“Fruit and vegetables are hot, and fit the ‘naturally healthy’ trend, and as a result launches of products containing them are on the rise,”said Peter Dehasque, CEO of Taura Natural Ingredients. “According to CPL Business Consultants, with whom we work, 25% of all recent global food product launches feature fruit ingredients and we have also seen a worldwide 26% CAGR for new product launches containing fruit,” Dehasque added.
The global supplier’s broad portfolio and innovation pipeline of real fruit pieces and concentrated fruit pastes are well positioned to help food manufacturers take advantage of this trend as well as other “mega-trends,” including consumer demand for convenience and premiumization of ingredients, Dehausque explained.
In addition, he said, “there’s increasing demand for snack foods that are certified GMO-free, gluten-free, kosher and organic,” for which “our high quality of real fruit pieces and pastes are the perfect match.”
A diverse portfolio
For example, the firm’s January launch of Mini’s – real fruit pieces as small as a grain of quinoa – enables food manufacturers to add the benefits of real fruit to products where it was not possible before, such as ultra-thin biscuits and premium, thin chocolate tablets as well as a topping for donuts and muffins and in fruit and nut mixes, the firm notes.
The company’s JusFruit also helps finished products add the benefit of fruit while maintaining a clean label because the line does not have added sugar, the firm notes. In addition, the JusFruit+Vege is line is increasingly popular and being added to more toddler snacks and bars, Dehausque said.
“Our Creations range, meanwhile, appeals to sweeter taste profiles with variants such as honey, caramel and cinnamon, which are in high demand as inclusion to bars, cereals and premium baked goods,” he added.
The inclusion range, which includes fruit materials and ancient grains, also “work fantastically well” in these products and allows manufacturers to tap in to the whole grains trend and use superfoods, such as quinoa and chia, that have broad consumer appeal.
Finally, he said, Taura Natural’s fruit products can be combined with fiber, protein and caffeine powder for a functional “more complete system for healthy snacks” that can make health claims that consumers seek, Dehausque said.
Ultra Rapid Concentration
The products not only add benefits consumers seek, but they are easy to formulate in finished products in part because of how they are processed, the company said.
Taura’s Ultra Rapid Concentration process extracts moisture from heat sensitive fruit quickly to maintain the raw material’s integrity, the firm said, adding the fully automated system creates stable products that do not need additional bulking materials, flavors, colors or preservatives. This allows manufacturers to maintain clean labels.
The URC process also creates ingredients with “superb technical benefits where needed, such as low water activity, bake stability, free-flow and high fruit pure content,” Dehasque said.
Plus, he added, the URC particulates have a minimum of 18 months of shelf life and the pastes last nine to 12 months.
Business is booming
Taura’s ability to help manufacturers meet consumer’s evolving demands has boosted the firm’s U.S. sales significantly.
“Sales of Taura Natural Ingredients’ real fruit pieces in the U.S. have doubled in the past three years,” the company said.
It also attributes the increase to the many new entrants in the U.S. healthy single-serve snack food sector, especially snack bars, sales of which are estimated at $7.3 billion a year in the U.S. and are increasing at a CAGR of 7.9%, the company notes.
It adds: “As sales of added-value snacks have taken off in the States, so have our US sales. Three of our top 10 customers globally are now US companies, with the nutritional bar and toddler snack sectors accounting for the highest share of our US sales.”