Experts have shown texture combinations to have strong influence on taste and satiety, and while records have not been kept in previous years – texture claims in marketing may well be on the rise.
Market research company Mintel recorded new product launches throughout 2016 and clocked trends such as crispy, creamy and crunchy. We spoke to Katya Witham, senior food and drink analyst at Mintel, for deeper insight into her study.
By no means a new or innovative product, yoghurt based snacks containing an add-in ingredient such as muesli, nuts, oats or chocolate – often now explicitly use the texture combination as advertising.
German retailer Rewe's crunchy apple and banana flavoured yoghurt for example, use the ‘KnusperJoghurt’ (crispy yoghurt) title to highlight its difference in texture.
Products mixing crunchy and soft textures in this way made up 7% of all new items with texture marketing this year, said Witham.
Similarly, other unoriginal products like classic Mexican snack churros have emphasised the crispy exterior and soft interior on packaging - the new Pom Bistro potato churros with Emmental being a notable example.
Yoghurt, having been used since 5000 BC, may not be an original invention – however, 4% of new texture-driven products in 2016 were simply classic products such as yoghurt employing descriptions of a well-known texture.
Pasture Milk’s KerryGold yoghurt for example, is marketed simply as ‘creamy’ and boasts a fat percentage of 7%.
Witham said the Quaker Oats-so-Simple was also rebranded as creamy without any change to the popular porridge product's ingredients.
Thin ‘n’ Crispy
Baked foods like savoury biscuits, potato snacks and oven pizzas have trended toward using labels claiming ‘thin’, ‘extra thin’ or ‘thin and crispy’ – often to portray an image of sophistication and local authenticity.
Particularly in pizzas, this texture is seen as an original Italian style, and appeals to the health and wellness market with reduced dough.
The UK, France and Germany were leaders in this trend; the Italissimo brand of pizza in Germany being one example of a new ‘thin and crispy’ product.
A further 2% of new products in 2016 were drinks using texture claims as marketing, said Witham. In particular a rise in energy gels containing caffeine, carbohydrates and vitamins - useful for sports performance - have been seen in Spain, Finland and Italy.
Use of chia seeds - now a hugely popular ingredient for their health qualities according to Mintel - in drinks has also been a successful trend. The combination of juice with hard seeds containing protein, omega 3 and iron has spread to many brands, the most popular of which are in the UK and Germany.