Symrise study examines family and children snacking habits to create product concepts

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13 Oct 2017 --- Symrise Flavors has announced the findings from an in-depth study on children's snacking that spans preschool to high school age subjects. A wide range of issues were explored and, using the information gathered, Symrise was able to conceptualize new solutions to address consumer needs.

Under the direction of Emmanuel Laroche, Vice President of Symrise’s Marketing and Consumer Insights, and Global Marketing Leader, the study focused on both sweet and savory choices in snacking, looking at what influences purchases, typical eating patterns, perceptions of healthy choices, packaging and other key factors. 

The study cited the difference in parents’ desire for nutrition and value while youngsters are looking for sweet and savory flavors with some distinctions. While kids tend to covet “sweet” foods throughout the day, there are limits to the intensity of their choices at various times. When it comes to “salty” choices, these are much more acceptable throughout the day, but they are generally consumed in the afternoon. In fact, the hours between lunch and dinner are the time when most snacking occurs. 

Various expectations that drive consumer choices and purchases for family units were examined in the Symrise study. And by actually observing, sharing the experiences and looking in depth at consumption rituals and habits of families, three types of families were identified – Solution Seekers, Nourishers, and Fillers. 

  • The Solution Seekers perceive snacking as a solution to the food challenges they face. They want to balance child happiness with healthiness, looking to snack foods as a means to provide some nutritional benefits while sating the children. 
  • Nourishers take an emotional approach to food, focusing on health and wellness and how they can use food and drinks to ensure their kids develop properly. 
  • Fillers see snacking as a practical approach to nourishment and use food and drinks to make their kids happy by filling them up.

Once the family types were identified, Symrise then went to work on fulfilling the snacking needs of the consumer. Starting with the food situation – what parents are trying to accomplish food wise, with their family, Symrise then focused on how families are meeting those challenges, in both form and ingredients. Finally, flavors were associated with those ingredients and product concepts were created. 

Symrise looked at the hearty breakfast-on-the-go, where breakfast is seen as the most important meal of the day and providers want to feed their children warm protein but lack the time to make a home-cooked meal during the week. They offer frozen or fast food breakfast sandwiches, oatmeal or toaster pastries. These warm, hearty options are hand-held and portable. The flavors associated with them range from moderately sweet, to sweet and salty, and to savory, and led Symrise to create prototype foods and beverages that incorporate these tastes.

In conclusion, Laroche said: “The details uncovered in this comprehensive study are already having an impact on our latest snack food flavor development. Our insights have led to innovative product development concepts, so we encourage you to contact us for more information.” 

Symrise AG

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Symrise develops, produces and sells fragrances and flavorings, cosmetic active ingredients and raw materials as well as functional ingredients and solutions that enhance the sensory properties and nutrition of various products. The company’s nearly 30,000 products are mainly produced on the basis of natural raw materials like vanilla, citrus fruits, onions, fish, meat, blossoms and plant materials. The flavors, substances, perfume oils and sensory solutions are often central functional components for its customers’ end products. These customers include manufacturers of perfumes, cosmetics and foods, the pharmaceutical industry and producers of nutritional supplements, pet food and baby food.

With sales of more than € 2.9 billion in 2016, Symrise is among the global leaders in the market for flavors and fragrances. Headquartered in Holzminden, Germany, the Group is represented in over 40 countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Asia, the United States and Latin America.

Symrise works with its clients to develop new ideas and market-ready concepts for products that form an indispensable part of everyday life. Economic success and corporate responsibility are inextricably linked as part of this process.

The company’s origins go back to the year 1874. Symrise has since grown to achieve a market share of currently 11 % – making it one of the leading suppliers of flavors and fragrances on the global market. A high level of innovation and creativity, an exact knowledge of customer needs and various regional consumer preferences as well as targeted expansion into new and promising market segments contribute to our company’s above-average growth rate. Today, Symrise has about 9,000 employees working at sites in more than 40 countries, serving over 6,000 customers in roughly 160 countries.

Since October 2016, the operating activities of the Symrise Group have been broken down into three segments: Flavor, Nutrition and Scent & Care. The divisions within these segments are organized according to business units and regions.

Each segment has its own research and development, purchasing, production, quality control, marketing and sales departments. This system allows internal processes to be accelerated. Symrise aims to simplify procedures while making them customer-oriented and pragmatic. It places great value on fast and flexible decision-making.

The Flavor segment contains the Beverages, Savory and Sweet business units. Flavor’s range of products consists of approximately 13,000 items, which are sold in 145 countries. The flavorings Symrise produces are used by customers to make foods and beverages and give the various products their individual tastes. Symrise supplies individual flavorings used in end products as well as complete solutions, which, apart from the actual flavor, can contain additional functional ingredients, food coloring or microencapsulated components. The segment has sites in more than 40 countries in Europe, Asia, North America, Latin America and Africa.

The Nutrition segment markets its nearly 2,000 products in 89 countries via four business units: Food, Pet Food Aqua and Probi. They deliver natural sensory product solutions for taste, texture, color and functionality in foods, beverages, and baby food based on backward integration processes for vegetables, fruit, meat and seafood. It also supplies natural-taste and acceptance- enhancing products for pet foods and sustainable marine ingredients for aquacultures. And there are also probiotics for foods, beverages and nutritional supplements with health-promoting benefits.

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