What’s fuelling demand for fermented foods and beverages?

In this article, Johan Cerstiaens, commercial director at SVZ takes a look at the factors driving demand for fermented products and the versatile ingredients that can help brands keep consumers coming back for more. 

Kimchi, kombucha, kefir, and sauerkraut. With a rainbow of ripened foods and beverages crowding supermarket shelves around the world, it seems that consumers’ love for fermented products is not slowing down. Market forecasts predict that the global fermented food and drink sector will achieve an 6.35% CAGR between 2022 and 2027, showing that the trend is here to stay*. For brands, this is exciting news. With health-conscious consumers searching for new and tasty ways to feed their gut flora, the potential for food and beverage manufacturers is surging.

Supporting healthier eating habits

It is no coincidence that fermented foods are having their moment during a period of increased health consciousness. Influenced by pandemic weight-gain worries and a general desire to improve their wellbeing, consumers across the continent are looking to eat and drink healthier*.

For many, this means choosing products which contain as few “nasties” as possible – chiefly sugar, salt, and artificial colours or flavours. Shoppers are already making their preferences felt with sales of low-sugar beverages increasing by 28% CAGR in Indonesia, while the term “sugar-free yoghurt” was mentioned more than 690,000 times on Chinese social media in the last year*.

Naturalness is another important factor Asian consumers increasingly consider when trying to make healthier choices, with a majority perceiving 100% natural products as safer, more nutritious, and higher in quality*. While they may be looking for ‘less’ in some areas however, consumers still expect products to offer the whole package when it comes to taste and visual appeal.

This is where fermented ingredients can truly add value. Containing vitamins and minerals, fermented fruits and vegetables offer brands the opportunity to improve the nutritional and sensory appeal of their products, while keeping labels free from artificial ingredients or added sugars. Fermented beet juice for example can be used as an alternative to or in combination with traditional strawberry puree in yoghurt applications to add a burst of vibrant pink colour and subtle sweet-sour flavour.

The full article is available in the latest edition of Food & Beverage Asia August/September 2022 issue. To continue reading, click here.