One of the biggest trends in snacking today is permissible indulgence, which refers to decadent snacks or foods with an added health benefit, convenient portion sizes, or with an unhealthy attribute reduced or removed. This could mean a vegan cookie, or an otherwise indulgent snack with reduced fat and sodium. Food and beverage manufacturers around the world have responded by developing snacks with healthier nutritional profiles. But how can chefs and food developers deliver “permissible indulgence,” and great taste? Fortunately, meeting the delicious demand for healthy food might be easier than you think.
The Rise in Deliciously Healthy Snacks
As we wrote in a recent article, 51% of all adults actively avoid sugar in their diet, 50% avoid fat and 42% avoid salt. Research shows, however, that in addition to their demand for healthy food, consumers (and especially Millennials) want the delicious flavor profiles they have come to expect. Per a study from the Center for Generational Kinetics, “It used to be that the accepted standard in the better-for-you snack category was seen as a tradeoff of choices. Flavor was sacrificed for nutrition and enjoyment for convenience. For Millennials, that paradigm is no longer acceptable. This generation expects healthy foods to taste good!” According to the study, 55% of Millennials reportedly eat at least three “better-for-you” snacks a week, and 89% of Millennials eat them at least once a week. But they put as much weight on taste as they do health: 89% of those Millennials still ranked taste as their highest priority when choosing a snack.
Taste is More Than Flavor
As more and more consumers seek out permissible indulgence, the demand for healthy food that is delicious mounts. The key to a superior gluten-free or low sugar snack isn’t just its flavor, but the total sensory experience: the creaminess, the richness, the authenticity, the indulgence. It is these intangibles where Edlong truly shines. As the experts on the taste of dairy, we have the unique ability to impart those hard-to-find subtilities that truly define a 360 degree taste experience. For example, we capture and impart the natural sweetness of dairy even in dairy-free foods, while also allowing for formula stability, production consistency and cost efficiency.
Our many functional benefits to help you meet the demand for healthy food include:
- Mouthfeel. We use our expertise in dairy to create flavors that enhance the physical, fundamental mouth sensations produced by particular foods. Our flavors mimic the fatty mouthfeel and viscosity associated with dairy.
- Masking. Edlong flavors can cover undesirable base notes, such as those found in plant-proteins. Our flavors also round the taste profile of low sodium foods, masking the often metallic after-tastes of salt substitutes (Edlong cheese flavors are particularly effective in sodium-reduction strategies).
- Building. We provide not only foundational character, but the layering of flavors to provide sophisticated richness.
- Replacer. Our flavors provide performance improvement for healthy reduction and commodity replacement: providing sweetness to foods with less sugar, adding salty taste to those with less sodium, and providing rich indulgence to those with less fat. For example, Edlong® Sweet Spot technology enhances the sweet taste profile of low sugar products, providing unique functional synergies that elevate richness and indulgence.
One example of how we impart both functional and taste benefits to help food developers meet the demand for healthy food is an Edlong mocha coffee beverage we recently developed. We incorporated Projective Mapping to create a beverage that has reduced fat and sugar, but the same mouthfeel and flavor profile as bottled ready-to-drink mocha coffee beverages. Leading RTD beverages typically contain more than 20g of sugar per 8oz serving, but Edlong’s mocha coffee beverage has less than 15g per 8oz serving.
Edlong Helps you Meet the Demand for Healthy Food
Edlong is the perfect resource for food developers, because of our wide assortment of flavors, including 250 dairy-free, vegan flavors. We keep labels clean, improve the balance and foundational taste of foods and beverages, and many of our flavors provide numerous production-friendly benefits such as heat tolerance. But, best of all, we provide a way for chefs to see their inspiration flourish, to bring to life the authenticity and deliciousness consumers expect while imparting the nuances that elevate consumer-pleasing foods and beverages. Our unmatched synergies of taste and function make permissible indulgence possible, helping you meet the rising demand for healthy food, and turning a standard food or beverage into a premium one.