Demand for comfort food creates new opportunities

Enhancing savory, umami flavors while cutting salt is easier than ever

 

Global events and high stress have propelled consumers to increasingly reach for comfort foods, while those same events drive consumer demands for flavorful and soothing, yet better-for-you choices. Salt of the Earth, Ltd. is giving food companies a big edge in meeting these dual demands through its all-natural solution to boost flavor and cut salt from consumers’ favorite comfort foods such as pizza and tomato soup: Mediterranean Umami Bold. The formulation is upgrading this nostalgic category that has made a big comeback over the last year, awarding it a compelling umami boost while at the same time effectively reducing the need for salt.

England’s salt reduction program will have led to nearly 200,000 fewer adults developing heart disease and £1.64 billion (US$2.3 billion) of healthcare cost savings by 2050, according to research by Queen Mary University of London[1].

Consistently ranked among the top comfort foods is pizza. Datassential reported that pizza sales in the US more than doubled last year[2], and Statista predicts that the US$16B global frozen pizza market is expected to jump by about 50% in the next five years[3]. MarketWatch found similar growth trends for that other top 10 comfort food, soup. Not only has soup benefited from the same situations driving pizza sales, the particularly harsh winter of early 2021 also helped drive strong soup sales, with the research group predicting the more than US$16 billion market will rise at a steady CAGR of 5% or so for the next five years[4].

“Consumers are working from home and do not enjoy active social lifestyles as before, so eating at home and turning to comfort food have become the new normal,” says Tali Feingold, Business Unit Director of Salt of the Earth. “Yet these same consumers are more conscious about what they put in their bodies and study labels to ensure ingredients are all-natural, without additives.

Mediterranean Umami Bold allows pizza and makers — as well as other savory product makers — to craft cleaner-label products, reduce the sodium, and keep the great flavor. It’s plant-based, vegan, kosher, and halal and easily helps replace synthetic ingredients, and other artificial additives as well as salt replacements.

“Removing salt from a recipe and adding Mediterranean Umami Bold enhances all of the flavors in the application, without influencing texture or mouthfeel,” stresses Rakefet Rosenblatt, food technologist for Salt of the Earth. “Mediterranean Umami Bold helps keep the flavor systems balanced, even with reduced sodium.

Mediterranean Umami Bold is a clean-label plant-based solution for flavor enhancement and sodium reduction. It is a versatile ingredient with multiple uses and can be used to boost savory flavors, enhance overall flavor profiles, and reduce sodium. Mediterranean Umami Bold also can be used to reduce the amounts of certain ingredients, such as flavorings and spice blends. The easiest way to use it is to add to the aqueous phase in the recipe.  It is functional across a variety of processing conditions, being heat- and pH-stable. It is especially suited for meats and fish, sauces, soups, RTE meals, plant-based meat analogs, and specialty bakery.

[1] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/02/210222082613.htm

[2] https://www.restaurantbusinessonline.com/food/top-trends-driving-strong-pizza-consumption

[3] https://www.statista.com/statistics/974187/global-frozen-and-refrigerated-pizza-retail-sales/

[4] https://www.marketwatch.com/press-release/rte-soup-market-is-estimated-to-expand-at-a-healthy-cagr-in-the-upcoming-years-2021-02-23?tesla=y

 

Innovations in Food (& Beverage) Technology is a quarterly magazine distributed globally both in Print and Digital formats. www.innovationsfood.com.  Twitter: @Innovfoodtech.  Instagram: @innovationsinfoodtechnology.  Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/terry-prior52