terrific online engagement from his fans and peers. His main website has rich and varied content on his various properties and projects including links to all his social media platforms. But it’s on Twitter where the chef really shines. His Twitter feed @mariobatali is a lively blend of recipe tips and answers to fans questions about various dishes. His Twitter feed also contains his recommendations for ingredients and favorite haunts. The sheer volume of Chef Batali’s tweets suggest he has help with this, but the comments never lose the personality and charm that people expect from Mario.

Robert Danhi

Chef Robert Danhi is off on an adventure to search out great flavors and tastes and uses the Internet to effectively report on his progress and share his discoveries with friends and followers. His main website offers rich content on his focus of Asian dishes and local flavors. A companion site offers products and more content on Southeast Asian flavors. The chef’s Twitter handle is, of course,@chefdanhitweets and he actively uses Twitter to send greetings to friends and colleagues from his travels around the globe. He is also very generous with his time and knowledge, often sharing content with food bloggers and reporters. Here’s a recent local article from Rasa Malaysia on “Cooking with Chef Robert Danhi.

Jacques Pepin

Jacques Pepin is, simply put, my favorite chef anywhere. So of course, that includes the Internet. Chef Pepin’s La Technique has held an honored spot in my kitchen for 25 years and I continue to use it today. It continues to be one of the all-time best selling cook books. Chef Pepin has a robust presence on the Internet mainly through his instructional videos. Here’s one for a very Pepin-like omelet. His videos cover a wide range of ingredients and finished dishes and are all presented in the chef’s calm and self-assured voice and style. According to a recent NY Times article, when it comes to food preparation, “There is the wrong way and there is Jacques Pepin’s way.

We love all chefs on the Internet. These three are our favorites. Who is your favorite Chef on the Internet?

Street Food in Europe

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][container][text_output]Food trucks and street food continue to receive a lot of attention in the United States and have become a leading trend setter in new culinary developments for corporate chefs and the R&D crowd. With all this national buzz, we thought it would be interesting to take a look at how street food translates in Europe, where there are centuries of history in food markets and street food stalls.

Our international food marketing correspondent recently took a European river cruise, stopping off at street food markets in several major cities. Looking through the photos that were sent, we noticed several interesting differences in how street food is prepared and presented in Europe, versus major U.S. cities. Onsite preparation of raw ingredients is usually banned in the U.S., while it is a staple of European street vendors. Products like dairy and eggs, that require refrigeration in the U.S., are just as often presented in open air displays without refrigeration in Europe. Wines and liquors, heavily regulated in the U.S., are much more commonly available in European street markets. The photos below show several interesting examples.[/text_output][/container][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][rev_slider_vc alias=”streetfoodeurope”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

2013 Flavor and Food Ingredient Trends Roundup

Creative use of ethnic flavors and regional themes highlights the newest flavor trends while grains and other high-fiber ingredients are predicted to gain more center-of-the-plate attention in 2013.

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According to Bell Flavors and Fragrances, regional American and regional Mexican and Latin American flavors will be among the top flavor trends in 2013. Bell Flavors and Fragrances also predicts we’ll see new flavors in beverages based on favorite desserts. However, as the trend of health and wellness continues to grow, Bell Flavors and Fragrances states that consumers will look for functional beverages that have less salt, fat and sugar.

McCormick & Co., Inc. released their annual report, Flavor Forecast 2013, giving a spotlight to the emerging trends. According to their report, trends and flavors will take root in cultures spanning Asia, Australia, Europe, Africa, Latin America and North America. McCormick’s executive chef, Kevan Vetter, pointed out that they are seeing a fascinating collision of tradition and innovation with authentic real ingredients still at the core—though now they’re being enjoyed in unique, updated ways to reflect a much more personalized approach to cooking and eating.

From their digital resource library and MenuMonitor database, Technomic stated a variety of grains are being identified as “playing star roles on trendy menus.” They also noted that a number of grains are being nudged to the forefront as part of the movement to gluten-free eating. Along with their prediction around grains, Technomic also predicted that ramen, udon, soba, rice noodles and other high-fiber grains will show up in soups and mixed-texture salads.

This is the third 2013 trends roundup blog we’ve posted. Are there any additional 2013 food trend predictions you’ve read? If so, feel free to leave us a comment below.

2013 Consumer Food Trends Roundup: Health and Wellness

Consumer

As more 2013 food trends have flooded the news, a common theme regarding consumers resonates: health and wellness.

According to Dr. Catherine Adams Hutt, RD, from Sloan Trends, younger people are thinking more about energy, body image, shape and tone; everyone is thinking about weight management and curbing hunger pangs between meals; and boomers want to stay energetic, strong and active as they age. Therefore, she feels protein will be the trend in 2013 across all age groups.

Innova Market Insights, part of the Innova Database, an online new product development tracking tool, also listed a protein overdrive in their lineup of 2013 trends. They also believe that there will be more “free-from” claims becoming increasingly prevalent, such as lactose-free, which will follow the now mainstream gluten-free set. Innova Market Insights also sees brain function remaining a top concern for the aging population, so we should expect more products on a cognitive health platform.

Studies from the NPD Group also show that nutrition and healthy eating habits are top meal-planning priorities for baby boomers. With that in mind, we can expect to see more heart-healthy antioxidant-rich foods taking over the supermarkets, including oily fish such as salmon, as well as green tea, sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens, popcorn, berries and whole grains.

According to Phil Lempert, the Supermarket Guru, smaller bites and more frequent eating patterns will be a trend in 2013 that will help reduce overall portion size and increase variety for consumers. Lempert also predicts that frozen food will be big in 2013, and there will be an increased emphasis on nutrition in frozen food as consumers continue to make fewer meals from scratch.

Paul Grimwood, chairman and CEO of Nestlé USA stated that it is clear consumers are much more health conscious today than ever before. He also noted that Nestlé USA will always strive to find new and innovative ways to help consumers lead a healthier, more enjoyable life.

 

 

2013 Foodservice Food Trends Roundup

It’s that time of year again when many publications, consultants and organizations submit their predictions for next year’s food trends and popular developments.

Trends

Most of the food trend predictions tend to include a lot of information, so we’ve looked at a couple of notable sources and their 2013 predictions and have highlighted a few of the trends we found to be interesting:

Sterling Rice Group, with the expertise of their culinary council—a team of more than 100 famous chefs, restaurateurs and foodies—released what they have identified as the top 10 food trends. With health and global realities top-of-mind concerns for consumers, next year, chefs will be behind the scenes making dishes healthier and providing all-inclusive menus to accommodate all types of diners—vegetarians, vegans, kids, gluten-free, wheat-free and eco-conscious. Also included in their report, popcorn will be the snack of the year in 2013 and there will be a rise in specialty items from American artisans. Sterling Rice Group also noted that Asian flavors will infiltrate American comfort foods, and there will be a plethora of tart, acidic and bitter flavors to choose from in the dining scene.

Baum + Whiteman, a food and restaurant consulting company, stated that everyone wants to be Chipotle—even Chipotle, in their trends report, 17 Hottest Food and Dining Trends for Restaurants and Hotels, 2013. What they meant by that statement is that consumers are bypassing casual dinner houses and heading toward fast-casual dining where they experience interactive service with customizable upscale flavor options in foods prepared directly in front of them. As the fast-casual dining trends upward, fast food restaurants will be updating, or as Baum + Whiteman put it, “dumbelling” their menu boards with more upscale, higher-priced menu options, and still keeping their bargain-priced options available. Also noted in the report, restaurants will look to boost distinctiveness and embark on edgier design and sustainability features.

National Restaurant Association (N.R.A.) released their annual “What’s hot 2013 chef survey,” and noted that locally sourced foods and children’s nutrition are the leading trends in 2013. Over 50 percent of the chefs surveyed said they will continue to make an effort to adjust dishes/recipes to be more healthful. The N.R.A. survey also highlighted the slow pace of change in the food category due to the fact that the 2013 survey is similar to the association’s 2012 effort. However, some new trends surfaced which included “non-wheat noodles/pasta, ethnic-inspired breakfast items and black/forbidden rice.

As we continue to uncover more interesting food trend predictions for 2013, what other interesting predictions are you seeing? Do you agree with the predictions that are out there? Feel free to leave us a comment with your thoughts and predictions on what the food industry will look like in 2013.

Chiquita Brands and Amcor Flexibles Win Packaging Award

Fresh Plaza recently posted an article announcing Chiquita Brands and Amcor Flexibles winning first prize in the coveted UK Packaging Awards, “Flexible Pack of the Year” category, with Chiquita Super Crunchy Fruit Chips—a convenient single-serve snack made from 100-percent naturally dried fruits.

Chiquita Amcor

In the article from Fresh Plaza, Claudio Finol, packaging manager, Chiquita Brands stated, “When developing Super Crunchy Chips, we knew that to make a real impact in the rapidly growing ‘Food-to-go market,’ the brand had to be supported by a new packaging format, which would enhance the customer experience and communicate the new product offering, thanks to its shelf standout. Amcor PushPop has proven to be the perfect choice.”

As an innovative, patented stand-up pack with an easy opening system, Amcor PushPop does not affect barrier integrity. Consumers simply push in the perforation on the top side and pop the pack wide open. The Amcor PushPop is guaranteed optimal in-store display with its printable surface and its shelf stackable surface.

“Amcor PushPop met all of Chiquita’s needs and more. The multilayer pack protects the fruit and the integrity of the chips as well as the nutritional value. Amcor PushPop is very convenient and also fun to use. The positive launch results encouraged us to enter the UK Packaging Awards together,” David Mayers, sales manager Fresh Produce, Amcor Flexibles Europe & Americas.

 

Sodium Reduction Pressure Increases on Food Manufacturers

Food manufacturers are under increasing pressure to lower sodium in their products as more cities, states and national health organizations partner to work towards reduction of salt in packaged and restaurant foods.

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In 2010, the National Salt Reduction Initiative (NSRI), a voluntary, national initiative to reduce the levels of salt in foods by as much as 25 percent over the next five years, was conceived by health officials in New York. After two years, the initiative still has cities, states and organizations hopping on board, putting pressure on food manufacturers to lower the sodium content in their products. In January 2012, the Arizona Department of Health Services joined the initiative and is working to educate health practitioners, seniors, parents, children and all residents about the dangers of too much salt in the diet. According to the NSRI, if the national initiative is successful, it could prevent 10,000 deaths annually which are caused by high blood pressure and associated diseases.

Aside from the NSRI, the Center for Science in the Public Interest recently sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) criticizing them for not introducing mandatory sodium reduction levels. As diets continue to be too high in sodium, contributing to tens of thousands of premature deaths each year and billions in medical costs, the FDA has not taken any action to control the salt in packaged or restaurant foods. In the letter, it stated that upwards of 100,000 lives could be saved annually if sodium levels in packaged and restaurant foods were halved.

For food manufacturers, the pressure isn’t going to let up. In fact, it’s going to continue to get stronger. Reducing the salt levels in packaged and restaurant foods will increase consumer choice. Anyone can add more salt at the table, but consumers can’t remove what was added during production.

Content Marketing for Food Ingredient Companies

The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs recently published their third annual research results, 2013 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends. Sponsored by Brightcove, over 1,400 B2B marketers in North America, from diverse industries and a wide range of company sizes, were surveyed in August 2012.

Content Marketing

Based on the survey results, B2B marketers are using more tactics, distributing content on more social networks and spending more than they have in years past, making content marketing a top priority going into 2013.

However, as content marketing continues to trend upward, it still has its challenges. According to last year’s study, the biggest challenge was producing engaging content. This year, a majority of B2B marketers agree the challenge is now producing enough content.

Despite the challenges of content marketing, research showed, on average, 12 tactics were used by B2B marketers this year—a significant increase over the average number of tactics used in the past two years. However, with this increase, there is also more uncertainty for B2B marketers as to whether they are using these various tactics effectively.

The most popular content marketing tactic was social media, excluding blogs, with an 87 percent adoption rate—a significant increase from last year’s report, which showed social media at 74 percent. With all the various social media platforms, the findings showed B2B marketers are using LinkedIn more this year to distribute content, whereas the last two years, Twitter was the leader.

What tactics do you use for content marketing and will you continue using those tactics in 2013? How are you overcoming the challenge of producing enough content? Leave us a comment below. We’d love to hear your strategies and tactics around content marketing.

Free Webinar: New Technologies in Sodium Reduction

New Technologies

Food Business News is hosting a free webinar on Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 2 p.m. CDT, sponsored by Nu-Tek Food Science which will highlight consumer viewpoints regarding sodium levels and the latest technologies in sodium reduction in the marketplace. Pending regulations and growing consumer demand are quickly increasing the need for lower-sodium products.
Register for and attend this webinar to listen to industry experts: Josh Sosland, from Food Business News; Marjorie Troxel-Helmer, from Cypress Research; Dr. Sam Rao, from Nu-Tek Food Science; Gary Cain, from Cain Food Industries, Inc. and Don Mower, from Nu-Tek Food Science, as they discuss the latest technologies in sodium reduction for specific applications including bakery and snack, meat and poultry, and cheese and dairy, and how it could help you meet your sodium-reduction goals.
The webinar will include:

  • Market Summary – A brief review of current trends
  • Consumer Attitudes – Consumer concerns about salt
  • New Sodium Reduction Technologies – New technology developments
  • Evaluating Sodium Reduction Options – Criteria for evaluating product options
  • Recent Application Success Stories
  • Questions & Answer

We hope you can attend, and if you do, feel free to leave us a comment below on what these new technologies in sodium reduction can do to help you meet your company’s sodium-reduction goals.

 

 

Social Media Marketing Best Practices from Kretchmar’s Bakery

Baking Channel - BakeThe Baking Channel on bakemag.com recently launched a social media video that featured Kretchmar’s Bakery from Beaver, PA. This video is a part of their tour, Discovering America’s Bakeries.

Lincoln Kretchmar, of Kretchmar’s Bakery, discussed why his company invested in social media and also shared some best practices he follows regarding social media marketing:

  • Social media is great for marketing and branding and can help build up your image.
  • It is a cost-effective way to communicate effectively with customers.
  • Post frequently—Kretchmar’s Bakery currently posts at least once a week.
  • Social media can be ineffective if done wrong—only post things that are engaging to your audience. It is about what is pertinent to your customers, not necessarily what is pertinent to you.

By following these best practices, Kretchmar’s Bakery has been effective in building relationships with its customers and increasing the bakery’s brand exposure. We’d love to hear what social media marketing best practices you follow and the success you’ve had. Leave us a comment below!

Chiquita Fruit Solutions: Open Your Imagination

ChiquitaBoxSampler_0270LR

Chiquita Fruit Solutions offered product developers the opportunity to “Open Your Imagination” with a recent sampling program on their new Fruit Crumbles—a 100 percent natural, air-crisped fruit ingredient product with a wide range of surprising food applications.

To capture the attention of Chiquita Fruit Solutions’ customers and to stretch their imaginations, the sample packaging and its contents were designed to help expand the possibilities for customer applications.

Since the shipping box was the first piece of marketing collateral seen by customers, Chiquita Fruit Solutions followed industry best practices and made sure their company name and messaging was visible by labeling all four sides of the box with the Chiquita Fruit Solutions logo, a headline stating, “All Natural Fruit Crumbles,” and an application image with the text “Open Your Imagination.”

Contained in the box were well-labeled Banana Crumbles and Fruit Chips, Tropical Mix Crumbles and Fruit Chips, and Pineapple Rings. The sample package also included a brochure that provided customers with a list of product features, nutritional information and contact information to learn more about Chiquita Fruit Crumbles.

By following the industry’s best practices on sample packaging, Chiquita Fruit Solutions was able to reinforce their brand and deliver a targeted message to their customers—and hopefully open some imaginations.

 

B2B Food Ingredient Marketing Tips for Engaging with Gen Zers

Satisfying Gen Z’s Appetite

There’s a new generation of B2B customers stirring things up in the food and beverage industry! Learn strategies to successfully reach and engage with these up-and-coming customers. Learn more >>

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Industry News – Anderson Partners Food Ingredient Marketing

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