Jul 29, 2021
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Sustainable innovation: Adapting the current process to create a new Brazilian gummy
In the past, Brazil’s plant-based confectionery market has been a niche one. The sustainability of producing plant-based products presents a challenge, as it often requires an investment in materials and equipment, as well as special attention to the resulting texture.
As plant-based confectioneries have become more popular, one of our Brazil-based customers noted an opportunity to develop a new plant-based gummy with a unique firm-short texture. They wanted to remain on the leading edge and help push the plant-based market out of its niche.
To do so, our customer needed to produce a 100% pectin-based product on an industrial scale in a cost-effective way. They also needed to ensure a satisfying sensory profile that would appeal to people looking for plant-based products with more natural ingredients.
Innovation with intention
In need of a solution, this major player in the gummy and confectionary market tapped into IMCD’s expertise. In collaboration with a key supplier, we were tasked with approving an ingredient that would produce an appealing gummy with a 100% pectin base.
The customer’s challenge was the need to use their existing equipment and adapt the process for this new gummy formulation. In order to be cost effective, they did not want to make an investment in new equipment.
“IMCD understands local trends and how to translate those trends into viable products that work for the customer and fulfill market demand,” says Rafael Ferrarese, Business Unit Director at IMCD Food and Nutrition Brazil. “We know that innovation can be realistic and attainable with the right expertise and support in place. We are excited to put this into practice with a customer that is pushing the boundaries and focused on innovation that will change the plant-based gummy market.”
Growing a plant-based productTo take on this challenge, IMCD first had to address doubts in the product development and process modifications. Our team knew we needed to control various elements and timing of the production process in order to deliver on the correct product parameters and desired texture. Through regular visits to the customer and supplier’s plants during the development process, we were able to supervise trials and provide technical and commercial support.
The identified solution was an expanded usage of an ingredient the customer was already sourcing from IMCD. While this ingredient was being used in combination with gelatin to produce other products, IMCD identified how to adapt its usage to create a gummy that was 100% pectin-based and had the desired sensory profile.
This solution was relevant for the market and its growing demand for plant-based confectionaries, while also keeping the production process and investment within our customer’s parameters. The new specialty-like product positions our customer as an innovator and leader in the market. With a high production capacity, they can now reach a wide range of point-of-sales.
Here at IMCD, we’re proud of overcoming the customer’s technical and cost challenges to find an innovative solution. Not only did we expand our expertise of plant-based products and the gummy industrial process line, but we also formed a close relationship with our customer’s research and development team, an indication of the product’s success and a growing partnership with IMCD.