“Among the dozen or so really hot trends in food and beverage innovation this year, health and wellbeing underpin them, whether its collagen products, no-sugar beverages, gut, brain or immune support or free-from products.
A great example is the health tonic drink Vitonic or Good Herb Soda which takes the health benefits of cannabis and has created a drink to improve wellbeing. Both of these are published as case studies on our website.
Removing sugar is also a hot topic and our R&D teams and food technologists work hard to balance the desire to remove it alongside the functional role sugar plays in a formulation. Beyond adding sweetness, refined sugar influences how we perceive flavour and how those flavours are released; it also impacts texture and the sensory experience. Using a more natural sweetener, like stevia, inulin or erythritol in its place is a fine balancing act. But one we work hard to achieve when the client brief requires it.
As more people realise they can impact their own mental and physical health through nutrition, we will continue to see more people producing highly functional food. In this category you’ll already find an explosion of plant-based milks, and innovation abounds in the emerging proteins space. Be it development of products from plants, non-traditional animal sources (like insects) or through biotechnology where foods similar or identical to traditional animal meats are created and commercialised.”