Major consumer trends in the US food and beverage markets point towards
- clean label,
- whole-food ingredients,
- functional foods,
- organic and non-GMO,
- vegan / vegetarian, and
- plant-based proteins and nutritional oils.
Clean label means displaying ingredients that are natural and pronounceable by consumers, removing artificial ingredients thus suggesting a “back to basics” approach.
In the sugar-sweetened beverages segment, consumers are trending towards juices, flavored waters and beverages that contain fewer calories that they deem healthier. This means that manufacturers are looking for natural sugar-replacement solutions to lower calories, or to launch products with no-added sugar, low-sugar or sugar-free claims in the market. There is now in the US a push for R&D that will come up with solutions for replacing sugar such as erythritol (polypol), stevia or a combination of the two.
In food coloring and nutrition, manufacturers are using solutions from natural botanical sources instead of synthetic FD&C colors. Vitamin E is now increasingly sourced from vegetable oils.