Trending Concepts in Dairy-Based Condiments Like Dressings, Dips, and Sauces
What came first, the Buffalo wing or the blue cheese sauce, the tortilla chip or the queso, the chip or the dip? It’s not important; what matters is that dairy-based condiments add a delicious layer of flavor to their carrier, turning the ordinary into memorable and satisfying fare. Today’s consumers have adventurous palates.
They desire authentic flavors and welcome innovative twists. Dairy ingredients – including butter, cheese, milk, sour cream and yogurt – provide a rich, creamy canvas for product developers to design dressings, dips, and sauces in everyday flavors such as ranch and nacho to culinary-inspired creations such as caramelized onion aged cheddar and roasted garlic buttermilk.
Such dairy-based condiments provide inspiration and a quick, easy way to elevate a home-cooked meal in the kitchen, where consumers are spending more time during the COVID-19 pandemic. They crave restaurant foods, everything from breakfast sandwiches and globally inspired lunch bowls to chef-made three-course dinners. Of course, most consumers lack the culinary training needed to make these foods from scratch. Further, many authentic international dishes rely on ingredients indigenous to the
country of origin. These items are not always available in the local market. Fortunately, however, condiment manufacturers have better access to sourcing these ingredients and can use traditional recipes and processes to satisfy ardent palates.
The global sauces and dips market is projected to soar at a compound annual growth rate of 6.97%, from retail sales of $138.2 billion in 2019 to $207.1 billion by the end of 2025, according to a May 2020 report published by Knowledge Sourcing Intelligence. Driving forces include economics, which has more consumers cooking at home, as well as consumers’ growing interest in all things culinary. Further fueling this growth is the demand for natural, clean-label food products, as well as refrigerated, fresh products made with ingredients found in “grandma’s kitchen.”
Increasing Demand for ‘Healthful Halo’ of Dairy-Based Condiments
Millennials, in particular, are big users of dairy-based condiments. These self-proclaimed foodies are more ethnically and racially diverse than any previous generation, which drives their desire for globally influenced flavors. Millennials crave layers of flavors, especially when they involve an element of surprise, such as sweet with heat. Dressings, dips and sauces are a convenient way to satisfy their insatiable appetite for culinary adventure.
Many dairy-based condiments carry a healthful halo, as dairy ingredients can be a source of high-quality protein, healthful fatty acids and the bone-building mineral calcium. These nutrients add value, giving consumers permission to indulge. They complement the growing number of consumers making more mindful food choices. Those who want to make every bite count.
Decreasing Costs in Producing Dairy-Based Condiments
The COVID-19 pandemic is also making shoppers more mindful about food costs, but that does not translate to sacrificing on quality. Formulators can elevate the taste of dressings, dips and sauces while decreasing costs and keeping a clean label with Edlong’s new line of Dairy-Based Natural Flavors. Sourced from real dairy, these emulsions are produced using natural fermentation. The line includes authentic cheese, sour cream and buttermilk flavor profiles with multiple benefits, including low usage levels and heat stability.
“These dairy-based natural flavors provide the option to reduce or replace dairy commodities for cost savings while increasing overall flavor impact,” says Julie Drainville, Senior Sensory Scientist for Edlong. “They also offer potential natural labeling advantages.”
Flavor & Function: Condiment Manufacturers Can Have The Best of Both Worlds
Lourdes Mato, dairy research scientist and project lead for our 100-year-old dairy flavor company’s new Dairy-Based Natural Flavors line, adds, “This is a true collaboration between sensory, applications and research and development. By specifically focusing our flavor performance expertise on dressings, dips and sauces, we can customize profiles to achieve truly authentic flavors that artificial intelligence (AI) research confirms are predicted to be preferred over dairy that is not flavor enhanced.”
Edlong partnered with an AI company that specializes in the food and beverage industry. Edlong’s scientists leveraged insights from AI research results to gain a better understanding of how flavors perform in certain applications, and how they impact predicted consumer preference of a finished product.
“The AI platform involves having panelists scientifically evaluate products and then the AI interprets what consumers taste,” says Ms. Drainville. “The AI models human sensory perception of flavor, aroma and texture to predict consumer preference so that we can optimize every aspect of a product to deliver what the consumer wants. This allows our clients to accelerate speed to market time while ensuring a successful product in the marketplace.”
Leveraging AI technology, Edlong is able to reduce your developmental timeline to deliver authentic cheese flavors. Several profiles are predicted to be preferred over the taste of real cheese, creating opportunities to upgrade your cheese product’s flavor, label and cost-in-use efficiency.
The outcome from the research was the development of six Dairy-Based Natural Flavors that are equal to, or higher than, the real dairy benchmarks in terms of consumer preference – read the full case study. This means Edlong now has yet another way to help manufacturers deliver on taste for dairy-based condiments at a more attractive price point, all while keeping ingredients clean and simple for the label.
This content was originally published by Food Business News as part of the Dressings, Dips and Sauces: Delivering Dairy Deliciousness without Dairy Pricing article.