Soon after I started walking the floor of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) show in early May, two themes stood out-convenience and indulgence-with indulgence not necessarily meaning high calorie and high fat, rather delicious and pleasurable.
Attendees of the 2005 IFT Annual Meeting + Food Expo® will want to avoid New Orleans' famous party bazaar on Bourbon Street, as the show's jam-packed technical program and trend-setting exhibition floor will require a clear mind and rested body. Indeed, this year's show will provide food formulators with the tools to develop foods for today and tomorrow's consumers.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 (Dietary Guidelines) is the sixth and latest science-based dietary guidance document to be released since first published in 1980. The Dietary Guidelines provide diet and health recommendations for choosing a nutritious diet, maintaining a healthy weight, getting adequate exercise, and keeping foods safe to avoid foodborne illness.
"Ladies and gentlemen, you heard it here first. Sodium will be one of the next consumer hot buttons," said Anne Berlack, executive v.p., Information Resources Inc., Chicago, when she spoke at the SmartMarketing meeting on March 17 in Atlanta. "We've gone through counting fat and carbohydrate grams in pursuit of healthier lifestyles and better overall wellness. With that comes a return to keeping sodium intake levels low, as sodium intake is correlated to hypertension and heart health."
Did you know that there are currently 97 federal standards of identity for various dairy products out of a total of 262 standards for all foods, including dairy? The dairy industry has a disproportionate number-37%-and cheese has the largest proportion of the dairy standards. Even worse, few of the dairy standards have been updated to allow for advancements in formulating, processing or packaging.
Key considerations when formulating "good-for-you" ice cream are what you wish to accomplish and what you want to promote about the finished food. These are determined by balancing marketing- and other business-related objectives with regulatory limitations and allowances. That is, when considering a specific "good-for-you" claim, consider finished weight (pounds per gallon) and compositional limitations amongst other objectives. Working backward from a target finished weight per serving can help fix levels of certain compositional factors such as total fat, total saturated fat, total sugar(s), total carbohydrates, calories, etc.
Any health-conscious consumer knows that cultured products are good for you because they help promote digestive health. Any health-conscious consumer also knows that limiting calories and sugar is beneficial as well.
According to in-store scanner data from Information Resources Inc., Chicago, the category called "cappuccino/iced coffee" increased slightly more than 55% from 2000 to 2004. Indeed, ready-to-drink packaged, coffee-flavored, milk-based beverages are an exploding business. Sales of other coffee-flavored dairy products such as frozen desserts appear to be steady, suggesting they are still quite popular with consumers.
If properly incorporated, hydrocolloid stabilizers can provide excellent functional attributes to cultured dairy products. Stabilizers are high molecular-weight hydrophilic (water-loving) hydrocolloids that are added to food products to control water. Many stabilizing compounds are polysaccharides, often derived from plant sources. Examples include seed gums (guar gum, locust bean gum), those isolated from seaweeds (carrageenan, agar), microbially-derived polysaccharides (xanthan gum), as well as pectins, food starch and modified-food starch. In addition, protein-based stabilizer gelatin may be used in certain cultured dairy product applications.