It says many people are placing an increasingly high priority on natural products with natural flavors as part of a well-balanced and health-conscious diet.
Vegetable protein sources
Speaking to Wolfgang Feile, product manager, WILD, at SIAL tradeshow in Paris this week (October 16-20) he said the growth rate for new launches among vegan foods and drinks reached 400% between 2011 and 2015.
“This shows that vegan diets have established themselves in society and there are no signs of the trend reversing,” he added.
“Eating vegetables of all kinds is more popular than ever, and it corresponds to people's desire for a healthy lifestyle. This is the perfect market opportunity for juices and still drinks with an added touch of vegetables.”
In the US, vegan products more than doubled in the four years leading up to 2015. In Germany, the figure has exploded, going from 100 to 1,700.
Consumer expectations with regard to quality and variety are also rising. WFSI is able to meet these expectations with vegetable protein sources.
Vegan desserts alternative to ice cream
Feile said the company is showcasing modern concepts for vegan desserts at SIAL as an alternative to ice cream. It has designed toppings such as “Xtreme Sour” for an “extreme” flavor sensation combining sweet, fruity mango for example with an exceptionally sour, exotic flavor.
Jochen Kistner, head of product management beverage, WFSI, said it is also targeting a rising number of 'flexitarians' who sometimes refrain from animal-based products to expand its beverage categories.
It has created a range of vegan power drinks which are vegan and lactose-free, containing protein and B vitamins.
Other highlights at SIAL include cider concepts with fresh citrus notes, unconventional carbotanicals as modern thirst quenchers, Fruit&Veggie options, and still drinks which contain juice.
Its Fruit&Veggie still drinks include orange-pumpkin-ginger or beet-strawberry, with a blend of fruit and vegetable juices and come as a low-calorie option with steviol glycosides.
Feile added the current craft-beverage movement is opening up opportunities to manufacturers who want to take advantage of the trend. As a result, WFSI has applied the character of craft products to beer mix beverages, creating flavored beers with aromatic hoppy notes.
A “hops shandy” can be positioned on the market in different ways ― either plain, as an authentic premium alternative or as an original drink from the club scene. A choice of lime, grapefruit and black currant creates interesting new fruit options, said Feile.
WFSI has also taken the idea of unfiltered flavored beer concepts and transferred it to cider. Tangy cider drinks with hints of popular citrus flavors like lemon and grapefruit contain 5% fruit juice and 2% alcohol. They are fruitier and less sweet than classic cider beverages, making them an attractive alternative to flavored beers.