Consumers are looking for more sensory-rich products and experiences, making textures one of the biggest food and drink trends of the year.
When it comes to food and drink products today, it’s all about the experience. Experiences that are unique, surprising or appeal to multiple senses, creating sensations that go far beyond standard products.
With consumers hungry for multisensory experiences, texture is set to be one of the biggest food trends for 2018. In fact, according to Mintel’s Global Food & Drinks Trends report, the sound, feel and satisfaction that texture provides will become increasingly important to companies and consumers alike.
This means we can expect more textures from techniques like fermentation, baking and freeze-drying to create products such as chewy beverages, dairy drinks with seeds or teas with tapioca pearls. Mintel believes textures can help consumers perceive products as fresh, filling or fun. And, because of this, brands can generate significant traction on social media, particularly amongst the so-called iGeneration – consumers aged 10-27.
While the texture trend is growing in Europe, Asia has long realised its potential with consumers here well-used to new and interesting texture ingredients. In China, Mintel found that 43% of 20-49-year-olds who consume ready-to-drink teas are interested in options with fruit bits. In addition, a third of Chinese 20-49-year-olds say their ideal yoghurt would have cereal, grains or seeds.
Drinks with added value
Signs of the texture trend have been emerging in recent years. This with the surge in popularity of seeds, grains and pulses within foodstuffs. In 2016, Mintel analysts revealed the percentage of food and drink products containing chia seeds had risen by 70% in just two years. This surge is due to a demand for nutritionally dense ingredients that can offer added health benefits.
SIG is already active in the area of textures. Especially with its drinksplus technology that enables producers to add natural extras to drinks, such as pieces of fruit, vegetables or cereal grains. For the Chinese dairy enterprise Mengniu, drinksplus opened up new opportunities in the on-the-go breakfast segment. Together with SIG, Mengniu launched a premium and highly-nutritious milk drink with oat and wheat grains.
With drinksplus, we can process and aseptically fill beverages with up to 10% natural particulate content in carton packs. This happens on standard SIG filling machines for liquid dairy products and non-carbonated soft drinks. This means producers can create a whole range of texture-rich products. From milk snacks with cereal grains, and vegetable drinks with aloe vera pieces, to health drinks with konyaki pearls or indulgent chocolate drinks with coconut flakes.