Icon Foods: 'Zero sugar seems to be the call out of the day on product labels'
By Elaine Watson
- Last updated on
When it comes to sweeteners, the market has been pretty volatile lately, with some buyers stocking up amid concerns about pricing and availability, said Thom King, CEO at low and no calorie sweetener supplier Icon Foods: “There’s ridiculous volatility… we bought very long, so we're sitting on more erythritol than we've ever sat on before, so we’ve got right now, enough to take us probably into Q2 of 2023.”
When it comes to projects Icon is working on with customers, he said, “We’re seeing more projects in condiments, but most of the formulations that I've been working on lately have been in beverages. We’re seeing a lot of firms adding adaptogens and other functional ingredients, which can have bitter off notes that need to be addressed, so I like to use modulators. My go-to is thaumatin, which is very expensive, but works amazingly well in combination with Reb-M.”
Asked about trends, he said: “Zero sugar seems to be the call out of the day on product labels, but people are still using keto as a search term when they shop online. We’re also seeing a lot of interest in fibers, although I don't know if it's because people are using them to drive down net carbs or because [they proactively want to promote the] health benefits of fiber.”
More generally, he said, Icon Foods has benefited from having a diversified supply base. “If there’s a shortage at one manufacturer, we can go to others. So at times last year, Cargill didn't have any erythritol left, but we did.”