Emerging mega trend: Food Texture...and a Raindrop Cake?Though combining textures has been in the food industry for many years, think "Muller Crunch Corner" and "Thin and Crispy" shouts on pizza boxes, it is again growing in popularity. As is in the food industry, these trends seem to work on product cycles of popularity.
Consumers are looking for more in their food; great flavour yes but also different bites, textures and mouth feels. According to Mintel 15% of new products launched in Europe in 2016 combined textures, with over 1000 new products entering into the market. Germany are one of the innovators using various combinations of textures to appeal to the market. Katya Witham, Senior Food and Drink Analyst from Mintel, conducted a study on this (1).
One of the main drivers for this texture also comes from a "health" aspect. With 43% of consumers claiming "chewers" status and 33% claiming "crunchers" (2), the healthy grains and vegetables fall well in line with this food eater type majority. Interestingly a study conducted by Jeltema, Beckley and Vahalik showed the eating types are not consistent and depends on what the consumer is purchasing "a Cruncher may say, “Yes, most foods I like are crunchy, but with cookies I like a soft one that I can chew and smoosh” (2). This study showed four main eating behaviour types "these findings indicate that individuals fall into four mouth behavior groups which we have named—Crunchers, Chewers, Suckers, and Smooshers". (2)
Though health conscious or not texture drivers are also driven in Pizza claims for example, and importantly repeat buys may count on products living up to texture claims. A consumer who buys a "Thin & Crispy" pizza, to find out it is not exactly that is very unlikely to repeat buy no matter how good the flavour. Also in deserts; combining honeycomb that can appeal to the "Chewers/Crunches" or "Suckers" combined with a hot sticky fudge cake which would appeal to the "Smooshers". According to Mintel, texture is the third top claim in desserts, beating ‘gluten-free’
A combination of textures is now also being added to drinks and gels. Performance gels are becoming ever more apparent; combined with glucose, caffeine etc. Also drinks that include Chia Seeds for example and flavoured water.
Starches and Texturises can be used to create these textures and adding Rusks into products can add a different dimension. Why not add a flavoured Gluten Free breader to the outside of a meat product to add a different flavour dimension and texture?
As we see this Texture trend continue to grow, innovative dishes from around the world are coming closer to the public eye and Social Media. The video below shows Mizu Shingen Mochi or Raindrop Cake (not a direct translation).
products for different groups,” Dr. Jeltema (2)
(1) Katya Witham, SIX TEXTURE-FOCUSED FOOD AND DRINK LAUNCHES IN GERMANY
(2) Jeltema, Beckley and Vahalik, Model for understanding consumer textural food choice
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