The consumer focus on health and wellness is fueling the marketplace—and stimulating formulation changes as well. Keeping up with on-trend formulations like plant-based nutrition, digestive health, and transparent claims and certifications can make supply, development, flavor, and production a bit more complicated. All this change has the potential to threaten a product’s speed to market, a crucial element in a fast-paced competitive landscape, so it is vitally important to anticipate and successfully respond to these challenges.
Plant-based nutrition is taking root
Consumers are seeking plant-based functional powders to help them achieve fitness goals, manage their weight, and maintain an overall healthy lifestyle; Nielsen reported a corresponding 8.1 percent overall growth in plant-based foods in 2017*. New types of plant proteins are evolving every day to answer these demands, but they can come with challenges. Depending on their source, plant-based proteins can have bitter or astringent off notes, gritty textural issues, and potentially, a lower shelf life than traditional dairy proteins. The Nellson R&D team has experience working on a variety of plant protein products, and we have identified a variety of flavors and gum systems that help reduce the impact of any negative characteristics. In the last ten years, the quality of proteins has improved significantly, so the sky is the limit!
Consumers are following their gut regarding their health
Digestive health is also top of mind for consumers: gut health is the fastest growing category tracked in the Nutrition Business Journal’s “2017 Condition Specific Report.”** Consumers are targeting their overall gastrointestinal health and looking for great sources of beneficial probiotics for vitamin and mineral absorption, as well as prebiotics, the dietary fiber sources used to assist the growth of probiotics in the gastrointestinal tract. We help our customers determine the best strains of probiotic for powder formulations, to ensure label claims are met and efficacy is sustained over the course of the product’s shelf life.
A clear path to clean labels
According to a 2017 study, almost everyone (98%) finds transparency important in packaged food products—and 70% said that transparency content always or often influenced their purchases.***
Consumers want clean/transparent claims such as organic, non-GMO and gluten free—and each come with their own set of formulation concerns. These claims can also involve ingredients that are more difficult to source and more prone to supply chain issues than conventional ingredients.
At Nellson, we address the sourcing, development and production complexities associated with these formulation changes. How do we do it? By using our large network of ingredient suppliers, our experienced R&D team, and resources that include flavoring and custom formulation, as well as in-house analysis to help achieve the highest quality product.
- We source a wide variety of conventional and unique ingredients to meet the new product development opportunities and project demands of our customers, both new and existing.
- Our R&D team is present every step of the way, with a team of scientists and technicians that assist with formulation on a singular level. We are there to answer questions and assist with any product adjustments.
- Our R&D and Purchasing teams work closely to identify and qualify new potential ingredients through a rigorous expedited Vendor Qualification Process to ensure the food safety of all new ingredients and to shorten lead times as much as possible.
Find out how we can help meet your quoted lead times by ensuring quantity of supply and speed to market.
Contact us today to start your next consumer-pleasing project.