Today’s consumer wants to engage all their senses with a personalized snack that is also a responsible treat

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

The DIY Donut is 'a perfect example of people’s desire to personalize their food,' a major trend among today's consumers. Pic: FrieslandCampina Ingredients
The DIY Donut is 'a perfect example of people’s desire to personalize their food,' a major trend among today's consumers. Pic: FrieslandCampina Ingredients

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FrieslandCampina Ingredients has identified three global trends that disparage the one-bite-fits-all approach.

The speciality ingredients business of Dutch dairy multinational Royal FrieslandCampina N.V. - which had an annual turnover of €11.6bn ($12.8bn) last year, delivering products to more than 34 countries - has released its first annual Trend Report, which reiterates that consumers are increasingly looking to individualize their snacking moments to their personal tastes, preferences and nutritional needs.

According to the Amersfoort-based company, insights from the report will allow manufacturers to keep a finger on the market pulse, plus be inspired by end product suggestions that will leverage on the three major global trends forecast for the rest of this year and the next.

Experiences engaging all senses

Consumers are demanding multisensory moments of indulgence that tweak all five senses – sight (ophthalmoception), sound (audioception), taste (gustaoception), smell (olfacoception or olfacception), and touch (tactioception).

This trend, said FrieslandCampina, has been birthed by the rise of social media, with consumers – particularly millennials – wanting shareworthy experiences, which means ‘Instagrammable looks, vibrant colors, amazing flavors, aromatic scents, sounds and just the right texture.’

The company’s survey found that consumers from North America and EMEA particularly focused on the look of a snack, while Asian consumers rated the smell, fragrance and aroma more highly.

Conscious indulgence

A growing number of consumers are making increasingly conscious choices when it comes to snacking, says FrieslandCampina.

They are searching for ingredients that are more sustainably produced, healthier or offer more variation – or ‘glocalization,’ which specifically looks at how to utilize different cultures or lifestyles to create different products, for example, vegan, Kosher or Halal.

The company’s survey revealed that, globally, people associate sustainable consumption with ‘fresh’ and ‘natural’ ingredients, while European and North American consumers, in particularly, leaned more towards plant-based and vegan offerings. In China, ‘low sugar’ and ‘sugar free’ denote health.

However, that is not to say that taste and indulgence should go out the widow, rather that consumers will appreciate the snacking experience more if it comes with the additional peace of mind of being a responsible treat.

Personalize it yourself conveniently

Consumers across the world are looking to add their own finishing touch, opening opportunities in a variety of avenues, such as out-of-home consumption, convenient in-home preparation and foodserve inspired in-home personalization. Youngsters, especially, want to uniquely top off their food with ready-to-use ingredients, it said, noting the DIY donut as a perfect example.

Market propositions

FrieslandCampina Ingredients' Trend Report was garnered from the company’s market studies and global research, focusing on the relevant trends in the bakery, cakes and pastry, coffee, (milk) tea, desserts and ice cream industries. The company believes the data - which is freely available to eveyrone in the F&B industry - could be turned into useful market propositions.

“Our insights show the emerging needs among consumers, which enables our customers to anticipate what’s to come,”​ said Anneke van de Geijn, global marketing director at FrieslandCampina Ingredients Food & Beverages.

“To leverage one or more of these trends, a close collaboration between manufacturers and their ingredients partners is required​.

“Manufacturers are able to jump quickly on the trends and win in the market when ingredient partners already have appealing trend-based concepts ready as well as the ingredients that perform in these concepts.

“Brands that are able to work together with the entire supply chain will be the ones that optimally leverage especially the conscious indulgence trend. When addressing the trend of multisensorial experiences, it is important for manufacturers to partner up with an ingredient supplier with strong sensory capabilities.

“And personalization requires that ingredient manufacturers deliver versatile ingredients that mix & match with a variety of other ingredients.”

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