Check out the September 2021 issue of Prepared Foods, featuring our cover story on premium, functional beverages, the importance of gut health in overall health, new packaged vegetable offerings for retail, and much more.
Today’s consumers are rarely satisfied with just a thirst-quenching drink when they crave a beverage. They’re seeking healthful extras that target everything from immunity to mood issues, from energy to meal replacement. And of course, they want plenty of flavor with few calories.
Ingredients that affect gut health are characterized as prebiotics, probiotics, synbiotics, and newly defined “postbiotics.” Ongoing research is elucidating the mechanisms by which these ingredients confer health benefits, demonstrating how trending ingredients such as fiber affect the gut microbiome on a molecular level, by interaction with microorganisms either directly or within intestinal cells.
Most food is judged by the consumer before it’s ever tasted. The color and appearance of foods and beverages are a primary aspect of what encourages someone to desire and taste them. The vibrant greens of fresh produce, the rainbow hues of fruits, or the more subtle, creamy beiges and golds of cheeses, and the rich browns of baked goods and seared meats can awaken a slumbering palate.
With such an acute focus on well-being in the wake of a year and a half of an ongoing global health crisis, consumers are paying closer attention than ever to the ingredients in the foods they eat. Moreover, with working from home shifting from a temporary to a permanent state for many workers, these same consumers have learned the hard way that calories count, so counting calories is back.
Snacks represent a huge and diverse market as eating patterns have become less formal. Consumer demand for physical and mental energy boosts through the day continues to increase. In combination, these trends leads to growing demands for snacks with energizing properties.
Whether over the rocks or incorporated into a savory or sweet dish, bourbon is a go-to flavor of fall. Bourbon-flavored dishes are often associated with comfort food and also one of the reasons it has experienced continued and growing popularity.