Consumer Confusion With Non-GMO Food Products

The talk about GMO (genetically modified organism) and non-GMO foods is only getting louder, but unfortunately, a lot of talk stems from, and thus perpetuates, confusion. Consumers typically aren’t sure exactly what GMO foods entail and, likewise, how non-GMO foods differ, but they do tend to assume non-GMO foods are better for them.

With increased demand from consumers, new product launches of non-GMO products have risen immensely over the past few years. According to Mintel GNPD, 1,992 new non-GMO products were released in 2014, more than six times as many as four years prior, when 2010 saw 303 new product launches.

Does this indicate a trend or a shift? Recent evidence is pointing toward the latter as consumers in all aspects of life are demanding to know more about everything. Especially when it comes to what they eat, they feel food producers and the FDA owe it to them to be transparent about what’s being sold.

 

Non-GMO Cornmeal and Corn Sweeteners

At Bremer, we’re fielding and filling a lot of requests for non-GMO cornmeal and corn sweeteners, and it’s no surprise: as consumers demand more non-GMO products, they’re especially focusing on snacks. Of the total United States product launches from 2000 through 2014, more than half fall into the category of snacks.

Consumers want to understand more about what they’re buying, and they’re putting the onus on food producers to educate them. Still, consumers expect transparency while still being able to count on a reliable, sweet snack when they want it.

Non-GMO sweeteners aren’t limited to snacks, of course. Dairy, bakery, sauces and juice drinks make up the other near-half of new product launches, and those foods need cornmeal sweeteners, too.

As GMO-free product launches continue to increase every year, we’re unsurprisingly seeing demand from our customers for non-GMO ingredients increase accordingly. Cornmeal, corn sweeteners, starches, flours—everything.

If you’re looking to place an order for the highest quality non-GMO ingredients, talk to us today. We’ll get you what you need on time, every time.

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Demand for Non-GMO Sugar Increases

Food-manufacturing and food-processing companies are pushing to rid their products of genetically modified organisms due to increased demand from customers. As consumers seek healthier lifestyles and diets focused on natural ingredients, companies have had to adapt to keep their sales up.

For example, The Hershey Company announced in early 2015 they would be removing GMO ingredients from almost all its products. Most notably, Hershey’s Kisses and Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars are no longer made with genetically modified beet sugar. Rather, they are being made with cane sugar.

Hershey’s isn’t the only company ridding their products of GMOs, but they are the most notable. While they haven’t yet committed to shedding GMOs from all their products, that point appears to be coming. Consumers are demanding it, and consumers usually win.

Where Can U.S. Producers Source Non-GMO Sugar?

Currently, most of the sugar grown in the United States is beet sugar, which can be genetically modified. In order to acquire non-GMO sugars, companies need to source internationally, with Brazil becoming a more and more enticing market.

Brazil is the largest cane-sugar producer in the world, although a lot of their natural cane sugar goes to create sugarcane ethanol (fuel), so they aren’t necessarily the largest producer of edible cane sugar. That could change, however, as more and more companies in the United States and elsewhere look to Brazil for the pure, non-GMO cane sugar.

What it Means for the Sugar Industry

Brazil has the perfect climate for cane sugar, which used to be the only type of sugar anyone wanted. Will their high level of production increase as more U.S. producers seek natural ingredients?

Or, will the beet-sugar producers in the United States start to remove their GMO crops and produce natural beet sugars?

The costs are generally higher with non-GMO ingredients, which means the price of cane sugar could climb significantly if companies look to source their cane sugars from Brazil and other foreign countries. Of course, there are costs to beet-sugar producers switching their business models as well.

With consumers demanding more natural ingredients, will they also bear the brunt of these price increases? In general, natural ingredients cost more, so it will be very interesting to follow these trends to see how the sugar industry handles these consumer demands.

We are committed to assisting you with your needs no matter the shifts in consumer demands. At Bremer, we carry both GMO beet sugar, and Non-GMO can sugar. Let us know what your consumers are demanding and how we can help.

Contact Us Today for a Quote!

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What are Flavoring Extracts and Emulsions?

Flavor of the Month, Year and Decade

There is one attribute to food and beverages on which consumers never want to compromise. No matter the trends, diets or habits of anyone, flavor is always of the utmost importance.

Producers, obviously, know this, which is why marketing for a healthy snack always mentions the fact it still tastes as good or better than its competitors. Consumers want to eat healthy, but they also want to enjoy the taste of what they’re eating and drinking. If they’re going to be talked into trading one food for another, they need to be assured they’re not missing out on taste.

At Bremer, we understand the importance of flavor. With our inventory of stock flavor extracts and emulsions, with the ability to create custom flavors, we work to understand everything you need to give your customers the savory tastes they crave.

Flavor Extracts vs. Flavor Emulsions

There are two main types of flavoring ingredients: flavor extracts and flavor emulsions. What’s the difference? And why might you use one instead of the other?

The main difference lies in where the flavor compounds are suspended. A flavor extract uses a 35% (approximate) alcohol solution to suspend the flavor compounds. A flavor emulsion suspends the flavor compounds in water and vegetable gum.

One of the most common flavor extracts to a regular household is vanilla extract. Suspending the vanilla flavor compounds in alcohol is a smart choice for the end user because it is rare anyone would use that much vanilla extract at once. Because alcohol is a tremendous flavor solvent and preservative, many households benefit from the long-lasting and flavorful vanilla extract.

A downside to extracts is the volatility of alcohol. Because it’s volatile, it evaporates fast, but as the alcohol evaporates, it takes some of the flavor and smells with it.

By comparison, flavor emulsions use the gooey mix of water and vegetable gum, which don’t evaporate nearly as quickly as alcohol and thus better retain essential oils during baking. Some people prefer emulsions and the more robust flavor, whereas others believe it can be overwhelming.

Depending on the type of flavor and size of production, an extract or an emulsion may be the right choice for you. Contact us to discuss options we always have in stock or to develop a custom flavor specifically for your products.

Holiday Food Ingredient Trends

You Can Taste (and Smell) the Holidays

Nothing tells you it’s the holiday season better than your own sense of smell. Even in the middle of July, if you get a whiff of peppermint, you—even if only for a moment—think it’s November or December.

And now, as we’re at the height of holiday season, those familiar scents will be permeating the air anywhere you can find an oven.

We’ve compiled a few ingredients, based on consumer trends, to give you an idea of what consumers are looking for. What types of recipes are you manufacturing and baking to cater to your customers at this time of year?

Classic Holiday Ingredients

Ginger will forever be associated with the holidays, taking the lead in gingerbread cookies, ginger crisps and any number of creative twists on the old standbys.

Peppermint plays the starring role in bars, cookies and other desserts to adorn the holiday season (after all, this was the chosen flavor for candy canes).

Two more classic holiday ingredients, vanilla and nutmeg, find their ways into dishes throughout the year, but are especially noticeable during the holidays. While essential on their own, become more powerful when combined, along with rum, to create the classic holiday drink, egg nog. As Clark W. Griswold would say, “It’s good.”

Lesser-Known Holiday Ingredients

Many ingredients are extremely popular in certain parts of the world or in certain families, but are unknown or even disliked in others. Still, we looked at what consumers want this year, and found an increasing demand for versatile (and polarizing) allspice, cardamom, saffron and star anise.

What are you seeing from your customers? Is there a particular spice to which they tend to gravitate?