Kerry taste and nutrition business expands clean label food protection
Irish-based taste and nutrition business Kerry, the Taste & Nutrition company has expanded its clean-label food protection capabilities through the acquisition of two companies IsoAge Technologies and Biosecur Lab Inc.
As the firm noted, these acquisitions, which were completed at the end of 2019, enables it to increase capacity to serve this rapidly growing market, as the company develops solutions across the food and drink sector, including for confectionery and bakery markets.
The outbreak of COVID-19, the world’s food industry has come under pressure as consumers stockpile food around the globe and the industry works to meet this demand safely. According to Kerry’s research, consumers are also quickly changing their behaviours and attitudes. They are taking a greater interest in nutrition and the positive role it plays in maintaining a healthy body. As part of this, they are paying increased attention to product labels and seeking to avoid artificial ingredients, to which they associate a negative connotation.
Findings from the company’s studies on consumer preferences found that there is a strong consumer desire for the removal of artificial ingredients in food and beverages. The market for consumer-friendly shelf life solutions is estimated at more than $1 billion globally, and it is growing at twice the pace of the artificial preservatives market.
This high demand can create significant challenges for food safety and further increase food waste. A recent study published in PLOS One states that global food waste is twice as high as previously estimated (527 kcal/day/capita versus 214 kcal/day/capita, FAO) and is one of the top global sustainability problems; it is a problem the food industry needs to collectively address.
As the business explained, keeping food safe over its shelf life is multifaceted. It involves inhibiting the growth of pathogens and spoilage organisms, and shielding from taste degradation, all while delivering on a tasty, nutritious and enjoyable product with a clean label. Keeping food fresh, safe and appealing is the ultimate goal of food producers, and Kerry supports food producers to achieve this with its range of food cupboard solutions.
“We see COVID-19 and its impact on food choice and availability leaving a lasting impression in consumers’ minds. Today, campaigns about ‘no contact delivery’ are offering clear comfort. Into the future, communication of measures taken to keep natural, artisanal products safe will be a new way of building trust and reducing concern as we transition back into our new normal,” says Emma Cahill, Senior Strategic Marketing Manager of Food Protection at Kerry.
“These acquisitions and expansion of our food protection portfolio solidifies Kerry’s position as a leader in clean-label food protection. Our authentic portfolio of natural solutions helps customers achieve consumer-appealing labels and extend shelf life safely, while at the same time maintaining great taste and texture. When we combine IsoAge Technologies’ natural and sustainable food safety solutions with Biosecur Lab’s natural citrus extract-based antimicrobials and Kerry’s existing food protection solutions, we will be able to protect even more food naturally. Together our combined innovation capability is significant, and we will work collaboratively to develop the future of natural food protection solutions,” says Neil Cracknell, CEO of Applied Health & Nutrition at Kerry.
Brian Nevin, Kerry’s VP of Business Development, Food Protection and Fermentation, comments: “With these acquisitions, Kerry has the broadest food protection portfolio in the industry. We pride ourselves on our authentic ingredients, our primary production capabilities and providing full transparency to our customers. Both IsoAge Technologies and Biosecur Lab Inc. offer unique natural portfolios of patented shelf-life technologies, which will greatly enhance Kerry’s global market leadership.”