Confectioners must continue investment in innovation, says industry group

By Lindsey Partos

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Food Saturated fat

Confectioners must continue investment in innovation, says industry group
Despite challenging economic times, confectioners and biscuit makers must maintain investment in innovation to stay ahead of the competition, attendees will hear this week at the upcoming FDF confectionery conference.

Costs, food ethics, health and flavours join innovation as focal topics at the 'Drivers for success' event organised by the Biscuit, Cake, Chocolate and Confectionery (BCCC) arm of the UK's Food and Drink Federation, that kicks off on Thursday.

"One of the most important drivers is the need for industry to continue investment in research, and to try and anticipate demand from consumers,"​ said Barbara Gallani, BCCC sector manager.

While Gallani tells there are no signs of investment tailing off, the global economic downturn hangs like a cloud, tempting companies to bring quick savings by slashing R&D input. An arguably short-sighted move that goes against the notion that as a market becomes more difficult, innovation is increasingly necessary.

"So far there is no data that R&D expenses are being reduced. It's an important reminder that innovation will make the success of a brand or product,"​ continues Gallani.

And in terms of how insight can influence innovation, Gallani said that the Food Standards Agency, the UK's food watchdog, has recently employed a team of social scientists to gain a stronger insight into consumer perception, attitude and behaviour.

"This new branch will be key to understanding how consumers perform and could ultimately underpin some of their {FDF} policy decisions,"​ she explained.

Cost of safe ingredients in a globalised society

In today's price-driven, margin-squeezed industry cost is paramount. "One of the key drivers is the need to maintain the quality of the final product while simultaneously keeping the price of raw materials under control,"​ affirmed Gallani.

She explained that at the upcoming conference the, approximately, 70 attendees will have the opportunity to take a closer look at the emerging challenge of safe, quality ingredients in a globalised market.

"Keeping costs under control while concurrently having the flexibility to switch suppliers due to different needs is a challenge for the manufacturer,"​ the sector manager added.

A challenge that alternative ingredients and reformulation can seek to confront. "There will be an exhibition of new ingredients, with an emphasis on reformulation, at the conference that aims to provide manufacturers with some suggested solutions,"​ continued Gallani.

Reformulation, the healthy way

The issue of health, no longer a marginal topic for the food industry but wholly mainstream, finds confectioners, biscuit and cake makers seeking to juxtapose today's consumer desire for indulgence with their desire for foods with a healthy profile.

For industry, this means "the need to meet conflicting consumer demand for health, and premium, luxury, indulgent products." Innovation, particularly through reformulation - however challenging - can respond to this need. For example, at the BCCC conference, Amelie Denis, from french firm L'Alliance 7, will speak of chocolate composition and the limitations to reformulation.

Geoff Talbot, a consultant, will also investigate this challenge, discussing the technical difficulties behind reducing saturated fat in filled chocolate confectionery.

Food Ethics

Reflecting the growing movement in the UK towards more responsible, sustainable food sources, attendees will hear on the availability of organic ingredients, deemed "an interesting area to tackle"​, by Gallani as well as opportunities in the blossoming Fairtrade arena.

Over the forthcoming week, will take a closer look at the BCCC sessions, focussing on timely solutions that confront emerging challenges in the confectionery, biscuit and cake industries today.

Related topics Ingredients

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth with Sustainable Syrups

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth with Sustainable Syrups

Content provided by Green Plains Inc. | 05-Apr-2024 | Data Sheet

Elevate your products with Green Plains’ premium, low carbon-intensity corn syrups. Drop-in replacements with an up to 40% lower carbon footprint than...

Machu Picchu Foods expands chocolate production lines

Machu Picchu Foods expands chocolate production lines

Content provided by Machu Picchu Foods: Contract manufacturer of chocolates and snacks | 02-Feb-2024 | Product Brochure

Leading Peruvian manufacturer Machu Picchu Foods debuts cutting-edge production lines for filled chocolate bars, truffles, and crispy wafer snacks.

Related suppliers

Follow us


View more