Kerry launches Great Culinary Taste to meet changing consumer needs in prepared meals

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14 May 2018 --- Consumers are consistently seeking authentic, delicious restaurant quality prepared meals made from ingredients they know and trust. Taste, convenience, nutrition and traceability need to coexist; and while all four are intrinsically linked to consumer demand, delivering it all at scale and for a profit, is not easy, according to Kerry, the Taste & Nutrition company.

In response to these trends, Kerry has launched the Great Culinary Taste; a simple approach to help bridge the gap between the great authentic taste that consumers are looking for and what our customers can produce at scale, helping to create dishes that are inspired by the market, fast-track innovation and reduce complexity.

Great Culinary Taste is a simple approach to working with customers to create simple dishes that are inspired by the market, as well as delivering on the taste and innovation agenda. It aims to take the ingredients prepared meal manufacturers already have available, add a little bit of culinary magic and know-how, to enable them to enhance the taste of existing consumer favorites or add to their range by creating other product variants including more authentic and ethnic dishes.

Great Culinary Taste, brings together key elements of the Kerry Taste & Nutrition portfolio of natural, authentic solutions to deliver innovative, clean label foods that are filled with real ingredients. The Great Culinary Taste range includes; plant proteins, natural stocks, infused oils, natural flavors, DairySource-Cream Replacer, natural extracts and marinades, pastes and glazes.

Being able to introduce this variety, authenticity and ethnicity to your range, using clean-label ingredients is critical to the success of prepared meal reformulation. The company's latest research indicates that over 70 percent of European consumers now check the back of pack labeling when shopping for groceries, with 73 percent of consumers are looking for more natural ingredients in their prepared meals. 42 percent say they are highly influenced by products that claim to be authentic, homemade or made with real ingredients.

Commenting on the changes in consumer demands and subsequent challenges, Grace Keenan, Kerry Marketing Manager, Savoury said: “Informed consumers are demanding more from the foods they eat, but taste remains a key driver of consumer choice. They want simple, transparent ingredients and reassurances that what they are buying is good for them and their families. This creates complexity for the developers of prepared meals, who need to create taste experiences, at scale and without compromising on labeling or nutritionals.”
Speaking to FoodIngredientsFirst, Keenan said: “Across Europe, we see a need for simple and honest ingredients. From a consumer perspective, this means an understanding of the ingredients used and we also see a lot of requests around the authenticity of taste, whether that is authentic to a region, or authentic to a memory. In ready meals, convenience is what consumers are looking for, but they don’t want to compromise on taste,” she explains. “Our responsibility is to deliver on taste and nutritional regulations.”

“We are doing a lot of work now in the prepared meals space that helps consumers understand and reduce the salt, fat and calories in the foods they want to consume,” she notes.
“The response to Great Culinary Taste has been positive. In particular, customers have expressed an interest in our Plant Proteins, Natural Extracts, Yeast and Smoked Ingredients in response to consumer demand for more authentic processes and ingredients in their prepared meals.”

“Overall it has been a great way for us to get to know our customers’ challenges better and partner with them to find solutions, whether it is  to introduce a new prepared meal to the market, reinvigorate a consumer favorite, or create a richer, more premium taste experience without compromising on labelling,” she says.  

“Great Culinary Taste will always be at the heart of prepared meal development and will evolve as market and taste preferences evolve. Regardless of the challenges our customers’ face, we are committed to listening to consumers around the world, understanding their changing needs and helping our customers create great tasting foods that they will come back for time and again.” 

“We will be launching the second phase of Great Culinary Taste in September 2018, focusing on elevating taste within sauce and soup development,” adds Keenan.

You can view a video interview with Keenan on the company's "Great Culinary Taste" ready meals solutions here.

Thomas Duffin, Development Chef, Kerry Taste & Nutrition also said: “Food is my passion. Going to work every day brings new and exciting taste adventures and culinary challenges to be solved. What gets me up in the morning is working with other chefs to create delicious dishes that consumers will enjoy the first taste to the last. But what brings that extra buzz is partnering with our customers to push the envelope, to deliver products that meet consumer demands such as; clean label, more natural ingredients or authentic taste, yet continue to deliver pure deliciousness and most importantly, repeat purchase.”

“To bring great Great Culinary Taste to life, Kerry chefs from around Europe, have developed a toolkit that can stretch the ingredients already available in a development kitchen, to produce other prepared meal variants and drive costs even lower, by maximizing what is already in the larder. This approach can help manufacturers introduce a new prepared meal to the market, reinvigorate an existing consumer favorite, or create a richer, more premium taste experience,” he notes.

By Elizabeth Green

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