Increasing the nutritional content of food products – especially from fruit and vegetables – is a growing trend. Many consumers are actively looking for foods with only few ingredients and wanting foods as fresh as time allows. This means manufacturers need to source natural food ingredients that have no added sugars, are whole fruit or vegetable origin and have nothing artificial added.
The benefits of healthy eating are gaining momentum with government initiatives the world over attempting to create awareness and educational programs. Many studies indicate that consumers are adopting a ‘natural’ lifestyle with a focus on health and well-being that natural food includes green living, sustainability.
Greater consumer awareness of environmental issues, such as global warming and climate change is creating a continuous shift toward products containing natural ingredients, with demand rapidly rising for convenience foods containing natural fruit and vegetables. With growing consumer experimentation and acceptance of natural food ingredients, demand for more novel and exotic fruit and vegetable ingredients is expected.
Manufacturers are responding by utilizing the benefits of fruits and vegetables in already popular applications – whether it’s a pizza sauce, a cereal bar or a fruit based snack – manufacturers can help children as well as adults, get more servings of fruits and vegetables into their diets.
However while trends indicate a preference for healthy and natural foods, it is important to consider the role recent economic pressures have played in changing the way consumers shop. Price and value have become key criteria for shoppers. Fortunately natural fruit and vegetable ingredients provide a valuable healthy halo to consumer products; adding value through nutrition and indulgence through flavour and format.
With natural food a focus on the development of products that positively impact the health and well being of consumers without sacrificing on taste, manufacturers are able to hold valuable shelf-space in supermarket aisles and generate consumer loyalty.