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ISSUE 6 2018
INDUSTRY @IrishFoodMag
label. In the Irish market, you wouldn't find too many
products that contain MSG, it was removed a long
time ago. So, there is a clean-label spectrum in terms
of how markets define clean label. There are different
manifestations of what clean label is considered."
Kerry has established a five-step approach to clean
label across its taste and nutrition business called
the 5Rs. It seeks to reduce, reposition, re-invent,
remove and replace. This means reducing specific
ingredients and simplifying ingredient statements;
seeking creative ways to reposition products in the
marketplace; reinventing categories with natural
brand customers; removing specific ingredients; and
replacing ingredients with clean-label alternatives.
Edmond says it is also important to note that
consumers are showing a willingness to pay more
for clean-label products. "Within taste and nutrition,
we work with our consumer foods teams and also
any food manufacturing company to remove artificial
colours, flavours or preservatives and then continue
to use natural products to add colour, flavour or
preservation or taste. This is not an easy thing to do.
It requires a lot of technical ability to use a natural
food ingredient and deploy it into an application while
keeping the food safety and shelf-life elements. It's very
complex and requires a lot of technology but it's what
the consumers want, and we are beginning to see that
consumers are willing to pay for it. That's important."
Plant protein
Another evolving trend that the Kerry Group is taking
note of is the growing prevalence of plant proteins,
which, Edmond says, is being seen in many different
categories. "They are turning up everywhere. Again,
it is important that we have solutions for that type of
opportunity as well. Whether they are long-term trends
or short-term trends, it's hard to predict, but we keep an
eye on the trends and make sure we have solutions in
our toolbox that take advantage of those opportunities."
Some examples of Kerry's plant-protein propositions
include plant-protein solutions for bars applications; an
allergen-free, vegan protein for functional waters, juices
and energy drinks; and plant-protein offerings for the
consumer-foods market.
Consolidating markets
Edmond says Kerry already has a lot of in-house
capability that is responding to developments in that
space. However, he predicts the Group will make
strategic acquisitions that will further strengthen
its service and agility in the wellness space, as well
as authentic taste and natural extracts. Edmond
says there is currently a lot of fragmentation in the
marketplace, and Kerry sees itself as the consolidator,
bringing together capabilities from around the
globe. This, he notes, includes acquisitions from a
geographic perspective in line with Kerry's strategy of
staying close to its markets and customers.