The Texan privately-owned company - very much an international concern with more than 70 subsidiaries around the globe and products available in 100+ countries - works hard to remain at the forefront of innovation.
More than a decade ago, Puratos developed its consumer research initiative called Taste Tomorrow.
The proprietary platform tracks local and global consumer behaviours, attitudes and choices, using a combination of semantic artificial intelligence (AI) tech and interviews through the company’s global trendspotting network; partnerships with researchers, flavour houses and universities; and sensorial research. In fact, Puratos not only runs a sensory analysis lab within its R&D department, but also deploys the Sensobus - a unique and fully equipped sensory analysis lab on wheels - to collect insight right at the heart of a relevant target audience.
Finger on the pulse
This enables it to keep a finger on the market pulse, keep track of the evolution of trends and reveal new ones in the bakery, patisserie and chocolate sectors.
“By monitoring emerging trend signals and predicting their growth trajectories, we are able to gain insight into the future of our industry,” said Jaina Wald, VP of marketing, Puratos USA.
“Our proprietary Taste Tomorrow research programme offers unparalleled insight into the ever-evolving food industry,” said Jaina Wald, VP of marketing for Puratos USA.
“By providing a deep understanding of consumers’ changing needs and desire, we empower businesses to stay ahead of the game and create products that truly resonate with their customers. In a world where innovation is key, Taste Tomorrow is the ultimate tool for success.”
Using cutting-edge data science and AI to transform raw data into actionable insights, Puratos has identified the latest industry and consumer trends.
The tech revolution
North America’s fastest-growing trend is captivating both consumers and professionals seeking to harmonise traditional craftmanship and cutting-edge tech by using AI-powered generation and 3D printing.
In addition to AI influencing recipe generation, one in three consumers believe that AI will help them make better food choices.
“By fusing technology and culinary craftsmanship, we’re pushing creative boundaries and entering a new era of recipe personalisation with tools like ChatGPT and text-to-image generators,” said Wald.
“Technologies like 3D printing bring culinary visions to life, fostering unparalleled experimentation and elevating the entire industry.”
Fusing classics with fusion
Puratos research found 69% of North American consumers polled are looking for nostalgic, familiar culinary experiences, while another 64% are interested in experimenting.
On point with this trend is Puratos’ Deli fillings; each crafted with traditional ingredients, making it easy for bakers to incorporate the authentic flavour and texture of nostalgic desserts like lemon pie or cheesecake into their baked goods.
“This distinctive duality of desiring classic comforts and the thrill of the unexplored presents an exciting opportunity for industry professionals to leverage the power of classics while reinventing finished goods to encourage exploration and discovery,” said Wald.
The gut feel
Over three-quarters (76%) of North Americans polled recognise the essential role of improving gut health for overall health - from boosting immunity to enhancing mental wellbeing.
This increased focus on gut health has led to rising demand for bakers to infuse their treats with probiotics, prebiotics and fibre.
“This striking interest in gut health among North American consumers is translating into a demand for multipurpose gut-friendly foods that offer holistic health benefits and enhanced energy,” said Wald.
Sourdough has emerged as one of the consumers’ most popular goods in this category. The extended fermentation needed to create authentic sourdough stands out for its superior digestibility. This time-honoured and slow process unlocks an array of advantages: from and increased release of vitamins, minerals and amino acids to bumping up the bread’s nutritional content.
While digestive health is growing in priority, it does not supersede taste. Here, Puratos’ Sapore Lore comes to the fore. The 100% whole wheat organic sourdough offers both the benefits of a fermented sourdough, along with its elevated tastes and nuances.
A greener indulgence
In North America, 53% of those polled recognise the positive impact that pant-based choices have on the environment, while another 46% believe plant-based offerings both cater to their wellbeing and are a healthier choice than animal-based products.
As this trend of conscious consumption continues to evolve, consumers are setting high standards for the quality and taste of plant-based products.
The success of plant-based is evidenced by the booming sales of Puratos’ Sunset Glaze, a plant-based egg wash alternative that adds a golden shine to buns, brioche and other baked goods. Plant-based milk chocolate has also been popular among Puratos customers, as evidenced by sales of the Belcolade Selection M. Plant-Based Cacao-Trace.
The two-day Taste Tomorrow conference was held at its Austin headquarters on 19-20 September and featured a roster of expert speakers and Puratos’ own specialists to provide valuable insight for its customers from all over the world.