Plant-based revolution continues as consumers back sustainably produced ranges

As the latest research from Danish-based emulsifier business Palsgaard notes, demand for plant-based products of all kinds is showing no sign of slowing any time soon.

The will certainly be showcased as the FiE ingredients event begins online this week, with a large volume of companies increasingly moving into the vegan and healthier eating segments, including those specialising in snacks and confectionery.

There’s a huge amount of research and development that goes into delivering such product lines, which you can well imagine being the case, given that creating the right mix of products across multi-billion global markets remains a big deal for both smaller enterprises and major corporations active in the industry.

So it seems that while the pandemic has undoubtedly fuelled consumers’ drive for a raft of new confectionery offerings that are perceived as being healthier and potentially tastier, this is far from being a ‘flash in the pan’ phenomenon, with many companies that Confectionery Production has spoken to over the past couple of years placing considerable funding into generating new product development.

Critically, it seems consumers are willing to pay more for plant-based options that have less of an impact on the environment, with Palsgaard’s findings showing 41% of interviewees saying they valued sustainably produced goods, and were likely to shell out more for such ranges.

According to the survey, involving interviewing over 1,300 people from Mexico, France, Russia, USA and Vietnam, its results found that consumers were generally happy with plant based product series, yet believed there were improvements that could be made – including with regards to textures and flavours.  These have been notoriously challenging areas to develop for confectionery and chocolate in particular, but the metaphorical bar has indeed been raised in recent years, and there are now more quality products hitting our shelves than ever before.

This latter point will more than certainly be demonstrated at ISM in Cologne in Germany at the end of January, should the event progress as hoped amid a concerning rising covid cases within the country. Certainly, organisers have been diligent in putting in place additional hygiene precautions including vaccine passports and other measures geared towards ensuring this significant event’s delivery.

Neill Barston, editor, Confectionery Production

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