Prime time for Vegetables
Prime time for vegetables
The role of vegetables in food and drink is expanding at high speed. According to Mintel’s 2017 Global Food And Drink Report plant-based food is expected to explode into the mainstream this year. The increased role of vegetables in spoonable and drinkable yogurts is definitely something worth digging into.
New and trendy vegetables gain attention as a growing group of consumers adopt very specific dietary habits. Whether it’s “Low Carb”, “Paleo” (based mainly on foods presumed to have been available to Paleolithic humans) vegetarian, vegan or the not-so-strict Flexitarians – vegetables are always a good choice.
Millennials love VeggiesYounger consumers especially embrace the veggie-trend. According to new figures from the Vegan Society, the number of vegans in the UK has risen 350 percent over the past ten years, with 42 percent aged between 15 and 34.
Millennials are a key driver of this shift as they are more health conscious and care more about the environment than previous generations, leading many of them towards a plant-based diet. In the U.S., the annual meat consumption per person has fallen 15% from 2014 to 2015. Even those who aren't fully vegan or vegetarian are choosing to be meat-free at least several days a week, giving rise to the flexitarian moniker.
What do we see as the most talked about vegetables in 2017?With this trend a wide range of vegetables have made their way into many of our go-to recipes. Get inspired by these varieties:
Cucumber meets Zeitgeist: The sky’s the limit for creations with its mild flavor perfectly meeting the consumer preferences for clean, healthy, fresh food.
Delicious: Cauliflower is the perfect low-carb replacement for rice dishes. Especially loved by vegans. It’s also used for high-protein brownies and ice cream.
Oldie but goodie: Spinach rich in iron, vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C and a good source of manganese, magnesium and vitamin B2.
Beet it: As one of today’s most hyped superfoods the beetroot indeed is low in fat, full of vitamins and minerals and packed with powerful antioxidants. Beetroot goes perfectly with goat cheese and creamy yogurt.
From pizza to chips: Talked about as one of the healthiest vegetables, kale has become the omnipresent veggie in the last couple of years.
Health Booster: Its creamy, buttery flesh make avocados a great addition to just about any healthy recipe. Combined with mint it’s the perfect ice cream flavor and is an essential ingredient for smoothies and drinkable yogurts.
Low calorie – high vitamin: Turnips are one of the most popular root vegetables and are notably rich in vitamin-C. Either as a shaved turnip salad or as a yogurt dip – both is just delicious.
Sweetie: Sweet potatoes include antioxidants, anti-inflammatory nutrients, and blood sugar-regulating nutrients. They are perfect for dips but even for dessert like cake and ice-cream.
VEGGIES IN NEW FOOD INNOVATIONS - especially trending in dairyAlthough the traditional Greek Tzatziki has been combining yogurt with cucumber for ages, it looks like consumers and the food industry are ready to explore many new exciting combinations of dairy products with vegetables. Quoting Waitrose the British Telegraph (Link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/11/02/vegetable-yogurt-will-be-the-trendy-new-food-in-2017/) calls vegetable yogurt the hot new food trend in 2017.
Today vegetables are making their way in to a variety of dairy products from drinkable and spoonable yogurts to new low fat veggie dips and spreads. Rising both in consumer awareness and preferences, we are seeing vegetables push into “sweet” categories such as ice-cream and breakfast cereals. The role of the vegetable ingredient varies from “fruit with a touch of veggie” to vegetables as main ingredient.
The door is now open to a wide field of new food inspiration
- Ice cream with avocado, cucumber, pumpkin, carrot or sweet corn
- Cereals with sweet potato cereals, muesli with pumpkin seeds or with dried zucchini,
- Yogurts with cucumber, beetroots or celery.
Adding a subtle savory note with vegetables is expected to be the next big thing even in the chocolate industry!
FROM SMOOTHIE TO YOGURTThe idea of a healthy snack first materialized in Smoothies. Introduced as a pulpy drink based on fruits, smoothies also incorporate vegetables in to their flavor mix. These combinations align well with the veggie + dairy trend.
Some yogurts with veggies were originally designed to help parents get children to eat their fruit and vegetables. But recently these unexpected dairy combinations started gaining popularity with adults as they discovered wonderful and tasty vegetable combinations. Spoonable yogurts with vegetables are viewed as a healthy meal replacement – e.g. as an afternoon snack, convenient and satiable but with a healthier and lighter image than many alternatives.
The number of dairy products with vegetable flavors also expanding rapidly! The global number of product launches have tripled in the segment of spoonable yogurts from 2014 to 2016 and even quadrupled in drinkable yogurts.
Vegetables are a trending staple that’s here to stay. There are an estimated one billion vegans/vegetarians worldwide. And this community is growing fast as consumers, especially the younger ones, care more and more about the impact of food on their health and the environment.
Experts and chefs agree that vegetables will play an ever-growing role in the food industry, from dinner plates to snacks to beverages and everything in between!
HAVE YOU BEEN INSPIRED?
If you need inspiration for your new product ideas our team at AGRANA Fruit is ready to support your efforts. We offer more than 25 years of experience in the development of innovative savory preparations. Our special competence includes preparations with vegetables, herbs, spices, fish and meat with ingredients from conventional and organic farming. These customized applications include many products such as: yogurts, curds and quarks, hard and soft cheese, cream cheese, spreads, sauces, dips and dressings.
Our team of experts is ready to help, please contact us to discuss your next project.