Creating Healthy Product Profiles Without

Compromising on Taste

Healthy eating is one of the top trends, impacting almost all food and beverage categories. Most health-minded consumers are seeking products that deliver health benefits, while not compromising taste.

When it comes to the sports nutrition category, the approach is the same and companies are focusing on creating appealing taste profiles for consumers.

While traditionally the sports nutrition industry has targeted performance athletes and bodybuilders, product developments were focused on performance as well as nutrition technology, but were sometimes short on taste.

Since then new consumers stepped into the limelight, influenced by social media and motivated by the “strong is the new skinny” trend. This broad-based global change in consumer attitudes is moving the sports nutrition category.

In order to support the personal health goals of these so called recreational users, traditional performance products are being re-designed with clean labelling profiles at brilliant taste.

In this context, consumer appetite for food and drink with high or added plant protein content shows no sign of diminishing. High protein formulas have helped nutritional and sports supplements thrive in various markets. Those products are at leading edge as a favoured ingredient for boosting energy.

According to data from Innova Market Insights:

Foods and beverages launched with high-protein source claims led the category between 2012 and 2016 with an annual growth rate of 27%.

Products positioned for sports and recovery followed by 19% annual growth rate.

Not far behind, products for energy and alertness with posted annual increases
of 14% over the same time period.

Sugar reduction is also another trending topic in this category, driven by health concerns and the growing momentum of sugar taxes. Sport drinks are one of the main categories when it comes to sugar reduction and sugar substitute sweetening.

four out of 10 customers

Four out of 10 consumers of sport drinks in Europe think that those type of beverages contain too much sugar.1

150% Graph

Additionally, the claim category ‘Low/No/ Reduced sugar and/or calories’ of new product launches increased by almost 150% from 2012 to 2016.2

1. Mintel research in France, Germany, Italy and Spain, 2018

2. Mintel GNPD

While consuming products with sugar replacements, for instance profiles including Stevia, or with plant-based proteins, bitter off-notes might occur and impair the taste negatively during a sports workout. As flavor perception is complex, brands are challenged to find the balance between healthy ingredients without compromising on taste.

At Sensient, our expert technologists develop solutions to give consumers the health benefits of high protein food and beverage, without compromising the taste. Our Masking Technology and flavoring portfolio offer a broad range of options to help in developing tasty products, and mitigating unpleasant off-notes and mouthfeel associated with proteins or products containing reduced sugar profiles.

Let us create a tailored Taste Masking Solution for your products to strike the balance between health and taste.