Ingredient Trends for 2023

dairy ingredients

Over the last decade, consumer preference in food has changed immeasurably and with tastes continually evolving, it’s important that as a leading value-added ingredient manufacturer we monitor emerging and growing trends.

We’ve invested a great deal in our Customer Innovation Centre in Peterborough, which is where we develop our product understanding, market awareness and analyse future trends so that Meadow is best placed to meet customer needs.

In our latest blog, we explore the key ingredient trends that are shaping the food industry in 2023 and look at why consumers are opting for certain ingredients.

 

Nostalgia

One of the most significant trends of 2023 is the turn towards ingredients and flavours that are rooted in nostalgia, with consumers increasingly looking for foods that remind them of days gone by.

The difficult economic landscape is playing a large part in fuelling demand for food products that contain ingredients and flavours consumers associate with their favourite childhood classics.

Research shows that people will seek foods from their childhood or happier times as a coping mechanism to deal with challenging circumstances such as the cost-of-living crisis.

There’s been a significant rise in demand for retro-themed dessert and bakery goods, with brands offering new takes on classic sweet treats such as Sticky Toffee Tiffin, Eton Mess Ice Cream and Banoffee.

This has led to a rise in the use of ingredients such as chocolate crumb, cream and sweet condensed milk as food brands look to meet demand for nostalgia-based sweet treats.

 

Gut wellness

In recent years, gut health has moved from a peripheral idea to a fundamental aspect of overall wellness, with an increasing number of nutritionists and food scientists promoting the importance of good gut bacteria. This is illustrated by the fact that, according to Innova, in 2022, 17% of yogurt launches cited digestive or gut health benefits compared to 10% in 2021.

Having a healthy gut is essential for our general health and offers benefits such as improved immunity and mental health. Certain dairy ingredients are full of probiotics that good gut bacteria feed on, and by feeding on this they multiply which boosts our gut health.

This has led to a growing trend among consumers to increase their consumption of fermented milk ingredients such as bio-yogurts and sour cream due to the naturally high presence of vital probiotics.

In the last year, drinking yogurts and other fermented beverages have seen a volume increase of 2.4%, with additional benefits such as boosts to immunity and lower fatigue a big market focus in the latest product launches. (Innova 2023)

In response to this trend, our customer innovation team have been continuously working to develop the quality and flavour of our yoghurts and cultured ingredients so that they meet the needs of our customers.

 

Plant

Over the last decade, there has been a huge increase in the number of plant-based products and food ranges on supermarket shelves with 1 in 10 category launches being vegan friendly, according to Innova, as food companies look to meet demand for vegan products.

In 2023, we’ve seen the growth in plant-based product consumption continue, as consumers look to reduce their impact on the planet. This year, a record number of people signed up to Veganuary, with one person every 2.4 seconds pledging to complete the challenge before the start of the month.

This illustrates the enduring popularity of plant-based ingredients and suggests that consumer consumption of vegan foods will only increase as the decade goes on.

Here at Meadow, we understand the increasing consumer demand for alternatives to traditional dairy and meat produce and have invested £4 million into our segregated plant-based production facility at our flagship Chester site.

From this facility, we produce alternative plant-based milks, yogurts, custard, and the country’s only vegan sour cream.

 

Sustainability

Consumers are becoming increasingly concerned with the origins of their food and want the ingredients that make up the dishes they enjoy, to be responsibly and ethically sourced.

According to research, 60% of UK households said it was important to buy sustainably produced grocery products to help reduce carbon footprints and reverse climate change.

Despite persistent high inflation within the food sector, sustainable ingredients and food products have remained an important priority for consumers across the UK.

Meadow’s sustainable ingredients help to ensure that our customers can commit to operating in an environmentally responsible way so that they can meet demand and stay at the forefront of the market.

Sustainability already plays a significant part in informing consumers’ decisions about which products to pick up and it will only grow in importance.

If you’d like to discover more about Meadow, and sample our ingredients, you can do so by contacting our customer service team. Or keep up to date on the latest industry and company news on our Twitter and LinkedIn.

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