Even the most casual observer has noticed that the consumer food market is changing, and in a big way. Tastes are migrating away from the “diet” or “low calorie” products that were popular in the 1990s but are now perceived to be manufactured with “artificial” chemicals. Now people want to consume products that are more consciously constructed out of ingredients that might be found in the consumer’s own kitchen. You can see this trend playing out in the realm of fast food – before their recent difficulties, Chipotle had surpassed McDonald’s in terms of positive brand recognition due to their emphasis on using only natural ingredients and meat that does not include hormones or antibiotics.
Consumers care about their health and the health of their children, and they are increasingly unwilling to expose themselves to chemical or medical additives that they are unfamiliar with in their foods. Emphasis on reducing the “gluten” content of foods, while it may be largely misplaced, is a function of increasing anxiety about the food system and how it affects human bodies. There is a drive to return to simpler times and fewer, fresher ingredients in commercial food products which does not on its face seem to be compatible with the state of the contemporary realities of the global food manufacturing industry. This is particularly a challenge when food and snack manufacturers wish to make their products healthier while maintaining the same flavour or texture profile. How do you lower fat or reduce the salt content in your product without explicitly adding (perfectly safe, but commercially undesirable) chemical additives?
One way is to partner with a distribution company that provides access to unique and natural ingredient solutions, such as Cambrian Solutions, which is a chemical distribution company founded in 1995 to provide food manufacturers with opportunities to naturally increase the health of their products. Together with their supply partner, they have pioneered the innovative use of a spray-dried extract derived from vegetables that can take the place of salt but does not share chemical components with potassium chloride. In fact, this spray has also been shown to bring out the “umami/kokumi” compounds in foods without resorting to the use of MSG or drastic changes in ingredients.
Because this unique formulation is based on naturally occurring foods, it can be listed as “natural flavours” on the ingredient list, further increasing consumer confidence in the product. It’s that kind of holistic attention to detail up and down the supply chain which makes them stand out as a chemical and ingredient distribution company. There’s nothing better than finding a substitute that everyone – including your customers! – can be happy with. If you’re interested in learning more about this product, check out Cambrian.com/natural-sodium-reduction/ for more information. As consumers have demonstrated over the past decade, natural additives make foods more attractive, so you owe it to your customers (and your bottom line) to find natural solutions to your products whenever you can.