The topics of clean, simple and minimal continued to dominate at this year’s Institute of Food Technologists Conference and Expo in Chicago. Session presenters shared consumer research, new product concepts and business insights to help attendees understand and address these growing trends. Key takeaways include:
- Food concerns vary by generation according to C+R Research. Boomers are more concerned about fat and sugar (e.g., artificial sweeteners, high-fructose corn syrup), while millennials are more concerned about protein and preservatives and Gen Xers are looking for value.
- Top brands not only are reformulating their legacy food products to meet demand for cleaner, simpler labels, but they also are starting from a clean label baseline for new product research and development.
- Processing is in the spotlight and one of Innova’s Top 10 Trends for 2016. Increasingly, manufacturers are looking for ways to offer or highlight processes that sound more natural, don’t alter food or preserve nutrition. Examples include cold-pressed juices, slow-churned ice cream and fermented or cultured foods like yogurt.
Omega-9 Canola Oil helps companies address these trends, says Dave Booher, healthy oils group leader at Dow AgroSciences. He told Food Navigator, during an interview at IFT, how Dow has used traditional plant breeding to develop oil that is inherently more stable. That means a longer shelf life without artificial preservatives, such as TBHQ, which Booher points out, “is an acronym for a very long word that consumers don’t understand, and won’t understand why it’s in there.”
An Omega-9 Oils-sponsored symposium, called “A New Paradigm for Healthy Fats and Oils,” attracted nearly 100 IFT attendees to learn about food shopping trends and the latest science on fat and oils. During the panel session, Penny Kris-Etherton, Ph.D., a nutrition researcher at Pennsylvania State University, put the health craze around coconut oil to bed. The evidence to support a nutrition benefit for coconut oil is weak, she said, while the evidence against saturated fat is strong.
IFT 2016 presentations will soon be available for conference attendees. However, if you missed IFT this year, or just did not have time to make it to the Omega-9 Oils symposium or Expo booth, please reach out. We would be happy to connect about any of the information here, as well as talk about how Omega-9 Canola Oil can help your business address these and other emerging trends.