Around the world, consumer appetite for food and beverages made with alternative proteins is pronounced – and demand keeps growing. Adjunctly, German flavor house Symrise notes that taste preferences of meat lovers, flexitarians, vegetarians and vegans is evolving. As such, the need for alternatives to meat and dairy products is proliferating – both out of conviction and for health reasons, the company notes. Many consumers want to eat healthier and more sustainably. The consumption of alternative proteins has left its niche positioning, and now numerous consumer groups around the world are turning to these “green variants.”
The news from Symrise comes as plant-based foods are in the spotlight. Innova Market Insights ranked “The Plant-Based Revolution” as second place in its Top Ten Trends list for 2020. The gulf between plant-based and meat products is shrinking as vegan offerings are increasingly catching up to animal proteins in terms of smell, taste and textural sensations.
According to Symrise, it is often also curiosity that drives people to try a vegan burger or plant-based sausage. After trying these products for the first time, the taste experience is decisive to determine whether this initial tasting will repeat itself.
With this in mind, sustainably expanding product offerings in the long run with tasty options requires new, unique taste experiences. From aromatic vegetables to inspirations from global cuisines – “creativity and fantasy create an appetite for more,” notes Symrise. This way, plant-based products get their very own authenticity, which accentuates the taste of plants.
Symrise uses natural raw materials from sustainable sources and relies on pure, natural ingredients from its code of nature portfolio. This is also supported by the manufacturer’s in-depth sensory understanding and technological know-how.
“Our technologies are the source of gentle preparation processes that refine and release the authentic taste of nature,” explains Christopher Sabater, Director Technology Research at Symrise.
“Our global approach covers the entire taste range for alternative protein. This includes meat alternatives as well as plant-based products with their own authentic taste profile, dairy alternatives and drinks with nutritional added value,” explains Eva Scholten, Marketing Manager Culinary at Symrise.
Consumer focus on plant-based delights
Consumers have many different wishes when it comes to plant-based protein. So-called “newbies” among vegans and vegetarians look for plant-based alternatives that taste like ground beef, gyros or chicken nuggets. Flexitarians buy both meat and plant-based products from ethical production whenever possible In either case, the taste of both options is important to them, as is the variety in the culinary experience. For this, Symrise offers taste solutions for products with alternative protein across the whole spectrum, from a smoky meat note to the fresh taste of mint and spinach, all the way to Thai styles.
“We combine our knowledge of alternative protein sources with our taste expertise, our understanding of recipes and comprehensive consumer data. From this combination, we develop and produce taste solutions for plant-based foods and beverages that consumers love. Furthermore, we help our customers to fulfill the consumer demand for well-being, naturalness and sustainability,” Scholten elaborates.
Studies in different countries confirm that this is a trend here to stay. As an example, 29 percent of Germans extend their food plan to include “green alternatives” and eat less meat because they want to protect the climate. Notably, 41 percent of consumers in the UK want to eat less meat to benefit their well-being.
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