World Vegan Month
In the month of November, we raise awareness for vegan lifestyle and ingredients, but what does this mean in the world of science? Well we discussed this with Liz Connor, our EMEA Nutraceutical Market Manager.
"Veganism" is typically referred to as a trend, one that can compromise product effectiveness and flavour. As the world becomes more health-conscious, it is crucial to know what exactly we are consuming and the advantages the product has for both ourselves and the environment.
When it comes to supplements, our IMCD nutraceutical experts have worked on meat-free and vegan alternatives to assist with a variety of medical areas. We sat down with our Nutraceutical Market Manager EMEA, Liz Connor to go over IMCD’s innovative and environmentally-responsible solutions, why they are important and what our Nutra team can do for you
What’s your secret to developing some of the best-tasting vegan products ?
Liz: Ah I can’t say it is a secret! But what I can say IMCD work with the best flavour suppliers and have a wealth of technical expertise available for all development. We also have the benefit of collaboration with other IMCD business units, when we began developing our Vegan Gummy we liaised closely with our food team, seeing as this is traditionally an area that falls under confectionary. Their insight was invaluable especially as we have seen how the market has evolved from standard dietary supplements to the more innovative formats including gummies. The process and analysis for development are the same whether it is vegan or otherwise, you need to view the product from a consumer perspective, it has to be made as pleasant as possible, we just have more of a challenge to make it Vegan, but we like a challenge!
In 50 words or less, why does someone buy your products?
Liz: When you buy from IMCD you do so with confidence, in the product, the efficacy, the science, quality and regulatory compliance. Traceability, supply continuity and quality control are all key factors in partnership, which is what our customers are. We also have added support available from one of our many Technical Centres available as needed
How do you feel the vegan food business has changed since you first got into it?
Liz: Whilst dietary supplements are not classed as food, we have seen the impact of the rise of Veganism expand into our market, with an increase in functional foods, where brands are incorporating an additional nutritional aspect to their product, to differentiate, resulting in multi-functional foods. Observationally we see more consumers are edging closer to incorporating Meat free or Meat reduced into their daily diet. So, it stands to reason that when formulating, brands are now aiming to be as inclusive as possible, and incorporating vegan compliance is part of that. Average annual growth in global food and beverage launches with vegan and plant-based claims grew 21% and 58% between 2015-2019, respectively, so we can see it continues to be an important market for development.1
How often do you try the IMCD vegan supplements?
Liz: Everything that is developed by our team I will try, we work with a panel of willing volunteers within our organisation, but from different markets. Taste can be very subjective, especially when it comes to flavour profile preference. I do not hold back when giving feedback, I even include my daughter as she doesn’t filter if she doesn’t like something! Thankfully so far we have managed to make some fantastic tasting formats, from ODT, chewable, stick packs and gummies.
Where will the most significant growth occur in the company in the next few years?
Liz: I think we are beginning to see it already, from a nation that is somewhat pill fatigued, we see consumers are now looking at more exciting and innovative ways to incorporate supplements into their daily routine. The gummy supplement market has seen a CAGR of almost 30% over the past 5 years, virtually twice the growth of other delivery, and this is showing no signs of abating.
I believe consumers are taking a much more holistic view when it comes to their supplements.
Whilst there continues to be a desire for natural where possible, but consumers are also much more aware of the ethical and environmental impact, and the sustainability of the product. They want to know the provenance, traceability, quality guarantee, and of course it has be efficacious, this is where we see the value in Branded ingredients.
I would say that convenience is still key, but know that the organoleptic experience aids compliance, as such they go hand in hand, hence we aim to formulate a tasty efficacious enjoyable experience for any concepts we develop for the market. We also have developed really tasty immunity gummy, and in our pipeline we are looking at other growing categories… watch this space.
IMCD has developed a number of market-ready concepts using scientifically proven nutraceutical ingredients to support various aspects of health including our vegan gummies. If you want to know more about what IMCD can offer, please click here.