When it comes to megatrends impacting consumer-style, behavior and choice — health and well-being is one such trend that is influencing different demographics, generations and geographies.
DuPont sees that this is “no different in Latin America”, explained Daniel Borges, LATAM Sales and Industry Leader of Probiotics, Fibers and HMO at DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences. Consumers are looking for benefits that appeal to their personal, their family’s and their planet’s wellbeing. As such, plant-based ingredients and probiotics align with the health and well-being megatrend and can deliver the health benefits that consumers are searching for.
Why plant-based and probiotics?
The decision to focus on plant-based ingredients and probiotics comes from consumers’ continued pursuit to adopt healthier eating habits. As we become more aware of the positive and contributing results these have on ourselves and the wider world, people are opting to consume more plant-based food and beverages.
In an exclusive DuPont N&B global* survey, consumers were asked about their interest in plant proteins, with 78% of Colombians, 67% of Brazilians and 65% of Argentinians stating they are extremely interested or interested, Borges revealed to Nutraingredients-LATAM.
“Plant-based products are no longer considered a fad, nor a secondary eating habit; it is a reality of a new lifestyle. People from across the globe and across generations are seeking to consume more vegetable-based foods and beverages, which is strengthening the category's growth in the market,” highlighted Borges. “Plant-based foods are in high demand, and boundless application possibilities hold great potential.”
“We are witnessing a significant rise in the demand for probiotics as consumers make health and wellness a daily priority.”
Focusing on helping food and beverage manufacturers navigate the plant protein landscape, DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences (DuPont N&B) has added TRUPRO 2000 Pea Protein and Danisco VEGE strain lines for fermented vegetable beverages and food.
The influence of meat and dairy alternatives
In fact, plant-based food and beverages is a global category that is actively attracting new players. No longer are meat and dairy-replacement products considered niche products, instead, they are deemed conventional.
Actively motivating and influencing their friends and families, consumers are now searching for plant-based meat substitutes. The main driver leading the search is health, followed by animal welfare and cost-effectiveness, Borges revealed.
Why Latin America?
Research shows that the number of plant-based beverages launches has doubled in the last three years in South America**, with Colombia experiencing the highest growth in Latin America, per capita of alternative beverages to milk.
As the volume of vegetable-based beverage launches in the last two years has grown, coupled with the consumer's willingness to pay a higher price tag for plant-originating products, the sector is anticipated growth.
Market intelligence provider, Euromonitor International, states that probiotics is the fastest-growing category of supplements around the world. And Latin America is the region with the biggest potential to grow.
DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences will expand beyond its broad range of ingredient solutions for plant-based beverages and food. It will focus on bringing plant-based proteins, texturizing/ stabilizing agents, Danisco VEGE Cultures, emulsifying agents, probiotics and fibers to consumers in Latin America.
Specializing in clinically-documented probiotic strains for products, DuPont will also build upon the 16 million-strong probiotic purchasing household in the US. It strives to deliver its products' digestive and immune health, along with promising advancements in weight management and cognitive health to Latin American consumers.
Speaking to Nutraingredients-LATAM, Borges goes on to say: “Latin America has promising fast growth potential, and DuPont is prepared for that. We have the largest fermenter in the world dedicated to probiotics production, which enhances our ability to provide customers and consumers with high quality, clinically-documented strains that will positively impact people’s health now and in the future.”
Embracing opportunities and overcoming challenges
“There is a growing tendency to go ‘green’ as the desire for healthier lifestyles drives purchases of plant-based foods and beverages,” Borges explains. For example, he adds, The Brazilian Supermarket Association says that the demand for vegetarian products is higher than the supply in the country.
“Plant-based foods are gaining momentum, and the opportunity is real,” emphasizes Borges.
As consumers want good taste and texture, achieving these are the “greatest determinants in driving purchase behavior”. When it comes to those brands and products that will succeed in the marketplace, it will be those plant-based foods that “meet expectations for being delicious, satisfying and well-positioned”.'
Focusing on challenges, Borges cautions that as “Latin America countries have in general a higher regulatory scrutiny from health authorities, [it] is important to raise the bar from a quality standpoint regarding the products available in the market, and DuPont has a dedicated regulatory team prepared to address those customers and authority’s needs”.
DuPont is now preparing to help Latin American brands formulate a plant protein product to deliver on taste and texture expectations, as well as provide product stability and shelf-life issues.
The US company is based in Latin America, with operations in Brazil, Chile and Mexico, including labs and pilot plants covering applications areas.
* Health Focus – Global opportunities in protein 2018
** Innova database - March 2019