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In “The F&F Horizon: 2009 and Beyond,” a number of F&F experts discussed their views on the state and future of the industry from the vantage point of formulation to raw materials to the marketplace. (Perfumer & Flavorist magazine, January 2009, pPage 45.) In this week’s edition of P&Fnow, we present several extended commentaries from our panel of experts and industry voices.
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In today’s saturated marketplace, consumers seek new and unique products and services. Moving forward, there are three key consumer trends that will continue to evolve and influence the fragrance and flavor industry.
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Fragrances and flavors are intricately connected, and the fragrance and flavor industry is beginning to capitalize on this relationship by translating the two into multisensorial experiences. For example, through technology, consumers are able to experience, smell, and/or taste products before purchase. Innovative sampling tools, custom-designed products, aromatic environments, scented and flavored print media, and culinary events that merge the two are on the rise.
Taking the multisensorial experience one step further, umami, the Japanese word for “the fifth sense of taste,” is a hot topic that explores the relationship between savory flavor and texture. As umami becomes better understood [by the consumer] it will eventually be interpreted into US consumer packaged goods. Multisensorial experiences are engaging consumers and creating personal and emotional relationships. As technology evolves, such as new delivery systems and applications, multisensory offerings will increase.
Green and Eco-friendly Products
It is no surprise that “green” and “eco-friendly” are the buzzwords across all industries. Manufacturers, retailers and consumers alike look for products, services, and practices that are good for us and our environment. Organic and natural ingredients, sustainable and eco-friendly materials, and fossil fuel consumption are a few significant factors being addressed in the fragrance and flavor industry. Organic and natural ingredients are crossing over into both fragrances and flavors and will continue to overlap as new ingredients are introduced. Sustainable and eco-friendly materials such as corn, potato, soy, and bamboo are being used in packaging in both markets and will gain popularity as new uses and materials are discovered. Carbon footprints and food miles as well as the “locavore” movement are apparent in the food segment, but will eventually spill over into the beauty segment as ethical consumers search for locally grown and produced products.
Green is not a fad or a trend; it is becoming a lifestyle. The fragrance and flavor industry will refine its products, services and practices to meet the growing demands of consumers.
Nutraceuticals, Nutricosmetics and Cosmeceuticals Emerge
Nutraceuticals, nutricosmetics and cosmeceuticals are in-vogue fragrance and flavor terms in the personal care and food and beverage markets. Consumers are searching for functional products that deliver nutritional, pharmaceutical and beauty benefits. Beauty from within is the underlying theme for these products and consumers are slowly beginning to embrace the trend. This segment is untapped in the United States, and major manufacturers are just beginning to introduce products. The convergence of health care and nutrition with personal care products and cosmetics is the future. Lines will blur as ingestible products that promote beauty from within enter the market.
Products and services that are multisensorial, green, or functional are going to shape the fragrance and flavor industry in 2009 and beyond. Technology will be the driving force behind these three key consumer trends. It will help differentiate products and capture consumers’ attention in today’s saturated marketplace.