Posts Tagged ‘consumer trends’

Seasonal Chocolate Popularity

June 3rd, 2017
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New research from Mintel reveals that seasonal launches accounted for one quarter of chocolate new product launches in 2016, the biggest area of chocolate new product development.

“Our research shows that seasonal chocolate tops all chocolate new product development, a testament to the popularity of seasonal treats among consumers across the globe. This reflects the fact that these products are typically bought to help celebrate holidays or special occasions,” says Marcia Mogelonsky, director of insight for Mintel Food and Drink. “With this in mind, seasonal chocolate is somewhat immune to recessionary pressures, as these products are bought on an occasional basis.”
When it comes to chocolate spend per head, the United Kingdom sits atop the leaderboard. In 2016, the average British consumer indulged in 8.61 kg of chocolate per capita. This was followed by Switzerland (8.59 kg per capita), Germany (8.32 kg per capita), Russia (6.57 kg per capita) and Austria (5.37 kg per capita).
While the UK leads in terms of per capita consumption, when it comes to volume sales the US leads the way. In 2016, the US consumed a whopping 1.3 million tonnes worth of chocolate, followed by Russia with 979 thousand tonnes, Germany at 680 thousand tonnes, and the UK at 555 thousand tonnes. Meanwhile, in Canada, consumers consumed a modest 148 thousand tonnes of chocolate in 2016.
In recent years, the chocolate confectionery market has continued to see growth, though at a very slow rate. In the US, sales were flat over the past two years.
“Chocolate confectionery had an uneven year in 2016. Volume sales in developed markets like the US remained flat, while the picture was a bit brighter in emerging markets like Poland and India, where sales generally fared better. Our research reveals that changes in per capita consumption points to an important shift in consumers’ eating habits, as consumption of chocolate confectionery is declining in the top five markets,” Mogelonsky says.
“The big issues revolve around permissibility and the blurring of lines between snacks and confectionery. Even though boundaries are fading, there is still something about chocolate confectionery that has remained constant. Chocolate is still a treat and, as something special, it typically gets a pass. While consumers may be looking for more healthy foods, they will trade health for indulgence when it comes to chocolate.”
Proving chocolate lovers have a heart, interest in ethical products remains relatively strong, with 17 percent of new products claiming some sort of “ethical-human” positioning, which could include fair trade, Rainforest Alliance or some other, independent “bean-to-bar” certification. Although still a small part of the category, accounting for less than six percent of global new product introductions in 2016, launches of chocolate confectionery with an organic claim increased six percent between 2014 and 2016.
Consumer demand is likely to be the major impetus for more conversion to organic offerings. In the US, 15 percent of chocolate buyers purchase organic products.
“Providing organic cocoa is proving to be a challenge for the industry. In order to satisfy the growing demand, it will become necessary for more cocoa growers to switch to organic farming methods,” Mogelonsky says. “As interest in healthy sweets continues to rise, the availability of chocolate that offers organic or all natural positioning will be desirable as consumers look for better-for-you options.”

Chocolate ,

Report: Candy sales still rising despite increasing health awareness

June 24th, 2016
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American consumers spent $21.5B on candy in the 52 weeks ending April 30, 2016.

According to the sales trends, America is trying to be healthier — but that doesn’t mean they’re giving up candy.

Sales of things like organic eggs, bagged salad, and sparkling water are on the rise. But so are sales of confections, generating billions in revenue every year.

According to Nielsen data, consumers spent $21.5 billion on candy in the 52 weeks ending April 30, 2016, and annual sales have grown 2-4 percent over the past five years. Seasonal treats bring in a whopping $3.5 billion while non-seasonal generates $17.9 billion.

In the grocery channel, candy ranks third in category growth, right behind New Age beverages and salty snacks. Children may be driving those sales.

Nielsen research from the third quarter of 2015 on center-of-store sales found that requests for sweets were highest among families with children younger than 18. Most purchases come from parents of kids between 3-7 (63 percent) and 8-12 (65 percent), while households with teens aged 13-17 showed a drop in interest (54 percent).

And when it comes to brands, candy is big. Nielsen’s “Private Label & Branded Score Card” study shows that candy is among the top 10 branded categories that posted absolute dollar gains over the last four years. Consumers buy branded candy more often than private-label.

In terms of candy types, chocolate still reigns supreme, generating $11.2 billion in sales in the 52-week period.

But that doesn’t mean non-chocolates aren’t popular. Non-chocolates generated $6.7 billion in sales, up 4.7 percent over the previous period. That’s bigger growth than chocolate, which saw only a two percent increase in sales over the same period.

And let’s not forget seasonal candy.

Accounting for 19 percent of total sales, seasonal candy comprises an important segment of the industry. It’s seen a higher dollar percent increase over the last five years than non-seasonal candy, with Easter seeing the most growth, followed by Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Halloween in that order.

Which all goes to show that when it comes to sweets, America is still ready to indulge.

Source: Candy Industry


Confectionery ,

Chocolate trends: Popular flavors, growing claims and reconnecting with adults

March 19th, 2016
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The reports are in. FONA’s Trend Team has released a detailed overview on chocolate confectionery trends based on data accumulated between Jan. 2012 and Dec. 2015.

With 75 percent of women and 68 percent of men reporting that they indulge in chocolate, those trends are ones to keep an eye on.


Hazelnut is the flavor to watch, experiencing nearly a 50 percent increase in launches since 2012 (411 to 606). That growth is poised to continue. By the second week of February, the number of hazelnut product launches was already at 110.

Coffee flavor follows with the second highest percentage of growth at 40 percent, while coconut and caramel fight for third at around 30 percent growth over the same time period.

Top 5 Global Flavors
1. Unflavored/Plain
2. Hazelnut
3. Caramel
4. Almond
5. Orange

Top 5 North American Flavors
1. Unflavored/Plain
2. Caramel
3. Almond
4. Peanut Butter
5. Hazelnut


Ethical claims have seen tremendous growth in the chocolate category, with Low/No/Reduced Allergen, Gluten-Free and Organic claims posting large gains since 2012.

Top 5 Global Claims
1. Seasonal (+21 percent)
2. Ethical-human (+300 percent)
3. Ethical – Environmentally Friendly Product (+846 percent)
4. Low/No/Reduced Allergen (+195 percent)
5. Kosher (+36 percent)

Reconnecting Adults with Chocolate

According to Mintel data, older consumers have a lower engagement with chocolate. The lack of interest reflects their desire to eat healthy. To regain adult customers, companies have turned to tactics such as using alcohol flavors, organic ingredients, and premium positioning.

Recent launches have featured Limoncello and dark chocolate, chocolates filled with the sweet herbal Liqueur Beirao, and dark chocolate and truffles flavored with Merlot, Pink Champagne, and Pinot Noir.

And although the organic claim has dropped in the United States between 2012 and 2015, it’s on the rise globally, growing from 351 launches to 705. Seven percent of chocolate confectionery launches currently carry the organic claim.

Global chocolate premium claims have also risen by 50 percent since 2013.

Source: Candy Industry


Chocolate ,

Brits ‘consuming less bread, milk and tea’, official figures show

February 20th, 2016
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Britons’ consumption of bread, milk, tea and coffee all declined significantly during the last 40 years, according to new data from the UK government.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has published two sets of data, which, combined, show how consumers’ shopping habits have changed since 1974.

It shows that the average Brit now consumers 25g of tea a week, falling from 68g in 1974 – the equivalent of 15 fewer cups, with the average consumer now drinking around eight cups per week. Consumption of instant coffee has fallen at a similar pace, as speciality and flavoured teas continued to gain ground.

British shoppers are also buying less milk than they used to: overall consumption has fallen, with skimmed and semi-skimmed milk overtaking whole milk for the first time in the 1990s and today accounting for four times as many sales.

Consumers are eating less bread in general – around 15 slices per week, compared with 25 slices in 1974 – while there has been a notable shift from white bread to brown, wholemeal and other varieties. This trend underlines a wider move towards more healthier food and drink options: consumption of fruit has increased by 50% since 1974 and, in 2014, low-calorie soft drinks accounted for half of the overall market for the first time.

Despite this, the average person’s takeaway food consumption has increased from 80g per week to 150g – a jump of almost 100%. Fish and chips is increasingly losing its status as the country’s favourite dish, replaced by meat-based junk food such as kebabs, chicken, burgers and meat-based meals, which, between them, accounted for more than a third of takeaway food consumption. Chips accounted for a further 33g.

Further to this, the growth in popularity of pizza is characteristic of the emergence of Italian cuisine in the UK. British consumers, on average, ate the equivalent of just 2g of pizza every week in 1975 – but this had leapt up to 53g in 2014. The increase in takeaway pizza consumption during that time was around 1,000%.

And in general, a sharp rise in the popularity of frozen food and decline in consumption of canned and tinned foods has contributed to a sustained reduction in the price of food: shoppers spent almost one quarter of their weekly pay on food when the data was first recorded, but this figure currently stands at around 11%, as the cost of food has become gradually more affordable.

The insights have been taken from annual food surveys since 2000 and cover a sample size of around 150,000 households in total.

Liz Truss, the UK government’s environment secretary, said: “Food is the heart and soul of our society and this data not only shows what we were eating 40 years ago, but how a change in culture has led to a food revolution. Shoppers are more plugged in to where their food comes from than ever before, the internet has brought quality produce to our doorsteps at the click of a button, pop-up restaurants are showcasing the latest trends and exciting global cuisines are now as common as fish and chips.

“By opening up this data we can look beyond what, where or how previous generations were eating and pinpoint the moments that changed our habits for good. We’ve only scraped the surface of what the National Food Survey can tell us and from local food maps and school projects to predicting new food trends, I look forward to seeing how this data can be used to learn more about our past and grow our world-leading food and farming industry in the future.”

Defra provided four principal explanations as to why Britain’s food consumption behaviours are changing. A rise in the consumption of frozen food is indicative of rising household freezer ownership: in 1974, just 15% of households had a freezer, compared to around 94% at the turn of the century. This rise in technology also correlates with a drop in people sourcing their own food, or keeping their own poultry.

Convenience has always been a motivating factor in people’s purchasing habits, Defra said, and the types of food bought can say a lot about the biggest food trends of the time. Respondents to the survey in the 1970s were asked to record how much instant milk, instant potato and tinned peaches they were getting through – but this is more likely to be frozen pizza and pasta today.

In 1989, households were asked for the first time whether they owned a microwave, and since then the number of ready meals consumed has more than doubled.

‘Food decreasing as a proportion of pay’

The way consumers prioritise their pay has changed over the years, too. “A household in Glasgow in 1974 spent £9.10 one week on items such as corned meat, lambs liver and lard, whereas a comparable household in 2000 spent £80.90 on a shopping basket of mineral water, crisps and yoghurt,” Defra explained. While it may seem as though prices are increasing, they are actually decreasing as a proportion of shoppers’ pay.

Improved awareness and a desire to be healthier may also have played a role, the government department added.




Eight flavours for 2016

February 6th, 2016
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Using a combination of in-depth, formal and grassroots market research initiatives, Sensient Flavors has identified what it believes are eight up-and-coming flavour trends for 2016 – starting with chamoy.

Using a combination of in-depth, formal and grassroots market research initiatives, Sensient Flavors has identified what it believes are eight up-and-coming flavour trends for 2016.

After analysing market shifts and U.S. consumer behaviour, Sensient predicts the following flavours will be on the rise:

Chamoy A mash-up of flavours that combines the smoky heat of ancho chilies with apricot preserves, lime juice, salt and sugar. Consumers’ renewed interest in revisiting classics, updated with an artisanal emphasis, takes this flavour to a new level. Most consumers are familiar with a commercial version of Chamoy sauce popular in Mexican cuisine that is sour and flat. We have taken this flavour back to its roots and given it the attention, complexity and homemade touch that made it a staple South-of-the-border condiment.

Charred Coconut The coconut has become as ubiquitous as the apple; consumers love its tropical, creamy sweetness. Sensient has combined that with another flavour that is becoming a pillar of American cuisine: smoke. In fact, in this flavour the coconut is placed much closer to the flame — roasted.

Honeyed Evergreen Tree is the new seed. In this flavour trend, the crisp, unpretentious pine is softened by honey instead of sap as consumers start incorporating nature back into their daily lives. Bark, roots, leaves will all come back on the scene in a big way.

Overripe Melon As focus on food waste comes front and centre, it is beginning to impact the flavour world. This flavour appreciates the melon, which is so often served under-ripe and tossed when it is truly ripe and most flavourful. The green notes mix with fermentation and therefore lend a slight alcohol scent and flavour.Pandan As an increasingly connected world increases consumers’ access to exotic ingredients, people are keen to find something new that jibes with the current American palate. This green, nutty and almost bready southeast Asian staple is a fun new ingredient that can be incorporated into any dish.

Preserved Cherry Blossom Americans are into pickling, preserving, curing, brining and other methods for making seasonal ingredients last all year. The notoriously short cherry blossom season is a global sensation, making the floral, fruity cherry blossom the perfect candidate for this treatment.

Sassafras Root This is a common ingredient in so many products, yet most people aren’t sure what it tastes like. This plant’s flavour falls somewhere between a medicinal tonic and root beer. With consumers’ increased interest in bitters, roots and craft sodas, this flavour is sure to get them talking.

Urfa Chile From time to time, you come across something that is so luxe, it makes you feel special when you use it. This is one of those things. The rich, raisin-y, chocolate taste of this chile has notes of tobacco and wine. This is a standout in a chile category that is saturated.The consumer insights were developed utilizing Sensient’s Trends to Taste¡ program, a proprietary predictive process that the company claims filters trends from the broad, consumer, macro level down to finished concepts that best demonstrate each flavour profile.Throughout the year, Sensient’s team of marketing, R&D and sales professionals collect information through five strategic channels: market excursions, custom and syndicated research, trade shows and publications, word of mouth and social media. The resulting data is analysed utilising deep immersion techniques to identify key insights, flavour profiles and concepts to share with customers. This year’ program included an addition of an urban foraging expedition as well as trend endorsement by Mintel.“The 2016 Trends to Taste flavour predictions represent a larger, overarching shift in consumer thinking, ¨ said Lauren Williams, marketing manager, Sensient Flavours. “No longer overwhelmed by the amount of information and options that come with increased interconnectivity, consumers are increasingly interested in finding balance and personal fit in their lives, and these trends are represent different aspects of that transformation.¨

Source: Ingredients network


Ingredients ,

Global bread and rolls market approaching $200 billion

January 23rd, 2016
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The global bread and rolls market was valued at $187 billion in 2015, and it is expected to reach nearly $216 billion by 2020, according to a new report from Technavio, a global technology research and advisory company.

Market revenue for the global bread and rolls market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of less than 3%, the firm said.

According to Technavio, the growing number of fast-food chains has increased the consumption of bread and rolls, and a wide assortment of products available at hypermarkets, supermarkets and mini marts is driving the market. Supermarkets and hypermarkets accounted for more than 28% of the sales of bread and rolls in 2015, Technavio said.

Meanwhile, consumers in developing countries have shown a preference for homemade bakery products over packaged bakery products because of a perception among consumers that packaged foods are unhealthy due to their inclusion of preservatives, artificial colors and sweeteners. As a result, homemade food items may limit the demand for packaged bread and rolls products, creating a negative impact on market growth, Technavio said.

“The market is likely to slow down 2017 onwards, because of slightly decreased product innovations compared to previous years,” said Vijay Sirathi, lead food industry research analyst for Technavio. “This will affect the buying behavior of consumers and may result in low consumption of bread and rolls.”

Bread and rolls were especially popular in Europe, where the market was valued at $99 billion in 2015 and is expected to reach $115 billion by 2020, according to Technavio. The research firm said the rise of private labels in the region, especially in Western Europe, and the discounts offered by grocery retailers on bread and rolls have fueled the sales of both existing and new private labels in the region. Additionally, preservatives or additives-free and gluten-free bread and rolls are driving market demand in Europe, while artisanal bakery is popular in France, Turkey and Italy.

“Consumers in Europe prefer bread and rolls that are made with natural ingredients and have unique shapes and a new taste,” Technavio said. “Vendors have started producing organic breads to retain consumer loyalty and the production of these premium breads and rolls is significantly influencing consumer purchase patterns.”

Technavio noted that similar trends are developing in the Americas. As a result, manufacturers are concentrating more on producing low-caloric foods, fortified with nutrient values, to meet consumer health requirements.

Gluten-free products remain in the spotlight. Consumers’ increasing awareness of celiac disease is leading manufacturers to concentrate more on gluten-free products to capture the maximum market share. Companies such as King Arthur Flour are capitalizing on this trend by manufacturing gluten-free banana bread with coconut and flax and gluten-free sorghum sandwich bread.

Source: World Grain


Bakery , ,

Technomic: Foodservice Flavor Lifecycle Accelerates as Ingredient Variety Explodes

November 7th, 2015
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Forty percent of consumers say they are more willing to visit a restaurant that offers new and/or innovative flavors, according to the new Technomic 2015 Flavor Consumer Trend Report. Though classic flavors still appeal, consumers are increasingly driven to experiment with foods and beverages with unique flavor profiles.

Technomic research shows that heightened interest in new tastes has accelerated the time in which many spices, ingredients or preparation methods go from «emerging» to «mainstream». As the variety of flavor offerings increases, consumers become desensitized to new and unique flavors more quickly. To meet demand for new flavors and maintain customers’ interest, it will be critical that operators and suppliers stay ahead of flavor trends.

«Restaurants trying to plan a menu launch and marketing campaign around the next big thing might find themselves too far behind a trend and risk becoming another ‘me-too’ concept», explains Kelly Weikel, Technomic director of consumer insights. «To get credit with consumers for innovation, operators can leverage Technomic insights to catch emerging flavors early in their lifecycle and ride their rise in popularity».

«Flavor research can also help ensure the right variety of new and mainstream tastes – in the right combinations – that make the menu a consistent crowd-pleaser».

Compiling findings from more than 1’500 U.S. consumers, as well as operator interviews and Technomic’s MenuMonitor and Digital Resource Library, the Flavor Consumer Trend Report also reveals:

  • 40 percent of all consumers and 52 percent of Millennials say they would like more restaurants to offer foods that feature a combination of flavors;
  • At limited-service restaurants (LSRs), 63 percent of consumers are very likely to try new flavors at sandwich restaurants, 62 percent at pizza and 62 percent at Mexican LSRs. When visiting a full-service restaurant (FSR), 69 percent are likely to try new flavors at varied-menu restaurants, followed by 67 percent at Italian and 66 percent at steak FSRs;
  • Grape is the fastest-growing lunch and dinner entree flavor at Top 500 restaurants (16 percent operator incidence increase), followed by buttermilk (10 percent) and cilantro (9 percent).

The Technomic Flavor Consumer Trend Report is one of many topics in its 2015 Consumer Trend Report series, offering the most current analysis, insight and opportunities to help grow your business. Our best-in-class intelligence combines 50 years of foodservice expertise with critical findings from over 7’000 menus per year and nearly 30’000 annual consumer interviews.

Source: Bakenet:eu


Ingredients ,

Texture trends in confections

September 26th, 2015
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Soft. Creamy. Smooth. Crunchy. Chewy. Brands are increasingly using texture claims like these. In fact, in 2014, the confectionery category (chocolates and sugar confectionery) had the second highest penetration rate for texture claims of new products launched.

According to a 2015 Innova study, texture is becoming a leading driver for taste perception in food, particularly sweets or candies.

From smoother, cream-filled sweets to chewier, juicier fruit candies, starches can be used to improve mouthfeel, chewiness and shape all while adding a variety of textures designed to enhance a consumer’s eating experience. However, there’s several things to keep in mind when formulating with starches to create texture in confections.

Viscosity and Texture Development

Whether using direct steam injection or vacuum cooking in heat processing, thin-boiling starches result in viscosity and texture development in high-sugar-solids paste while maintaining a low viscosity for depositing. Additionally, specialty thin-boiling starches can enable open-kettle cooking.

In low-temperature processed confections, cold-swelling starches, such as Tate & Lyle’s MIRA-THIK 468 and MIRA-GEL 463, can provide chewy and moderately elastic texture. Low-temperature pasting starches and cold-swelling starches also allow lower heat levels, so functional ingredients like vitamins and nutrients are retained.

Specialty thin-boiling starches can improve clarity and viscosity for gelling, opening up opportunities to create new, unique candy products. In fact, Tate & Lyle’s CONFECTIONERS G, MIRA-SET 285 andMIRA-QUICK MGL starches are widely used to replace certain hydrocolloids, such as gelatin, in some formulations to provide soft, chewy texture.

Process Functionality

The moulding, depositing and drying processes of gummy and jelly candies can be improved with moulding starches. They can accept and hold any shape or impressions and then absorb moisture from the deposited candy as it cools, dries and sets.

In applications like marshmallows, dusting starches can help form and cut confections and decrease product stickiness in the package. Finally, using high-fluidity starches to increase final depositing solids in gummies and jellies can help save time in the moulding starch stage and improve process efficiencies.

While starches are extremely versatile, some challenges could arise when using them in confections. Applications can range in difficulty from a simple jelly mould and filling, to a much more complex coating system or a layered eating experience. Whether seeking soft, creamy, smooth, crunchy or chewy, manufacturers should partner with a supplier with whom they can work side by side to determine the right solution for their application.

Source: Candy Industry


Confectionery , ,

Childhood reminders drive confectionery consumption

August 7th, 2015
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Consumers are feeling busier than ever, but at the same time disposable incomes are rising. This means that consumers are able to treat themselves more regularly with nostalgic products, Canadean finds.

According to a global survey conducted by the research company in 2015, six out of 10 respondents find products which remind them of their childhood and simpler times either very appealing or appealing. Due to its indulgent nature, confectionery – a global market worth USD 174,738.55 million in 2014 (approx. EUR 159,900) – is one of the go-to products that help consumers relax and alleviate feelings of stress.

Confectionery manufacturers should capture the attention of these stressed consumers via their ever-growing desire for nostalgia. Joanne Hardman, analyst at Canadean, says: “Consumers can be targeted with limited editions of popular confectionery that remind them of their childhood. This allows brands to charge a premium price for the product, as shoppers are willing to pay more for an exclusive experience and the chance to elicit happy memories.”

Canadean’s global survey shows that 44 per cent of respondents think private label and branded foods and drinks are produced in the same factory, and then simply packaged differently. Hardman says: “Consumers think more highly of private labels, creating a huge competition for customers, as store-own brands expand their portfolios to include more premium products.”

However, not all private label brands will be able to replicate the same level of heritage and emotion that consumer associate with some national brands. Instead, “they should concentrate on more contemporary themes, mixing nostalgia with experimentation to stand out on the shelves,” adds Hardman.

Source: World Bakers


Confectionery ,

84% of Asians Scrutinize Food Labels, Finds Consumer Survey

July 11th, 2015
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A study by GNT Group concludes that 84 percent of consumers in Asia take a critical look at the product before placing it in their shopping cart, evaluating both the front and back of the package.

Consumers all around the world pay closer attention to what they eat and how they choose their food products. This becomes apparent in the supermarket setting: 84 percent of consumers in Asia take a critical look at the product before placing it in their shopping cart, evaluating both the front and back of the package. These are some of the findings of a recent consumer study which has been commissioned by the GNT Group, a provider of fruit and vegetable juices for color. For the study, the market research institute TNS interviewed more than 5,000 consumers from 10 countries in Asia, America, and Europe on their shopping and eating habits.

The study concludes: consumers scan the label for certain ingredients they personally avoid. In the course of this process, consumers pay special attention to coloring ingredients. For nearly two thirds (60 percent) of consumers worldwide, the absence of artificial colorants is of major importance to their purchasing decision.


“The study’s results clearly show that natural ingredients determine the choice of food products. Many manufacturers already comply with consumers’ wishes by, for example, using color solutions exclusively made from fruit and vegetable sources and clearly indicating that on the label. This development will continue to gather momentum in the upcoming years,” says Dr. Hendrik Hoeck, managing director of GNT Group. GNT supplies more than 1,200 companies in the world with natural colors made exclusively from fruits, vegetables and edible plants.

Source: Asia Food Journal


Ingredients, Packaging ,