Speaking exclusively to ConfectioneryNews.com, Mogelonsky said: “With a little effort, and a little more marketing savvy, there is potential to increase usage of vegetables in confectionery.”
At present, the inclusion of vegetable ingredients in confectionery is very limited and typically confined to Asian products such as gummy-type chews from China. Less than 2% of sugar and gum confectionery products introduced since 2008 contained vegetables, according to Mintel.
Eat more veg
However incorporating veg ingredients into confectionery has considerable potential in the children's market - at least for parents, said Mogelonsky. “In the UK, for example, on-the-go consumption of vegetables is about 10%, and parents would love to get their kids to eat more veg,” she said.
Promising candidates for innovative vegetable ingredients were naturally sweet vegetables such as corn, sweet potato, yam and carrot.
“But that raises a lot of issues,” she said. “Should vegetables be disguised as candy? Will the confectionery product incorporating veg really be healthy?”
Vegetable ingredients are likely, at least at first, to be used as colouring agents - given increasing concerns about artificial colouring, said Mogelonsky. “Besides using vegetables as an ingredient in confectionery, manufacturers could also utilize vegetable extracts and juices as natural coloring, providing an alternative to the more commonly used and often criticized artificial coloring agents.”
“The next step might be to incorporate veg into healthier fruit leather products which in the US refers to dried and flattened sheets of fruit or fruit-like ingredients.”
Much depends on the definition of vegetable. Increasing numbers of products are produced with chilli and tamarind. This is proving popular in Latin America and increasingly so in the US market with the growth of Hispanic culture/food traditions, he added.
Meanwhile, Mogelonsky also saw considerable potential for the greater use of vegetables in other market sectors. “We see veg as a "hidden" ingredient in other categories. For example: Fruit juices that give you a full serving of veg - Fusion in the US, and some brands in other countries. Plus breakfast spreads that hide the veg behind the fruit notes,” she said.
Mogelonsky’s comments to ConfectioneryNews.com follow the publication of Mintel’s report on Sugar and Gum Confectionery.