Plant Future

Taste solutions for plant-based alternatives

Plant-based nutrition has become mainstream

The health and wellness trend is fueling product innovation on plant-based food and drink alternatives on a global level. Based on the growing health consciousness of consumers and changing lifestyle habits, they increasingly avoid animal ingredients on a daily basis.

Providing flexible alternatives to traditional animal products such as dairy, meat and fish has become increasingly important across many product categories, with launches having accelerated during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Plant-based diets have evolved beyond traditional vegetarian and vegan consumers and are moving into mainstream. Hence, flexitarian consumer groups and younger consumers are key drivers for this megatrend.

Motivations for plant-based diets include:

  • Health & wellness aspirations
  • Environmental concerns & sustainability
  • Food safety & animal welfare
  • Novelty and multi-facetted choice

Plant-based revolution is driving market innovation

The industry is still at an early stage, yet grows fast and and presents a huge opportunity for tapping into new segments and areas to gain market share and win consumer trust in the long-term.

As consumers want to be presented with a choice of food varieties, eating occasions and innovation, product development evolves fast beyond the niche categories. With a plant-based claim highly appealing to today’s consumers, plant-based products and ranges can help them to do good for both, their health and the planet.

Taste remains a major challenge

68% of consumers agree, that the taste of a plant-based product is crucial. Yet, plant-based proteins often create unwanted off-notes or missing sensory attributes, making them less appealing for consumers. Within the meat and fish substitutes, for example, mimicking the classic taste profiles of their animal-based counterparts is highly appreciated by consumers. Dairy alternatives, on the other hand, are usually linked to a creamy and milky texture and taste profile. Adding a popular flavour variety such as blueberry or mango can also be key in creating a product consumers enjoy on a daily base.

However, creating plant-based products can be challenging. Some proteins create bitter, or beany off-tastes or a lack of specific organoleptic characteristics. Depending on the protein source and formulation, masking properties and effective natural flavour solutions are essential in creating well-rounded market products consumers will love. Within our PLANT FUTURE platform, we therefore combine our expertise in flavour creation with a comprehensive understanding of the sensory effects of plant-based proteins – helping you to overcome challenges in product development from the very beginning.

Bell‘s PLANT FUTURE platform – Enabling you to develop a natural and sensory appealing plant-based product portfolio

At Bell, we believe in tailor-made solutions for your individual product needs. We therefore developed a profound understanding of plant-based categories, such as dairy, meat and fish alternatives and the key protein sources used. With a toolbox of flavour solutions for various plant-based areas and segments, we aim to keep up with challenging developments, providing a holistic approach for your successful product launch. Next to functional taste solutions, such as masking specific off-notes ore enriching certain sensory profiles, we are able to provide a broad range of natural flavours to fit to your product development needs and brand positioning objectives.

Taste Modulation

Identifying potential off-tastes and applying masking expertise and flavour solutions to mitigate those notes.

Masking unwanted notes such as: bitter, beany, earthy, green, astringent, chalky, nutty, grainy,…

Taste Performance

Enhancing sensory taste attributes and rounding off the overall profile by enriching mouthfeel or umami notes, meaty and fatty profiles and smokiness – or: creamy notes, sweet and sour profiles or refreshing notes.

e.g.: umami, meat and juicy/ fatty notes, enhancing grill or smoke notes, spiciness, …

e.g.: REDsugar, enhancing creaminess or mouthfeel, fresh profiles,…

Taste Differentiation

Creating a unique taste profile by applying characteristic flavour top notes or identifying on-trend taste combinations.

e.g.: grilled beef, roasted chicken, white fish, seasonal varieties, herb combinations, exotic spices,…

e.g.: ripe or green strawberry notes, butter/milk profiles, seasonal varieties, exotic combinations, trends such as hemp,…

Discover our range of taste solutions and product concepts for plant-based alternatives:

Dairy alternatives

  • Vegan Drinks
  • Vegan Yoghurt
  • Vegan Ice Cream

Meat & fish substitutes

  • Vegan Beef Burger Patties
  • Vegan Chicken Nuggets
  • Vegan Fish Sticks

You want to learn more about Bell‘s PLANT FUTURE platform and how we can help you in creating sensory attractive plant-based products?

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Read our white paper to learn about the impact of the trend towards plant-based dairy alternatives and the sensory challenges in product development.
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EXPLORING PROTEIN: Taste solutions for high protein products

The rise of high-protein products

With a rising number of consumers seeking their individual feel-good diets and lifestyles, the demand for products with high and added proteins has increased among many sectors. They expand from core users such as athletes and bodybuilders to a broader basket of consumers, that are majorly focused on fitness and healthy living trends. At the same time, younger consumer groups are increasingly craving for high protein products, as part of a social hype and lifestyle-trend.

While the segment is driven by products such as protein shakes and bars, plant-based variants for both categories are constantly emerging, providing many opportunities for innovation and targeting a broader customer base. At the same time, plant-based sports nutrition products are often perceived as healthier and more sustainable than regular versions.

Whether dairy- or plant-based, consumers are not willing to compromise on taste. Creating appealing products that can be incorporated into consumer’s everyday lives therefore is key.

Hence, masking solutions or intense taste profiles are inevitable to meet these demands, as based on the high protein content, off-notes often provide unpleasant taste characteristics.

Providing taste solutions for dairy & plant-based high protein products

The high protein and sports nutrition category is driven by the constant evolution in consumer demand for sensorial attractive, more natural and plant-based varieties. Developing functional high protein products at the same time is a challenging task.

Whether you are looking for creating appealing plant-based product options for high-protein bars or choosing classic formulations within protein shakes – we are happy to support your product development from the very beginning. Our flexible toolbox system allows for tailor-made product developments meeting today’s market needs while being in line with your brand positioning objectives.

Discover our range of taste solutions for high-protein products:

  • High Protein Bars
  • High Protein shakes (Sports Nutrition)

Why Bell

  • Support in product ideation and market research, combined with a mutual understanding of consumer needs and sensory aspects of plant-based protein varieties
  • Keeping track of your regulatory parameters
  • Tailor-made flavour solutions for your specific product needs, application formulas and labeling restrictions
  • Natural taste solutions adapted to specific sources of protein (taste modulation, taste performance, taste differentation)
  • Technical support: inhouse application tests & product prototyping, culinary expertise and trials
  • High performing flavours developed to fit to your production process (e.g. heating/freezing resistance)