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What’s inside counts

By Bart Elling, Ingredion - 10/29/2020

Now more than ever, consumers are making changes in the foods and beverages they choose to buy. But formulating, developing, producing, and quickly bringing private label products to market that meet or exceed consumer expectations while maintaining margins can be challenging. 

How can retailers and manufacturers create consumer-preferred private label foods and beverages that deliver on the promise of product quality and texture? 

Whether you’re a retailer or manufacturer, partnering with an ingredient solutions provider can help set you up to win with consumers. Look for partners that can bring product development, a broad ingredient portfolio, and consumer insights together to deliver appeal that matters to consumers: Adding plant protein, reducing sugar and creating a clean label.

Navigating the new plant-based world
Plant-based proteins are transforming foods and beverages and are led by a growing range of sustainably sourced ingredients created from peas, lentils, chickpeas and faba beans. Packing nutrition, versatile functionality and clean label appeal, these fast-rising pulse proteins deliver benefits — without GMO and major allergen concerns. Adding plant-based protein to your private label foods and beverages can help set your brand up for success. But which plant protein to use?

Choosing the right plant protein for the right need is instrumental in ensuring just-right taste and texture. Talk with your ingredient provider as requirements vary depending on the application. In baked goods for example, pulse flours (10-20% protein on a dry basis) can replace wheat flour and provide gelation and water holding, while pulse protein concentrates (55-60% protein on a dry basis) bring protein, fiber and micronutrients. Pea protein isolates (80-85% protein on a dry basis) have higher protein levels to help enable “excellent source of protein” claims.

Achieving perfection in reduced-sugar products
Sweetness is a much-loved part of the eating and drinking experience. But many consumers want to cut back on sugar and calories in light of the health and nutrition trend. How can you create the same sweetness and texture experience consumers love in products that contain less sugar and fewer calories? 

Build an understanding of your consumers’ sweetness preferences. Then, working with your provider of choice, formulate for just-right sweetness, fewer calories and lower sugar levels. The ingredient solution or system you need — whether low-sugar glucose syrups, stevia leaf sweeteners, allulose, polyols, fruit and vegetable concentrates, and even select fibers to name a few — depends on your application, the functional qualities sugar would have provided, the desired sweetness equivalent and more. Choose a provider with a comprehensive sugar reduction portfolio to help you create reduced-sugar products with the taste, texture and performance your consumers want.

Creating simpler, cleaner labels with ingredients consumers accept
As a result of a proprietary clean label consumer research program called ATLAS, we’ve learned that consumers want products that are closest to nature and made from ingredients that are understood, expected and authentic. This means they want clean and simple labels with fewer, yet familiar ingredients, free from undesirable additives. But how do you determine which clean label ingredients will perform and are acceptable in specific applications? 

To choose the right ingredients and the most powerful front-of-pack claims to deliver ideal eating experiences and achieve greater functionality, understand the preferences of your target audience and work with your ingredient provider. Together you can overcome formulation challenges and leverage the most consumer-preferred ingredients for irresistible eating experiences.

Get started on developing what’s next 
By working closely with your ingredient solutions provider, retailers and manufacturers can get to market faster with the high-quality, private label products consumers want, with all the plant protein, reduced sugar and clean label appeal.

Bart Elling is the business development manager of foodservice and private label at Ingredion, Westchester, Ill.

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