That’s the response I hope you’ll have when you read my new blog on CloroxConnects.
I’m Maura, the managing partner of Brandology. Every two weeks I’ll be posting about trends in sustainability that have implications for new product development and marketing. Some of the trends are closer in. Some are further in the future. All are designed to get you thinking!
The first trend I’ll cover in two weeks is how global warming is increasing the spread of diseases. Other topics on my list include the growing importance of nitrogen footprints, and how cities will be hit much harder than rural areas by climate change.
I’d also like to hear your suggestions of trends I should cover. I’m happy to gather insights on topics that are interesting to you! Just post your thoughts as comments, and I’ll take notes.
Why am I writing a blog about sustainability trends that impact new product strategy? Brandology is a marketing consulting firm that specializes in new product strategy---from trend tracking and brainstorming through marketing launch---sustainability strategy, positioning, and marketing plan development. We’ve done a number of projects for Clorox, and worked for lots of other CPG companies too. You can learn more about us at www.Brandology.com
If you just can’t wait two weeks to read my first sustainability trend post, click here to read Brandology’s blog that has weekly posts on trends, including sustainability.
Meet the newest group of green consumers: The I-Want-It-Alls. They aspire to live according to their sustainability values. They demand to purchase based on tightly defined practical needs.
According to BBMG research, these consumers represent 30% of the population. They are eager to purchase our green products, but only if we deliver a “triple value proposition.”
The first part of the required value proposition relates to social and environmental benefits. I-Want-It-All consumers are just as interested in these as core green consumers. Second, they insist on practical benefits, specifically price, quality, performance, and convenience at parity with conventional products. Third, they look for tribal benefits. Not only do they want to participate in the brand and make sure their input is heard, they also expect the brand to help them connect with likeminded people.
Other attributes the I-Want-It-Alls value include authenticity, simplicity, and meaningful experiences.
What’s the upside of creating products that meet the needs of these very demanding consumers? According to researchers, I-Want-It-Alls are fiercely loyal and wonderful brand advocates when they find products that meet their exacting standards.
What would it take for us to deliver new products with triple value propositions targeted to I-Want-It-Alls?
Mainstream consumers are confused. Natural channel consumers are skeptical whenever they see a product labeled “natural.”
A full 80% of Americans believe that products labeled “organic” and “natural” are subject to identical, strict standards. At the same time, they realize that natural products are cheaper than organics, sometimes parity priced with conventional items. That explains why 31% of consumers say they prefer the claim “natural” over “organic.”
While mainstream Americans are misinformed, natural product consumers worry they are misled. 34% are not confident that products labeled “natural” meet that definition. 65% would like natural standards established and certification required. Given a choice, natural channel shoppers would prefer to have standards and certification controlled by the government or an independent third party, not by manufacturers or retailers.
The FDA has refused several times to set standards for the use of “natural,” leaving it unregulated at least through 2011. Meanwhile, “all natural” was the most popular new product claim in 2009, flagged on 23% of new foods and beverages. That makes it highly likely that the confusion and distrust surrounding “all natural” claims will only increase.
What are the implications for launching new organic or natural products? Should we consider this confusion as we set our marketing strategy?
We all know that Americans eat too much food. It turns out that we also waste too much food. Experts agree that between 30% and 40% of the food produced in the US goes straight to the trash can. That's over 300 pounds of food per person.
The environmental and human impact of this waste is staggering. Roughly 25% of the US water supply is used to produce discarded food. 350 million barrels of oil---about 2% of the country's energy consumption---are also used. Food is the second largest component of the nation's waste stream, and it costs $1 billion annually to dispose of it. Finally, food rotting in landfills produces methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
Throwing out food also has tremendous societal consequences. 45 million people in the US are "food insecure," meaning they had trouble getting enough to eat in the past 12 months. Many of them are kids. If the nation threw out 5% less food, 4 million additional people could be fed.
What can we do to reduce food waste in our supply chain? How can we help consumers throw out less food at home?
As we approach the new decade, the culinary trends of 2010 bring back some of the classics such as bacon as well as new exciting flavors like rose water. The upcoming year is all about simplicity packed with flavor. Ethnic flavors like those of Latin America, India, and North Africa are among the most popular trends. I'm excited to play around with different flavors and recipes that would complement the cooking trends of the coming year. A sizzling chicken burger with grilled papaya and bacon or even a warm goat cheese and spinach salad tossed in a light rose water poppy seed dressing makes me look forward to the New Year.
If these trends intrigue you and you would like to know more - especially how gums can be integrated, contact me, Coki Fisseha, culinary scientist, at email@example.com.
Our Gum Gurus® are often asked if we offer a 100% organic xanthan - the answer is because xanthan gum is an exopolysaccharide from the organism Xanthamonas campestris and is alcohol precipitated to make the finished powdered form - it cannot be manufactured as 100% organic. However, to meet your needs we offer our Ticaxan® Xanthan GMO-Free which can be used in finished products bearing the 95% organic ingredient label. We offer many organic products that can be labeled as 100% organic and we are authorized to operate under the Maryland Department of Agriculture's Organic Certification Program.
According to Americans, organic foods have many more benefits than scientists believe. Recent consumer research from Cornell confirms what previous surveys have shown. When asked to compare organic and conventional versions of the same packaged food---chips, cookies, etc---consumers believe the organic product will taste better, be more nutritious, lower in fat, higher in fiber, and have fewer calories. That holds true even if consumers are allowed to read the product packages, both clearly listing the same number of calories per serving. Really.
What’s more, after tasting two absolutely identical products, one labeled “organic” and one labeled “conventional,” consumers report that the organic product is superior on a wide range of flavor and sensory attributes.
Consumers’ over generalization of the benefits of a positive claim is not limited to organic certification. Another research study, this one from Cone, shows that something similar happens with green marketing. A full 41% of Americans believe that products with green claims are actually beneficial to the environment, not just less harmful than conventional items.
Clearly, eco labels and certifications create large, positive halos for products. How can we appropriately leverage these consumer insights in new products and marketing, without being misleading? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Coat your berries while they are still frozen with our TIC Pretested® Colloid 911 to prevent weeping, especially in muffins or other baked goods. As the berries thaw the water and gum form a protective glaze. To use, sprinkle 1.5-3.0%, based on the weight of the berries. You can see from the photo that the berries retain their shape and your baked good retains its color. To save your own berries order a sample to see for yourself from http://ticgums.com/Product.asp?ID=41
TIC Gums spoke about our historical and continuing commitment to food safety. This commitment is manifest in the safety and quality of each of our products, throughout our culture, and in our continuing drive for improvement and validation of our existing food safety systems. One of the many ways we validate and enact improvement of these systems is through 3rd party audit programs. Earlier this year we decided to pursue the Safe Quality Food (SQF) Certification, one of the most cutting edge, inclusive, and difficult certifications for a food manufacturer to obtain. SQF differs from previous audit requirements (AIB, GMA-SAFE, etc.) in that this is not a once-per-year audit, but instead an inclusive food safety and quality management system. The audit is not a snapshot in time but a health check of the underlying processes that ensure the safety and quality of our products. Three months later I am so very proud to report that we not only achieved this certification, but achieved it at the highest possible degree (scheme 2000, Level 3) with a score of 99.25%! Achieving this certification validated the effectiveness of our existing processes and, what’s more, required us to re-think some of our previous assumptions and continue to improve our overall food safety and quality processes.
Three new blends deliver creamier, thicker texture for more satisfying traditional and nutritional dairy applications
TIC Gums announces the immediate availability of stabilizers for protein beverages that provide benefits in a wide range of dairy and alternative formulations. "Our Gum Gurus® have innovated three ingredients specifically created for pasteurized milk products, chocolate and alternative protein beverages. These stabilizers improve texture, providing thick, mouth coating sensations while also overcoming the formulation challenges of healthier beverages," said Donna Klockeman, dairy food scientist.
Klockeman cited the benefits of TIC Pretested® Colloid 760 MB Powder, Dairyblend MB2 and Ticaloid® 875. She explained that after extensive testing of each of these stabilizing ingredients in TIC Gums' state-of-the-art applications and pilot plant facilities in White Marsh, Maryland, it was determined that they are compatible with the range of other ingredients used in most traditional dairy and functional alternative protein beverage applications.
TIC Pretested Colloid 760 MB Powder: a unique stabilizer blend for pasteurized chocolate milk and other dairy products
Colloid 760 MB Powder is ideal for pasteurized chocolate milk products while it can also be utilized to increase body and creamy texture in variegating syrup, eggnog and buttermilk. This process stable ingredient provides excellent cocoa and flavor suspension in pasteurized products.
Dairyblend MB2: based on proprietary Dairyblend technology
Dairyblend MB2 was developed to stabilize chocolate dairy and milk beverages, especially those that require challenging UHT processes. Dairyblend MB2 has been tested in TIC Gums' dairy applications and pilot plant facilities and provides slightly added viscosity while giving suspension to cocoa in UHT processed finished beverages.
The Ticaloid 875 gum system was specially developed for use in protein fortified products, including those that are identified as 95% organic. This ingredient successfully interacts with milk and soy protein ingredients, imparting viscosity and body. It has synergistic properties with starch also making it suitable for puddings and functional alternative protein beverages where thick and creamy characteristics are desirable.
Klockeman concluded, "The continuing demand for healthier dairy products and alternatives that do not compromise the creamy texture of traditional products is an excellent rationale for reformulating products with one of our stabilizers for protein beverages. Our Gum Gurus® are available to work with customers in the development of new or improved product formulations that take advantage of these new ingredients."