ISM and ProSweets 2023: Natural colors, healthy indulgence and resource-saving sweets and snacks
06 Apr 2023 --- The confectionery sector will showcase future trends and innovations in chocolate, sweets and snacks during ISM and ProSweets (April 23-25). Industry players reveal that labeling and transparency on products origins, sustainability and the importance of color in chocolate are increasingly significant for food innovators and consumers.
“Consumers are paying more attention to labels than ever before and want to see ingredients they know and trust. As a result, artificial ingredients – especially colors – can significantly limit products’ appeal,” Teresa Fischer, technical sales manager at GNT Europa, tells FoodIngredientsFirst.
In the same vein, Dr. Valeria Reim, product marketing manager at Capol, says that “today’s conscious consumers pay more attention to the products they consume and look more closely at the labels.”
But that doesn't mean they want to give up their sweet and savory treats entirely, according to Reim. “To attract consumers, treats must be a delight for all the senses while meeting the requirements of naturalness and transparency in terms of the ingredients used and the impact on their own well-being and that of the planet,” she explains.
The theme of ISM, to be held in Cologne, Germany, will be “Encourage.Enable.Excite!” as they want to focus on the “important discussions” around the challenges – such as soaring inflation – in the confectionery sector.
“Resilience and the sustainable, resource-saving production of sweets and snacks are called for more than ever,” notes Sabine Schommer, director of ISM.
Fischer also speaks of a “healthy hedonism” trend in colors, where bold, bright, clashing colors are used to create an impact.
“Due to the influence of social media, aesthetics largely shape the coloring foods segment.
The healthy hedonism color palette reflects these aspects of digitalization, such as celebrating super-optimistic next-gen creativity with vibrant color combinations to provide maximum visual impact,” details Fischer.
“Our research shows today’s young consumers are seeking out natural, healthy and sustainable food and drink that also delivers strong sensory excitement. This is inspiring a new wave of clean-label products with spectacular natural color combinations,” she continues.
Rebel style and alternative products
GNT will present confectionery products that showcase this healthy hedonism trend at ProSweets, using its plant-based Exberry color concentrates.
“It’s all about rebelling against tradition in a really creative, positive way and commanding attention,” Fischer underscores.
“Many young consumers want products to deliver sensory excitement through new flavors, textures and colors. At the same time, there’s also a broader trend toward healthy and sustainable formulations,” notes Fischer.
Capol, meanwhile, will showcase its Vivapigments White, a natural agent and alternative to TiO2 specially made to meet confectionery hard-sugar panning requirements. As meeting these requirements and achieving naturalness and transparency is as important as achieving an attractive product, according to Reims.
“Thanks to special rice protein encapsulation technology, the calcium carbonate-based product also provides excellent opacity. This is particularly important for efficient whitening. Depending on the specific application, a dosage of 0.3% to 1.0% can typically be used,” Reims explains.
A number of whitening alternatives to titanium dioxide have been innovated to comply with the recent European ban on TiO2.
Plant-based “on the fast track”
Reims says it is “possible to generate a visually appealing product without animal components.” She explains how Capol has moved from animal-based polishing agents – beeswax or sealing agents based on shellac – to pure carnauba wax and pastes based on vegetable oils.
“As far as the surface treatment of chocolate dragées is concerned, there is the possibility to abandon the sealing with shellac completely,” she highlights.
Meanwhile, Fischer highlights that plant-based confectionery and innovation around it “is on the fast track” and talks about GNT’s use of vegetarian ingredients.
“This includes the well-known vegan trend movement. Especially with chocolate, consumers are looking for dairy-free alternatives because of the sustainability aspect, without compromising on taste and consistency,” she details.
She explains GNT creates its concentrates from non-GMO fruits, vegetables, and plants using traditional, physical production methods.
“For many shoppers, natural, environmentally friendly and ethical production has become non-negotiable. This is helping to fuel the rise in vegan NPD, with confectionery manufacturers replacing ingredients such as dairy, gelatin, and carmine with plant-based alternatives.”
In line with health-conscious snacking, low-sugar and sugar-free products are an important trend in food and beverages, including confectionery.
Capol works with a sugar-free glazing agent based on maltitol to meet sugar-free requirements.
“To help manufacturers to follow this trend we have successfully developed various product solutions, for example, a chocolate glazing agent that matches ingredients chocolate manufacturers already use in their products,” Reims details.
She explains that clean and transparent product labels are of “elementary importance” in the industry. “Consumers have their own idea of what label-friendly means to them. It is often associated with buzzwords such as ‘organic,’ ‘natural,’ ‘preservative-free,’ ‘additive-free’ or ‘GMO-free’. Sometimes, it simply implies fewer ingredients.”
“We offer a wide variety of products that support ‘no added sugar’ claims, including reds and pinks, which are colors that have been shown to strengthen perceptions of sweetness in various studies,” notes Fischer.
“Exberry colors are also great for better-for-you products as they support clean and clear label declarations. In the EU, for example, a red color might be listed as ‘carrot and blackcurrant concentrates,’ so they’re a great way to add a health halo,” she continues.
By Marc Cervera
To contact our editorial team please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Subscribe now to receive the latest news directly into your inbox.