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The Power of Botanical Ingredients in the Food and Beverage Industry
Consumer demand is known for its tendency to evolve and shift over time. This has become especially noticeable in the food and beverage realm, where consumers across the globe now seek products that don’t just taste good, but improve and support their health as well. Botanical ingredients have become a driving force behind this consumer behaviour, as shoppers now habitually scan labels to select products created with substances obtained from plants.
Plants predate humans on this earth, so they are not exactly a new innovation. Why have they suddenly become so important to consumer behaviour? It is a result of the increased consumer consciousness that has formed over the last decade. Consumers are concerned about what ingredients they place into their bodies because they now have unlimited access to information. Anybody can type a few words into an internet search engine and learn about the negative health consequences of synthetic and artificial ingredients.
Botanicals like spices, flowers, plants, seeds, and herbs, on the other hand, are derived directly from nature. They offer flavour, colour, texture, and taste without any of the dangerous side effects of synthetic ingredients. Even better, the majority of botanicals are composed of constituents that offer powerful properties like anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and more. As consumers become more and more familiar with botanical ingredients and their many benefits, they are more inclined to select food and beverage products that utilise their favourite plant-based ingredients.
Making Botanical Claims
Between 2015 and 2016, the number of global soft drink category launches that included a botanical claim increased by a full 41 percent. This means that nearly 50 percent more of all new soft drinks were formulated to include plant-based ingredients and offer consumers the botanical benefits they seek. This is especially noticeable in specific sub-categories like smoothies, low-alcohol beverages, and premium soft drinks.
Turmeric, for example, has surged to popularity in recent years. This bright yellow spice contains a powerful component called curcumin that offers a number of health benefits:
Protects against free radical as an antioxidant
Protects the heart
Alleviates arthritis pain
Boosts brain power
Thanks to its versatility, turmeric can be utilised to make everything from smoothies and soup to teas and main dishes. It’s a powerhouse botanical that consumers are eager to see listed in the ingredients of their favourite products.
Aloe Vera has also entered the spotlight as much more than a solution to sunburn. With more than 200 active components like vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and amino acids, this botanical ingredient can now be found in a variety of food and beverage products. It functions as a natural anti-inflammatory, promotes healthy cell growth, aids in digestion, and even supports brain and nervous system function.
In the years to come, there is no doubt that botanicals will continue to dominate the food and beverage industry, which gives manufacturers and product formulators an exciting opportunity to capitalise on the abundance of natural ingredients available at Aromatic Ingredients. Call 03 9702 3698 to learn more!