Catering to a growing health mindset and an increasingly conscious consumer base, functional ingredient supplier CAPOL is set to present innovative confectionery finishing solutions and natural color options at ProSweets 2024 this January, aiming to support manufacturers navigate prevailing trends and changes related to health consciousness within the industry.

The confectionery industry has been significantly influenced by the prevailing health and wellness trend in recent years. Consumers are increasingly becoming more health-conscious and gravitating towards products that meet their dietary needs and align with their lifestyles. This change in consumer behavior has led to a surge in demand for healthier confectionery choices, characterized by reduced sugar content, more natural ingredients, and the incorporation of functional benefits. Transparent and clean ingredient lists have become the flagship for a movement of consumers who are increasingly conscious of their nutritional choices.

Functional gummies drive growth

There is a growing consumer interest in confectionery products that offer functional benefits, encompassing added vitamins, minerals, and various nutritional enhancements. Moreover, alongside addressing physical needs, consumers are increasingly recognizing the significance of promoting strong mental health and supporting emotional well-being. Among the emerging trends, the category of functional gummies has witnessed a remarkable surge in popularity, serving as a significant driver for continued expansion of the functional confectionery market.

To ensure impeccable hygiene standards and to prevent any cross-contamination during the production of functional gummies, gummy manufacturers are transitioning from traditional mogul plant production to starchless manufacturing lines. Whereas in a traditional setup the molds, in which the gummy mass is poured, are shaped using a starch bed, the starchless technology uses predefined solid forms, including for example silicone, metal, or polycarbonate molds.

Starchless molding requires optimized product finishing

Ensuring a smooth demolding process for the gummies, as well as achieving an appealing finish in the oiling process, has become a crucial focus amid the adoption of starchless molding technology.

“Working closely with our customers, we identified that there are additional, critical needs in starchless applications when it comes to surface treatment of functional gummies," explains CAPOL Technical Director AJ Khoury. “For instance, manufacturers frequently encounter issues concerning gummies that are excessively coated with oil, leading to a compromised product appeal and untapped efficiencies.”

Addressing the challenges associated with starchless molding, CAPOL has developed a finishing system tailored specifically for starchless molded gum confections, set to debut at the upcoming ProSweets/ISM.

Health awareness drives ingredient innovation

"The increasing emphasis on better-for-you snacking and conscious consumption remains one of the key drivers in ingredient selection and innovation within the confectionery industry," notes CAPOL Head of Marketing and Communications Ann-Christin Meier.

This trend is largely fueled by consumer preferences. Moreover, there is a growing influence of health considerations in global confectionery market dynamics, with regulations increasingly impacting ingredient choices within the industry. Recent developments, such as the ban on red dye 3 in California, which has a profound impact on the entire U.S. food industry, as well as ongoing discussions concerning the use of the whitening agent titanium dioxide underscore these implications. Using its long-standing expertise in providing natural ingredient solutions, CAPOL has developed effective alternative solutions to support candy manufacturers navigate necessary product reformulations and respond to these regulatory changes.

Natural color solutions cater to conscious consumers

In an era where consumers view artificial additives as contradictory to their health- conscious lifestyle, natural colors can make the difference. CAPOL recently expanded its Vivapigments range of natural color pigments, introducing a new safflower-based yellow that complies with the EU regulatory requirements for coloring foodstuff. This latest addition now completes the company's portfolio of primary colors classified as coloring food, all developed using the company's proprietary Vivapigments technology. This technology enables the creation of natural color pigments derived from natural sources while replicating the properties of lake colors.

With a wide application scope within the confectionery segment, Vivapigments natural color options cater to the growing demand for health-conscious ingredients. Interested attendees can explore these opportunities firsthand at the CAPOL booth at ProSweets 2024 in hall 10.1, booth no. D018.