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Firmenich Case Studies on Overcoming Obstacles in Creating Authentic Plant-Based Eating Experiences

Authenticity is the holy grail in plant-based applications and a key attribute that makes them stand out from your competitors. As more and more brands and products enter the market and consumers experiment with a wide variety of plant-based options, they have become more discerning in their taste expectations and are demanding an authentic experience that is just as great tasting as the animal-based options.

On May 25th 2021, Firmenich will be hosting a webinar entitled “Firmenich Case Studies on Overcoming Obstacles in Creating Authentic Plant-Based Eating Experiences”

The webinar will present three comprehensive case studies across plant-based dairy, nutrition and meat applications. The goal is to help R&D leads and product developers unlock new possibilities by overcoming common obstacles when developing authentic eating experiences in plant-based products.

Understanding common challenges from the Flexitarian Challenge

Innovation is at the heart of our industry and at Firmenich, and it starts with understanding the consumer and predicting future industry trends. To identify what’s next in plant-based innovation, we hosted our biennial Flexitarian Challenge, a visionary approach to innovation led by our consumer-centric Chef Designers, with the goal of creating the future of plant-based food and beverages.

Through the challenge, we solved for key tensions that are preventing adoption of plant-based products, including providing more options to avoid the boredom rut, and ensuring that plant-based options deliver on nutritional value. Through the Flexitarian Challenge, we also identified the need to deliver an authentic consumer eating experience that replicates both the physical and emotional components of food.

Here is a brief video on the Flexitarian Challenge:

What are the components of an authentic eating experience?:

Authenticity continues to be the main pain point for the consumer. We took this insight a step further by translating it into actionable insights and solutions for product development.

Through our proprietary TasteLounge community of engaged consumers, we were able to uncover the top components of an authentic eating experience across applications, broken out by aroma, taste and mouthfeel. Most importantly, we uncovered that there are crucial elements of the taste experience that drive authenticity in plant-based products aside from just flavor.

For plant-based dairy products, creamy mouthfeel is critical to the authentic dairy eating experience. To replicate this experience, we formulated for texture to restore the creaminess in plant-based dairy.

For plant-based nutrition products, masking protein off-notes is crucial to avoid off-putting flavors that create a bad tasting experience for the consumer. To solve for this, we utilized a multi-disciplinary sensory approach to pinpoint those off-notes and then disguised those off-notes.

For plant-based meat products, it’s important to replicate the aroma and mouth-watering experience of real meat. To address this obstacle, we leveraged new Firmenich technology that mimics the eating experience of meat-based burgers.

Solving for these challenges is easier said than done, but our team of R&D and product development experts have been working diligently to uncover solutions that address these issues across plant-based applications.

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Register for the Webinar to learn more

In our upcoming webinar, our team of experts will dive deeper on this subject and present problem and solution structured case studies that layer sensory research, product development approaches, and innovative flavor and taste technology tools to create a truly authentic plant-based eating experience. These comprehensive approaches and solutions can then be reapplied to product development obstacles in the future.

To learn more and continue to build your plant-based product innovation expertise, register for our webinar "Firmenich Case Studies on Overcoming Obstacles in Creating Authentic Plant-Based Eating Experiences​.​"