Sugar reduction: Kerry develops flavoring solution to address consumer demands

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06 Oct 2017 --- In response to the growing consumer demand for sugar alternatives, Kerry has developed TasteSense, a natural flavoring solution, which builds back the sweetness that is lost, when sugar is reduced, allowing consumers to enjoy the taste and mouthfeel that sugar delivers, without the negative labeling impact. TasteSense allows for up to 30 percent sugar reduction and can be labeled as a natural flavoring.

As EU sugar consumption figures reach nearly 32kg per person per year, sugar reduction has become the health trend under the spotlight. There is increasing pressure on manufacturers from consumers and legislators to reduce the levels of sugar in all products. However, while consumers want healthier foods with reduced sugar, they are unwilling to compromise on taste. 

New research from Kerry has indicated that:

  • One in three European consumers are drinking less soft drinks than a year ago. 
  • 52 percent of consumers buy less soft drinks, because of their high sugar content.
  • 60 percent of consumers are looking for more low sugar drinks. 
  • Not all consumers are satisfied with the existing offers, 30 percent associate ‘healthier drinks’ with poorer taste. 

While the beverage industry has responded to this demand by producing drinks with artificial sweeteners, the research shows that 63 percent of consumers are worried about the health impacts, with over half saying that they do not like the taste.

Click to Enlarge“TasteSense is already being used by many of our top beverage, brand, retail and Foodservice customers across their ranges, particularly in regions where a sugar tax is or is set to become a real issue,” Leigh Anne Vaughan, Marketing Director at Kerry Taste and Nutrition, tells FoodIngredientsFirst.

“Food and beverage companies often believe reducing sugar content requires a compromise on function and taste. Sugar doesn’t just add the sweet taste to a product, it is much more complex. It is also used to give some food and beverages the texture, and overall mouthfeel that consumers love,” says Vaughan. “Many solutions offered cannot fully deliver the lost taste and mouthfeel of sugar. Many also bring with them undesirable off-notes and aftertastes.”

“Kerry Taste and Nutrition has developed TasteSense to address these issues and solve these problems for our customers. It ensures the great taste desired by consumers is maintained and can be used across a range of categories, including beverage, yogurt, ice-cream, bakery, sauces and ready meals. TasteSense Sugar adds back the sweetness and mouthfeel that is lost by the reduction of sugar. And it can be labeled as a natural flavoring,” Vaughan adds.

“At Kerry Taste & Nutrition, we are constantly horizon scanning, to ensure that we are not only ahead of the future trends, but also well positioned to meet the needs of our customers and their consumers now and for the future. Sugar reduction is an area we have focused on, due to the approach the different regulators are taking to sugar reduction across Europe. There are many other consumer trends we have identified, and we are developing various systems and products to help our customers deliver on these needs for their consumers,” Vaughan notes.

FoodIngredientsFirst will be hosting and chairing a Kerry Taste & Nutrition webinar entitled "Clean Label: More Than Ingredients" on November 9, which looks to the future of healthy eating and the impact on the food industry. You can register here.

By Lucy Gunn

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