Extreme price volatility can create headaches for food processors. In 2016 alone, the price of Class III cheese rose from just under $13 per hundred weight in May to nearly $17 only three months later. As dairy prices continue to be unstable and, in some cases, reach record highs, the pressure is on food manufacturers to produce the same high-quality products while keeping their prices under control.
When it comes to the ingredients in their foods and beverages, consumers are keeping it real. Menu trends showcased at the 2016 National Restaurant Association Show reflect a continued appetite for simple, all-natural foods and holistic eating experiences that include comfort foods once considered “off limits” in a healthy diet.Read More
There was a time when butter was perceived as an “enemy” of the heart- and health-conscious. While dietary moderation remains key, the long-held belief has changed. Consumers now clamor for “natural” foods and fats, and their purchase decisions are driving a butter renaissance that has netted 2016 sales totaling $2.8 billion. Compare that against $1.4 billion in vegetable oil-based margarine sales over the same period, and butter’s popularity is anything but spread thin.
Each year, experts announce the top food trends, and manufacturers respond with new formulations and product offerings. Clean labeling has been declared as the number one food trend for 2017, and research shows that 91% of consumers believe that a product is healthier if it has recognizable ingredients. Furthermore, 37% want labels to feature ingredients they can easily pronounce and understand. Trends of the past have not gone by the wayside, however; calories, fat and nutritional values are still important considerations.Read More
Recently, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed that flocks of chickens owned by commercial breeders in Lincoln County, Tennessee, and Giles County, Tennessee, tested positive for the highly pathogenic H7 avian influenza (HPAI, or commonly known as “bird flu”). While quarantine and depopulation measures were taken, the fact that a bird flu outbreak arose in the commercial arena for the first time in about two years is cause for concern.Read More
Cage-free eggs: they’re becoming a staple on restaurant menus and, gradually, in the ingredient decks of a variety of grocery products. Why? Because activists – and the general public – have made it almost impossible for retailers and food manufacturers to provide anything but cage-free eggs.Read More
One of the recent questions we received via our website is this, from a baked good manufacturer: “Can functional whey protein be used to boost protein levels in a glaze?”Read More
There’s no question that today’s consumers are seeking out healthier, more natural foods. From lowfat dressings and dips to lowfat desserts, it’s hard to go grocery shopping these days without seeing healthier, more natural product variations lining the shelves. In fact, 62% of consumers seek out minimally processed foods while shopping, and 84% of Americans buy “free-from” foods (e.g., gluten-free, sugar-free, fat-free, preservative-free, etc.) because they believe them to be more natural and less processed. Even traditionally sweet and salty foods, like cookies and crackers, are getting a healthy overhaul, but making these sweet and salty snacks healthier isn’t exactly easy for manufacturers.Read More
For food and beverage manufacturers, keeping up with the latest consumer trends is a never-ending battle – especially with fickle Millennials having more buying power these days. In one quarter, your products might stand out as favorites with your audience, but if a trendy new superfood or diet fad enters your space, it won’t be surprising if your customers jump ship for the next big thing. Consumer preferences are changing much more quickly than they did in the past, and today’s brands need to be willing to change with them, or risk being ignored by consumers.Read More
Though Millennials often have a reputation for being spontaneous spenders, there’s nothing they love more than a good deal. Given the rise in apps and websites devoted to finding deals, most consumers have grown accustomed to finding and making spontaneous, money-saving purchases. And while this spending behavior is typical for many non-major purchase decisions for Millennials, this combination of spontaneous, yet cost-conscious spending is never more apparent than it is when dining out or grocery shopping.Read More