Exclusive: FrieslandCampina Ingredients on the latest trends

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

The Dutch ingredients company has published an update to its annual trends report.  Pic: FrieslandCampina Ingredients
The Dutch ingredients company has published an update to its annual trends report. Pic: FrieslandCampina Ingredients

Related tags frieslandcampina ingredients Frieslandcampina Trends Dairy

FrieslandCampina Ingredients has published its latest trend report, its “Extra Summer Edition.”

The new special edition includes microtrends such as small indulgence with a bonus, flavors from nature, and personalization.

The trends come with some recipe suggestions and ideas using FrieslandCampina Ingredients’ products.

DairyReporter spoke with Anneke van de Geijn from the company to look at what the new trends are.

How often do you publish information on the trends you are seeing, and do you create different information for different markets?

Trends come and go, with some developments lasting the course, and others fading away fast. Last year, we launched our Trend Report at the end of the summer. In it, we made a clear distinction between macro-trends, which are longer term developments that will shape the industry in the coming decade, and micro-trends that come and go much more quickly. 

The macro-trends we identified include Conscious Indulgence - which refers to healthier and more sustainable consumption; Experiences Engaging all Senses - which relates to increasing multi-sensorial and fun aspects of food such as an Instagrammable experience; and Personalise it Yourself Conveniently - which is driven largely by technological innovations.

The macro-trends are global trends, whereas the micro-trends are expressions of the macro-trends in different countries or regions. For example, a microtrend such as a cheese tea is a mainstream phenomenon in South-East Asia and China, whereas this delicious and on-trend drink is only starting to gain interest in the rest of the world. Other micro-trends such as a rainbow cake or a red velvet latte are more seasonal.

 Our initial idea when we launched the Trend Report was to publish our perspective on the latest trends on an annual basis. However, over the last months we decided to bring an extra edition and do justice to the current situation. This extra update reflects what we’re seeing right now.

Despite current uncertainties, the new Trend Report special edition identifies certain trends that are here to stay and may even become more dominant, and those that are being turned on their head. Here to stay is the trend that coffee, tea, fruit drinks and cakes become healthier.

Conversely, a trend that was initially about using ingredients from the beauty industry to pimp up drinks and food, focusing heavily on delicious aromas such as rose, sakura blossom and hibiscus and highlighting the indulgence and delicious aroma of foods and beverages, is now more about using natural ingredients. Naturalness has overtaken the focus on indulgence.

What trends are you currently seeing in food & beverage? Do trends change rapidly, or are some trends from the recent past still important?

The three global trends we identified - Experiences Engaging all Senses, Conscious Indulgence, and Personalise it Yourself Conveniently - are all still very relevant. Especially now, we see conscious indulgence manifesting itself in people increasingly looking for healthier options, but also turning to traditionally comforting foods and beverages that promise incidental goodness: for example cappuccino or ice cream enriched with proteins are on the rise.

Neither has the personalization trend lost value – with an increased awareness of health, we see people looking for foods and drinks that address their individual concerns.

The Experiences Engaging all Senses trend is also still strong. Also in difficult times, consumers appreciate small moments of indulgence that offer some degree of respite, relaxation and relief. Be it a never-before-tasted black charcoal latte treat, a comforting cup of coffee or tea at the end of a front-line worker’s long shift, a convenient home-baked pre-mix cake shared by a family confined together, or a quick and delicious dessert to maybe cheer up someone in quarantine and bring positivity, lift spirits and even raise a smile.

Pic: FrieslandCampina Ingredients

Indulgence is, however, tempered by conservatism, and we await to see how this trend will develop dependent on the COVID-19 pandemic.

How do you take these trends and help your customers create products for consumers?

Our development teams have been working hard to create applications that will help consumers through the COVID-19 pandemic. Food and drinks are of course vital, and our team is working flat out, doing their utmost to enable our customers to keep their shelves stocked, going above and beyond to adapt to changing  consumers’ needs throughout the crisis.

One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is our strength in bringing real recipes to our customers. For example, our Extra Summer Edition of our trends report features a strawberry iced tea with probiotic foam. This is just one of the ideas for this summer and beyond to enable our customers to offer consumers some extra goodness via their drinks and foods.

Another concept we are presenting to our customers is an olive oil bread that combines the incidental goodness of healthier monounsaturated fats and antioxidants with a delicious taste.

Under the Experiences Engaging all senses trend, our booklet highlights a rose nice cream with added proteins that combines health benefits with a great taste experience, and an indulgent black charcoal latte.

Finally, we are also seeing the conscious consumption and personalisation trends begin to merge. We call this new blend of trends ‘no waste, good taste’. It’s all about consumers increasingly embracing a zero waste culture in their homes, and cleverly incorporating still good to use leftovers into new dishes. One example we have developed is a delicious overripe banana bread - a moist and more-ish treat that saves bananas that are past their best from the bin.

Suggestions such as these often form the starting point for dialogue with our customers as we explore the opportunities in their markets and tailor recipes to wow their consumers based on their specific needs. The level of services and support we provide ranges from full recipe development to simply supplying the idea and the ingredients.

Are trends affected by things like COVID-19, because of spending power and people not eating out as much? Or does being at home mean people are being more adventurous in their own meal creation?

The global foodservice market has of course been hit particularly hard. We are working with our customers to consider different scenarios for the industry for when things settled down to a new normal. While we all currently face a great deal of uncertainty, we are also seeing a lot of creativity and entrepreneurial spirit being unleashed, and have faith that new times are ahead.

Conversely, the market for instant drinks and retail remix cakes, for example, is still doing well. People forced to stay at home together seek positivity and optimism in these difficult times. A café-style cappuccino or a delicious cake baked together provide just the treat that’s needed to bring some extra light to a potentially grey day.

One result of the pandemic seems to be a heightened interest in immunity and wellness, will this continue, and how can FrieslandCampina Ingredients help tap into this?

FrieslandCampina Ingredients is well positioned to tap into this need with our offerings in Early Life Nutrition and Adult Nutrition with our dairy based ingredients and solutions. Whey and caseinates are high quality proteins delivering building blocks for tissues like muscles, bones and the immune system and several studies have shown that lactoferrin may support the immune response against pathogens in infants (1,2) and adults (3,4).

Moreover we see increasing scientific evidence of the role of gut health on immunity, with huge potential for galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) (5,6,7). With our ingredients such as Vivinal GOS, Aequival 2’-FL and Nutri Whey, we work with our customers to address increasing consumer interest for health and wellness solutions. And very soon we are going to launch another exciting proposition on health benefit solutions for adults, so stay tuned!

Specifically for coffee, tea, fruit drinks and cakes, we are seeing immunity as part of a broader trend of healthier indulgence, with focus on added proteins, probiotics, healthier fats, gluten-free products and the use of natural dairy ingredients. There has also been a surge in demand for plant-based options across Europe and the Americas.

Pic: FrieslandCampina Ingredients

So where strengthening the immune system is the key feature in some segments of the food and beverages industry, in coffee and tea, cake and ice cream it is just one of many aspects. Nevertheless we see immunity as a growing trend, and when the time is right we will present concepts to our customers and prospects to enable them to tap into this.

As mentioned in your report, food waste is important, which is also related to the lockdown and an economic downturn: will this be of increased importance now, and what solutions do you have for this area?

Yes, we call this the ‘no waste, good taste’ trend. In coffee, tea, fruit drinks, cake and ice cream this trend taps into consumers’ desire to reduce waste and make smart use of foods that would otherwise be destined for the bin, while still enjoying a good taste. In an economic downturn, we expect this no waste trend to increase in relevancy, so this one is here to stay.

We see people using excess fruit in smoothies and fruit drinks, which could be topped with a milk cap to create an indulgent beverage concept. Another way of using up fruit is a delicious and versatile coulis topping. These type of concepts we will create awareness for with our customers.

Have things changed in terms of what people are buying; for example, is there an effect on the plant-based movement?

Since plant-based is related to perceived health aspects, we expect this trend to remain important as people continue to buy food and drinks that support the idea of a healthier lifestyle.

We do expect some twists and tweaks, however. Consumers in the future will consciously choose proven healthier options. They will look more for data or scientific studies that will help them to make well-informed effective choices. This means that it will be important for producers to make clear to consumers how healthy plant-based options are. Though it is a rather complex topic, consumers will need simple communication to base their choices on.

And are there any more trends you expect to emerge in the next few months as things gradually get back to a “new normal”?

Yes, some trends have changed for good - and for the better!

Not just within food and beverages but in society as a whole. For example, we can expect zero waste and circularity to be higher on the agenda in the new normal, as well as sustainability issues bringing a stop to the unrestrained use of natural resources.

And if we at Food & Beverages could make one wish, it would be that the pandemic made us realize that no matter how different we all are, great things can be achieved by coming together in collaboration. Doing things together is certainly a trend we will stand for.


1) Zavaleta et al., 2007, 2) Ochoa et al., 2008, 3) Vitetta et al., 2013, 4) Van Splunteret al., 2018, 5) Arslanoglu et al., 2008 6) Fanaro et al., 2009, 7) Krumbeck et al., 2018

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