Bridging the taste gap between meat and plant proteins
From burgers to sausages to cutlets, the consumption of meat-free products is rising at an unprecedented rate.
But recreating an authentic meaty taste in plant-based alternatives continues to pose a challenge for food and beverage producers. Our aim is to bridge the gap between animal and plant protein by providing flavours with a real meaty taste and at the same time, helping to make plant-based products healthier.
Easier said than done, creating the perfect plant-based burger requires broad knowledge of protein bases and how each ingredient and element interacts, ultimately making it a pleasure to eat. Masking off-notes, reducing salt and fat, perfecting the texture and designing visual appeal must all be considered. Our experts in function, nutrition, taste, colour and production all weigh in to assure the parts work together to create the ultimate finished product.
Find out more in our downloadable brochure.
Consumer desires and drivers
To help understand why consumers are reducing their meat intake, we have conducted extensive consumer research. For example, in our European 'Plant Attitude' consumer study we found the main motivations for choosing meat alternatives include health (41%), animal welfare (36%), environmental concerns (32%), taste (13%) and being on trend (7%). And although some consumers are reducing their consumption of meat, they are not rejecting meat flavours. Among those who purchase meat alternatives, 46% claim that they are looking for a real meaty taste.
Across all product categories, we found that consumers are generally willing to compromise a little on taste, but usually only the first time they try a product. If it doesn’t taste great, there is little chance they’ll make a repeat purchase. The biggest barrier for not eating a meat-alternative burger was revealed to be a lack of authentic taste (38%) or proper meaty taste (28%).
We discovered that there are two key areas in which consumers would like to see improvements: taste and texture.
We have developed a range of patent-pending solutions to improve both the taste and mouthfeel of meat alternatives. Our aim is to bring plant proteins closer to their meat-based counterparts with genuinely tasty, recognisable meaty flavours. We add culinary notes based on common cooking techniques, such as smoking or grilling, to enhance the authenticity and appeal of our solutions.