• Formulating for a Season of Sweets

    By USDEC Staff February 14, 2017

    Holiday-Desserts.jpgAs we enter a season full of sweets, presenting more healthful dessert options can help to provide something for everyone. A growing number of health-conscious consumers are ditching sugary treats, which challenges pastry chefs and dessert manufacturers to give alternate options. This is where U.S. dairy ingredients can help, as they are ideal additions for achieving desired flavor, texture and mouthfeel for a more permissible indulgence.

    Throughout the spring, consumers are surrounded by chocolate, cake and ice cream. Here are three ways to help desserts stand out:

    1. Take-home options

    For the couples, friends and families who choose to dine-in for celebrations, take-home dessert options have a high chance of landing on their shopping lists. Global sales of take-home ice cream grew 9% over the last five years. It also was the leading sub-category with an overall category share of 40% within the last three years.1

    Ice cream is an important segment to track as it continues to lead the dessert category. Global sales of ice cream grew 32.8% from 2010 to 2015, and growth is projected to reach an additional 14.1% from 2015 to 2020.2 Additionally, low-fat and clean label positioning meets the need for improved indulgence in take-home offerings.1

    Added benefits can go beyond basic nutritional improvements to include large scale health issues. In looking at recent new product launches, frozen and chilled dessert introductions have included probiotics, omega-3 and added calcium. This English toffee reduced-fat ice cream with probiotics, for example, uses skim milk, cream and nonfat dry milk to reduce fat by 27% and added probiotics for improved digestive health.

    1. Nutritional enrichment

    Protein is an unexpected, yet functional, nutrient for desserts. The protein category is knowingly expanding as it appears in more food and beverage options. But the dessert category has been slow to react to the growing trend, even though ingredients like U.S. whey protein can offer valuable benefits to sweets.

    In baked goods, whey proteins can improve adhesion of bread crumbs or glazes, contribute to browning, enhance flavor, reduce fat content, improve moisture, decrease cholesterol content, replace eggs, and provide vitamin and mineral fortification. In confections, they can help create desired texture, improve flavor (they are especially effective at adding nutty flavors), contribute to caramelized color, replace fat, and substitute milk solids in coatings.

    The biggest impact on sweet treats is the quality of whey protein. The amino acid portfolio, including branched chain amino acids, makes whey protein one of the highest-quality proteins available. This enables a satiety claim option for indulgent products. Check out this carrot cake that makes a good high-protein option for any dessert menu.

    1. Less sodium

    Concern over consuming too much sodium has increased in importance among Americans, with nearly one-third of U.S. consumers working to reduce or avoid sodium.3

    U.S. permeate, a coproduct from the removal of protein and other solids from milk or whey, can be used in applications like pie crusts to replace salt and decrease sodium levels without removing traditional tastes. It also has sound functional qualities like adding a browning appearance and caramelized aromas in baked goods.

    It’s not too late to innovate indulgent treats with stand-out benefits using U.S. dairy ingredients. For more information on how U.S. dairy ingredients can help products stand out during a season of sweets, download any of our technical reports.

    1Innova Database. Ice Cream – Take Home. September 2016
    2Euromonitor Passport Database (Packaged Food). Accessed March 2016.
    3Cheese and Sodium Snapshot, IC, slide 4.

    Dairy Ingredients Consumer Insights Permeate Nutrition Global Whey Protein Holiday Dessert Dessert Healthy Indulgence
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