When consumers become the chef, clean and authentic ingredients matter

Today’s consumers are more conscious and curious than ever, and this is particularly true when it comes to food. Great taste is still a top priority regardless of cuisine styles, but other factors are also driving choices. Trends such as ‘clean label’ and the ‘foodie generation’ are likely here to stay. Satisfying these needs is a tall order for food producers; how can they deliver? 

A culinary trifecta: transparency, trust and taste

Food trends undoubtedly come and go, but many become the norm, firmly embedded in food culture. Twenty years ago, organic wasn’t even on the scene, and now it’s a multi-billion-dollar market. It’s a clear indicator that food awareness among consumers is on the rise and being reflected in buying habits.

A recent study by Mintel shows that 67% of US consumers say that a short, simple ingredient list is important when choosing food products. I see this play out nearly every time I’m in the grocery store and notice other shoppers reading the ingredient list on the back of a product. Not long ago, it was only sales people and food technologists who were interested in what’s on the back of the pack. Today’s consumers don’t want to purchase products with ingredients they don’t understand (or can’t pronounce). A clean label - with wholesome, recognizable and minimally-processed ingredients - satisfies this heightened awareness and desire for transparency about what goes into food.

But make no mistake – taste matters too, and consumers are increasingly adventurous when it comes to filling their plates. These wholesome, clean-label products also need to deliver authentic, vibrant flavors: chef-worthy taste and culinary style at home. 

Inspired by traditional cooking methods

Delivering on these elements is a challenge for food manufacturers to be sure, but it’s also an opportunity to hit a culinary home run. Inspired by culinary principles and traditional cooking methods, we developed our new MaxaGourmet™ portfolio in response to these trends, giving food producers a range of authentic taste ingredients that enrich premium quality, savory foods using recognizable culinary ingredients. 

Tried-and-true ingredients bring enrichment and simplicity

MaxaGourmet™ starts with familiar kitchen cupboard items –, onions, garlic, tomatoes, mushrooms, herbs and spices – and then we use a simple process inspired by home cooking to develop authentic, deep flavors and culinary complexity, delivering enrichment much like homemakers or chefs would do in their own kitchen. The resulting MaxaGourmet™ ingredients can be used by food manufacturers to enrich savory products with the adventurous flavors and recognizable ingredients consumers are looking for.  

Because it’s inspired by the flavors that develop during cooking processes like sautéing and slow cooking, MaxaGourmet™ has a light caramelized character and adds ‘slowly simmered’ complexity in a range of applications, from soups and sauces, to ready meal kits. Its high potency means only a small amount is needed to deliver the desired taste profile. To align with consumers’ ever-developing palates, we created three reduced salt culinary taste directions for MaxaGourmet™: 

  • MaxaGourmet™ Continental lends a roasted onion, vegetable and ‘meaty’ flavor to soups, sauces and meat alternatives.
  • MaxaGourmet™ Mediterranean donates a cooked tomato and herbal profile and a sweet, caramelized character to Mediterranean sauces and soups.
  • MaxaGourmet™ Oriental enhances spicy taste directions and lends a gently roasted ginger and onion profile to wok sauces, curries and soups.

Chef-inspired, homestyle cooking

For food producers, these taste directions can be used as culinary building blocks to create products that deliver true home-cooked, chef-inspired taste while maintaining a clean label with real, recognizable ingredients. For conscious consumers, this means the opportunity to create foods at home that deliver on culinary authenticity and complexity, without complicated cooking steps and with the peace of mind that comes with a simple, easy-to-understand label.

Explore the culinary possibilities with MaxaGourmet™

There are many factors that drive consumer food choices today, and it seems that the demand for products made with honest, real ingredients that also deliver authentic taste will only increase. Food manufacturers can turn to our MaxaGourmet™ portfolio to help achieve clean label standards and also ‘wow’ discerning consumers and foodies with authentic, vibrant flavor experiences.

To learn more about how MaxaGourmet™ can help your team develop clean-label products that excite and entice, feel free to drop me an email. 

MaxaGourmet™ Discover the new taste of clean label

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Published Date

17 June 2020

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