Symrise global study reveals consumer demand for natural flavours and ingredients

Global ingredients and flavourings group Symrise has completed a two-year study on the perception of naturalness covering Asia Pacific, North America, Europe, Africa and Middle East as well as Latin America.

The company, which delivers a number of solutions within the confectionery and bakery sector, revealed that more than 13,500 consumers have been engaged globally in five field studies completed by the company’s sensory and consumer Insights department.

As part of the work, the studies explored the attitude and perception of consumers around naturalness in foods and beverages. A first outlook on the results gives insights into the preferences related to naturalness in the Asia Pacific Region.

It found that consumers in Asia too, love the taste of nature and are increasingly demanding more naturalness. Food and beverage companies are catering to this need with natural product solutions and find it often challenging to best meet consumer’s expectations and comply with a complex regulatory environment.

Consequently, the company has Symrise has decoded the key consumer wishes to help its customers create and deliver relevant,  natural products supported by its code of nature solutions. This dedicated approach helped the business understand the relevance of impactful natural taste solutions for consumers in China, Japan, Australia and Thailand.

As the company noted, in APAC as in other regions, the new era of naturalness is evolving fast and in diverging directions. While a broad variety of aspects contribute to a natural product perception, consumer expectations on what “natural” means to them can also differ from region to region. It ranges from knowing exactly the type of ingredients, where the ingredients in their food come from and the preparation method.

To receive a general picture first, the APAC study has summed up the market segments that are potentially more willing to pay a premium for products with natural taste solutions. They include ingredient source seekers, quality seeking affluents, health conscious shoppers and ultimate truth seekers. They represent a large portion of consumers: 49% in Japan, 42% in Australia, 35% in Thailand, 27% in China.

The remaining market belongs to the profile of budget or brand conscious, with the latter still ranking the attribute “source of ingredients” very high, in all categories and countries.

In all countries, “no additives” is one in the top three attributes driving naturalness perception in all categories, except for drinking yogurt in Thailand, for which “health attributes” prevail. The second most frequent desired attribute cross-country and cross-category is “contains real ingredients” (e.g. fruit extracts or natural fruit juice).

China is the country where natural taste solutions show the biggest potential for food and beverages, with consumers asking for safety and health credential while taste remains a priority.

“We aim to work with our customers to decode the full insights from the study and to combine them with their brands and needs to deliver winning products, to unlock their business potential in Asia Pacific with Symrise code of nature solutions. For this reason, we continue to strongly invest in Asia Pacific and works to bring to market natural solution that consumer loves” said Mr Lionel Flutto, President, Flavor, Asia Pacific, Symrise.

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