Five Forecasts For 2019 Food Formulation Trends

Monday, December 17th, 2018

Axiom Foods, a manufacturer of plant proteins in the U.S, has released a white paper that has unveiled the company’s top five forecasts regarding food formulation trends for 2019. Through this white paper, the company hopes to aid food formulators in understanding the implications of trending plant- based ingredients for food and beverage products as well as provide them with forecast ideas for their finished products.

The five formulation trends that have been identified for 2019 are as shown below:

Trend 1: Larger Variety Of Non-Dairy Milks.

In 2019, non-dairy milks are projected to experience an increase in demand as food allergies become increasingly prioritised in the food industry. Currently, F.A.R.E. (Food Allergy Research & Education), which is the world’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to food allergy awareness, education, research, and advocacy, has listed dairy as the top in its “Big 8” food allergy list. And according to the 2018 Mintel data, non-dairy milk revenues have grown an impressive 61 percent since 2012 as consumers become increasingly interested in the health benefits of alternative dairy products.

As the popularity of soy and almond milk wane in popularity, milks made from macadamia, pecans, quinoa, flax, hazelnuts, coconut, pulses (beans), rice and peas are increasingly being produced and slowly gaining traction. However, the most promising dairy alternative is oat milk which Quaker is looking to globalise. Similarly, flavor innovation has been driving the trend of non-dairy milk products forward and formulators should be keen to recognise each source’s inherent flavour and functionality.

Trend 2: More Neutral And Higher-Concentrated Plant Proteins

As fractionation becomes more sophisticated and advanced, proteins can be extracted from plants to derive plant protein products that have a higher protein content. For example, Axiom is currently leading the industry with technologies that can produce the highest industry wide protein concentration for organic brown rice and peas (up to 90 percent). For formulators, this means more protein can be extracted from less raw materials while the higher protein concentration levels also provide better control over the protein content of a formulation. Up and coming pulse crops like lupin are also promising, but are still years ago from being processed commercially for their protein content.

Trend 3: Intestinal Biomes And Healing Foods

New research on the benefits of gut biomes is impacting the food industry and has had a large effect on human disease research. This has fed the trend on consuming food that are beneficial to probiotic health and kombucha is currently experiencing a growth in demand due to this. In 2017, kombucha became a billion dollar food category and today there are 70 kombucha focused companies. A number which is ten times higher than the figures in 2007.

Trend 4: Tailoring Maillard Reactions to Get Specific Animal Protein Flavours

The Maillard reaction is a chemical reaction between protein, sugar and heat that produces browning and flavours that gives browned foods its distinctive flavour. However, as plant proteins become increasingly popular, the Maillard reaction is being tested to produce animal protein flavours from plant products. And with the largest animal meat makers from Tyson to Cargill, shifting their focus away from meat to plant based products, it can be seen that consumers are seeking plant based foods that not only taste good but are able to accurately mimic the flavours of meat products.

Currently, the most popular applications of Maillard reaction based technologies is to create plant-based flavours like BBQ’d chicken or baked meats. Moreover, because of the impending population explosion that is expected to occur by 2025 and the stress on the current food supply networks, the plant food industry is expected to become increasingly important as an alternative food source.

Trend: 5: Improved Absorption Rate Of Plant Proteins

The growth of a health and fitness-driven population are pushing manufacturers to produce products that have a higher protein content. This is a trend that has been bolstered by studies that indicate that faster digesting proteins such as plant proteins are more beneficial for muscle building than animal proteins which are digested more slowly.

Additionally, hydrolysed plant proteins are also grown in demand in the sports nutrition market as well as the markets focused on clinical nutrition and nutrition support for the aged. This is because the mentioned industries require sources of hydrolysed proteins for tube feeding formulas or drinkable supplements to offer to medical patients dealing with compromised digestive and/or immune systems. Thus, as we face an aging population in the years to come, hydrolysed plant proteins are expected to grow in population.

To find out more about Axiom Foods’ insights for 2019, do access the full whitepaper through this link.