Consumer demand for ‘more natural’ foods and beverages continues to grow – and food manufacturers are responding by highlighting naturally derived ingredients and the natural credentials of new products, according to market researchers at RTS (Research to Solutions).
The UK-based market research firm says that synthetic colours and flavours are still more popular with food and beverage developers than natural varieties, but the trend for natural products is entering the mainstream.
‘Concerns over artificial ingredients and a growing desire for a return to the perceived simpler times of the past is turning naturalness into a key consideration for food and drink manufacturers and ingredient suppliers,’ comment the researchers. Manufacturers looking to tap into the trend should promote the natural origins of their ingredients, naming the specific region, if possible – and there are also opportunities for ingredient suppliers to extend the reach of their products into other markets and product categories as demand for naturalness grows.
‘Proving an ingredient’s provenance is a powerful way of endorsing its natural credentials,’ comments a company spokesperson.
According to market research organisation Mintel, the percentage of global product launches that carry a ‘natural’ claim – including no artificial colours, flavours, preservatives, or additives – increased from 26 per cent of new launches in 2005 to over a third in 2009.
The natural trend is among those due to be highlighted in an upcoming RTS report, SuperTrends: Flavour Trends.