The next leg of our Global Tasting Tour featured locally loved snack profiles from different regions around the world in a plant-based snack curl. For this tour, we changed up the format a bit to showcase very different, though all equally delicious, snack profiles rather than taking one flavor profile and showing regional nuanced differences like we did in past legs of the tour.
All four of the snacks started with the same base but quickly diverge in taste as the flavor profiles are layered onto the corn puff. Our US Cheddar & Sour Cream-Type snack, with its savory and buttery profile notes, ranked highest. However, between the four flavors, our survey results show participants liked them all equally–enough so that we’re calling a tie!
What Factor Ranks #1 When It Comes to Choosing a Dairy-free Dairy Flavor?
Again, the results were unanimous with most respondents saying that “providing authentic dairy taste” is the most important thing they seek when choosing a flavor solution. Why? Because Taste is still King when it comes to the ever-more competitive plant-based market. Mimicking real dairy taste profiles in plant-based, dairy-free products is still at the top of food manufacturers lists.
However, while we don’t see this changing anytime soon, our experts predict a shift coming that will open new opportunities in the animal-free space as innovations in cell-based technologies and proteins continue to push forward.
Another take away is that the snacks category is ripe for innovation. Consumers are open to new snack types – like ones featuring vegetables as the base (think our seasoned carrot chips from IFT). More than ever there are increased options for protein and plant sources as the vehicle for a seasoning. In the carrot chip seasoning, consumers love the taste because it is full of imagination and variety with regionally and globally inspired profiles which still meet the consumer need to keep salt and sugar at a minimum without sacrificing taste.
Could It Be Time to Innovate Rather Than Imitate?
Despite this Global Tasting Tour focusing on recreating authentic regional taste profiles, with competition growing in the plant-based market as developers strive to all hit similar target products, we’d like to take this opportunity to propose a new way of thinking about plant-based: Its time to innovate rather than just imitate.
At Edlong, we’re continuing to leverage over a century of experience in the taste of dairy to lead the way in forging a new dynamic in the food and beverage space for consumers. With new unique ingredients coming to life every day, we believe consumers deserve more than replication and imitation. They deserve renewed eating experiences that bring people together around foods that are unique, innovative, sustainable, and healthy.
If this sounds like we’re flipping the script, its because that’s exactly what we’re suggesting! You may be asking, “What they heck does that mean?” Imagine instead of creating a plant-based Cheddar cheese for consumers that strives to meet the taste and texture of a real Cheddar cheese, picture the endless possibilities of creating an animal-free product atop a cracker that simply tastes great because of its expertly curated real dairy notes which pair perfectly with your favorite wine for an indulgent overall eating experience after a long day of work.
From guilt-free indulgence to meeting consumer demands around sustainability and health requirements to just being simply delicious, we’re looking ahead to everything the future of dairy can be-and we’d love for you to innovate with us!
Whether you’re ready to replicate or innovate, our team of global experts are ready to partner with you shoulder to shoulder the whole way, so let’s get started today!