Two-thirds of respondents expect an increase in healthy, better-for-you and/or functional ingredient operations in the next 12 months, by a 28 percent increase on average.

That’s according to new data from the Candy Industry Ingredient & Equipment Trends Study, which Candy Industry recently commissioned Clear Seas Research to conduct. Clear Seas is a sister company of BNP Media, which owns Candy Industry.

The data was collected March 23–April 9, 2020. While this article focuses on the ingredient-related data, Candy Industry also shared the equipment insights about the sector next in a previous article

The research also found that healthy/nutritional ingredients are expected to see a large increase in spending in 2020, with 60 percent of respondents saying it will increase. In addition, 52 percent of respondents said they also plan to increase their purchases of functional ingredients. 

And on average, one-third of respondents’ company operations are active in using healthy and functional ingredients.

Ingredient spending expected to increase:

Three-in-five of respondents expect an increase in spending on ingredients in 2020.

And on average, 36 percent of capital expenditure budgets were designated for the purchase of ingredients last year.

Nearly nine-in-ten respondents expect to purchase ingredients currently used in existing products in 2020, followed by three-quarters who plan to purchase new ingredients for new products.

Respondents’ companies purchase a variety of ingredients, with nearly all purchasing sweeteners, flavor ingredients, and/or functional ingredients. 

Availability is of the highest importance when purchasing ingredients, followed by manufacturer/distributor reputation, cost savings/efficiency, and use in current products.

Three-quarters of respondents most commonly gather information about sourcing/suppliers from sales representatives and trade shows.

Nearly all respondents’ companies have developed a new product in the past 12 months with nearly half developing five or less. Similarly, more than half of companies expect to develop up to 5 new products in the next 12 months.

Types of ingredients companies seek

Cocoa powder is the most purchased of chocolate ingredients, nuts are a popularly purchased healthy/nutritional ingredients, while FD&C/approved/dyes & lakes and natural/exempt ingredients are the most purchased color ingredients.

Vanilla and natural flavors are purchased most often among flavor ingredients, while over half of fats and oils purchased include cocoa butter and coconut.

Emulsifiers, starches and natural ingredients are the most commonly purchased functional ingredients. Sugar is the most common sweetener purchased.

On average, 26 percent of respondents’ company operations include nuts and inclusions. Among those that use nuts and inclusions, two-thirds expect the usage to stay the same in the next 12 months.