The latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans were released in January 2011 and focused industry attention on the need for food manufacturers and food service operators to continue improving the health and nutritional profiles of their products to keep up with the new standards. Food ingredient marketers that sell ingredient products to these customers will have several opportunities to help their customers develop products that meet the goals of the new Guidelines.
- Reduced salt and sodium– Manufacturers are continuing to reduce sodium levels in their products and food ingredient marketers have the opportunity to create real value for customers with replacement products and solution systems that deliver lower sodium while maintaining taste and manufacturing efficiency. Successful sodium reduction products have focused on specific applications like bakery or processed meats where the emphasis is on the customer’s brand.
- Reduced sugars and sweeteners– Opportunities are abound for ingredient and flavor companies that can help customers develop new approaches to sweetening food and beverage products. The focus will be on applications that help customers improve their overall nutritional profiles while simplifying their labels and ingredient statements.
- Healthy school lunch programs– School food service providers will be highly motivated by new federal support programs that reward them for getting healthier products into their lunch menus and snack programs. Expect to see increasing use of stealth ingredients to meet the higher standards without telling the kids they are eating “healthy” foods.
Savvy food ingredient marketers and flavor companies are already expanding their product portfolios to take advantage of these new opportunities. Expect to see an increase in aggressive trade marketing as ingredient companies fight for the attention of the major food manufacturing and food service customers.
To read the specific recommendations in the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans, click here.