Tate & Lyle targets better industry understanding

By Anthony Fletcher in Paris

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Tate, Marketing, Food, Tate & lyle

Tate & Lyle believes that developing a better understanding of
food manufacturing concerns will enable the company to deliver
better ingredient solutions.

The firm's newly launched CORE business model is designed to take the firm away from being simply a commodity supplier of ingredients and towards becoming a more flexible and responsive business partner.

According to Ferne Hudson, head of media and market relations, the idea is to become less supply driven and more customer oriented.

And while CORE, which stands for Create, Optimise, Rebalance, and Enrich, might sound a little like well thought-up PR, the Tate & Lyle marketing team argues there is real substance behind the phrase.

"In the past year we've strengthened the side of the business that understands customers,"​ Rachel Moffatt, European marketing manager told FoodNavigator.

"We've taken people who've work in the food manufacturing sector - Greg Morensy, the VP of global marketing is from Unilever and Heinz, and I myself came from Heinz and Nestlé."

Things have certainly changed. Tate & Lyle had no global business marketing team before last year.

And with European sugar production facing an uncertain future following the announcement of changes to the EU sugar regime, Tate & Lyle is planning to focus more of its resources on added value ingredients.

"Coming up the supply chain from Heinz, I was able to bring the message that taste is all-important - food has got to taste good,"​said Moffatt.

Indeed, a marketing team that cut its teeth in manufacturing has brought home to Tate & Lyle exactly what these customers are concerned about.

"As soon as you tell consumers that you've done something to a product, they think it won't taste as good,"​ said Moffatt. "And mainstream consumers will think that any product labelled as 'diet' is 'not for me'."

The purpose of the CORE strategy therefore is to tap into exactly what consumers want, and then help manufacturers to deliver.

Create is about developing new products such as textures, shapes and flavours; Optimise is about helping manufacturers to reduce costs; Rebalance is about taking regular brands such as ice cream and making them more nutritionally balanced and Enrich is about fortifying products with ingredients such as fibre.

The Rebalance initiative is central to Tate & Lyles's value added ingredient offerings. What Rebalance tries to do is encourage manufacturers not just to launch 'diet' products, but use innovative ingredients to improve the nutritional profile while maintaining taste.

Tate & Lyle has already launched a number of products along the Rebalance line, including liquid and dry sweetening systems that can be used in no-added sugar fruit desserts and toppings. The company's patented sucralose product, Splenda, is fundamental to its Rebalance range.

Hudson expects that the Enrich line will experience the next wave of innovation. "The success of Danone's Actimel yoghurt product is a good example of how mainstream Enrich could be,"​ she said.

Indeed, the functional need of manufacturers has never been greater. They are desperate to tap into growing consumer trends, but R&D resources have inevitably been cut back as profit margins get eaten up by rising costs.

Tate & Lyle believes that its Solution Sets, developed along the CORE principles, offer food makers the opportunity to satisfy their needs.

Related topics: Ingredients

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