National NewsJanuary 2021
National NewsJanuary 2021
How to Create Indulgent Experiences with Flavor
Each food or beverage product you manufacture or sell has a least one purpose.
A leading function is nutritional, as your customers seek options for energy, to satisfy hunger, and help maintain their health.
Items in your food or drink assortment may play a social role when shared at birthdays or holidays or given as gifts.
And your customers may eat or drink your products for enjoyment or as a reward, viewing the experience as an indulgence.
Although indulgent tastes aren’t a new idea, interest in fun and indulgent food is predicted to grow this year. Your ‘go-to’ definition of indulgence may include descriptors like ‘rich,’ ‘creamy,’ or ‘sweet,’ which are appropriate attributes depending on your application. But recent research from Mintel uncovered insights about how consumers view indulgence that broadens innovation opportunities beyond decadence. Combinations of form, function, and flavor can work together to create indulgent products.
Tiers of Indulgence for New Product Development
The textbook definition of indulgence is straightforward: “the act of giving way to one’s desires, something granted as a privilege or something that is enjoyed out of gratification.” Consumers’ take on the idea varies depending on their needs. For example, some people consider foods and beverages that help them relax as indulgences, while others reward themselves with comfort flavors or new taste adventures.
And consumer perceptions of indulgence are tiered:
Full, (almost) guilty indulgence focuses on taste and enjoyment.
Full indulgence aligns with premium ice creams with 20 percent fat, multi-layer cakes with ganache and buttercream, or brown butter in a chocolate bar.
Permissible indulgence creates a delicious experience with a slightly less guilty alternative.
Flavor and texture remain important but become permissible through lower fat content, reduced sugar, portion size, or cleaner labeling.
Healthy indulgence offers explicit gratification beyond taste.
Functional benefits such as higher protein, digestive health, and immunity can provide healthy indulgence.
The rise of gluten-free baked goods, caffeine-infused beverages, and high protein ice creams are examples of healthy indulgence.
Flavor Solutions for Indulgence Tiers
After you’ve identified the pathway to indulgence for your food or beverage launch, look for flavors that align with consumer expectations.
Many solutions can deliver an indulgent taste across tiers.
A stripe of Michigan Blueberry adds richness to a premium ice cream. That same blueberry variegate (or a non-dairy chocolate fudge option) can also elevate a plant-based frozen dessert.
Similarly, a maple-brown-sugar flavor may enhance a barrel-aged whiskey’s status or shift a low-fat dairy creamer into permissible indulgence.
Nostalgic and celebratory flavors, more intense tastes, and category cross-overs like bringing dark chocolate into dairy or cake flavors into snacks can also communicate indulgence.
Remember, flavors alone can’t create perceptions of indulgence. A nutritional beverage with more than 25 grams of protein, for example, is almost purely functional. For this high-protein product, the flavor remains an essential consideration for R&D as an ingredient that can increase palatability, not a cue that suggests indulgence.
To explore flavor solutions for your next indulgent product, contact our team.
US/UK Organic Equivalence Agreement
Effective January 1, 2021, the United States and the United Kingdom entered into an organic equivalence agreement to replace a void in UK regulations caused by Brexit.
The agreement is very similar to the existing US/EU agreement in scope and covers certified organics that have been grown or raised; or products that have been processed or packaged; in the United States or the United Kingdom. Agricultural products derived from animals treated with antibiotics and aquatic animals are not within the scope when exported to the United States.
There is a different process of import than through the EU’s agreement for all USDA organics traded under the agreement, with different documentation needed if the product is being exported to Great Britain (England, Scotland, Wales) or Northern Ireland.
For additional information, please see the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) notice.
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Join our discussion about how to navigate regulatory and R&D challenges when creating organic products! You’ll gather insights that will help speed your product launch cycle and generate delicious results.
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Coming up in next month’s National News:
Navigating to a Fast Finish with Organic Launches
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