The year in focus for Food & Beverage
Fresh dairy, cheese and plant-based dairy alternatives
Our business in dairy performed well in 2022. Continued interest in health and well-being remains a driver for growth in fresh dairy worldwide, with milk and fermented products recognized as a valuable source of quality – and enjoyable – nutrition. Lactose-free options continue to gain favor, with our recent research indicating that 40% of global consumers expect to purchase more lactose-free products in the next 3–5 years. Dairy drinks are also seen as an attractive category for products fortified with vitamins, probiotics and protein, with health benefits tailored to appeal to the needs of different age groups. In 2022, we introduced Delvo®ONE, our first portfolio of all-in-one cultures for fermented milk, created using a pioneering AI collaboration platform. The Delvo®ONE portfolio includes five different culture combinations all offering taste, texture and health benefits – and all with built-in bioprotection. A first of its kind, the platform improves the accuracy and speed of dairy producers’ new product development by reducing trial complexity during the culture selection process.
The plant-based dairy space continues to develop dynamically across all formats, with a notable increase in the number of cheese-alternative products hitting supermarket shelves. In 2022, we launched a new portfolio of solutions to help plant-based cheese producers deliver more authentic and compelling dairy taste and texture experiences in cream cheese, sliced and grated applications, leveraging the strong synergies with First Choice Ingredient’s leading capabilities in this area. In alternative drinks, oat drinks continue to outpace other starch sources, and we introduced a new one-step enzymatic solution to help oat drink producers simplify and speed up their production process.
Baking and brewing
Bakers, millers and bakery manufacturers have had to contend with unprecedented volatility impacting supply chains, raw material availability and energy costs. There has been commensurate interest in our enzymatic solutions to help reformulate recipes to reflect new raw material inputs or to reduce reliance on price-volatile ingredients such as emulsifiers and wheat gluten, while maintaining the end-product quality and characteristics that consumers demand. In support of this trend, we broadened our portfolio in 2022 with the launch of Panamore® Xtense, a label-friendly lipase which is a more sustainable alternative to the common emulsifier DATEM. Moreover, our freshness solutions were in strong demand throughout the year, and our business in the baking sector performed well as a whole.
Our activities serving the brewing sector likewise performed well. The brewing sector continues to seek a reduced environmental footprint, using more diversified supply chains with a greater proportion of locally available raw materials, as well as driving production efficiency improvements and, crucially in the current environment, doing everything possible to drive down energy costs. Our enzymatic solutions help brewers to boost efficiencies and lower cooling time and costs, while helping to satisfy fast-changing consumer demand for new beverage experiences.
Savory and meat and fish alternatives
Demand for our savory taste ingredients remained robust, buoyed among other things by continued growth in plant-based meat and fish alternatives and delivering a solid performance for us over the course of the year. As options for plant-based meat and fish alternatives become more mainstream, there is an increasing awareness that producers will need to continually improve their offerings to keep savvy consumers satisfied. This starts with great taste and texture, and we further expanded our market reach with our comprehensive portfolio of integrated solutions, leveraging our full range of capabilities in taste, texture and health. Our online Fortifull™ tool helps manufacturers to analyze their products’ nutritional profiles and optimize their recipes. Furthermore, our vegan EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids were approved for use in the EU during the year, allowing manufacturers to further increase the nutritional value of their plant-based alternatives – without impacting the marine ecosystem.
The First Choice Ingredients business continued to progress well in its first full year in DSM, with its dairy and dairy-like flavors and concentrates enjoying robust demand across application segments.
We further expanded our plant-based offering through a new solution combining Maxavor® vegan fish flavours with our nutritional lipids life’s™OMEGA, our vegan EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids capability. The product combines taste and fortification for the fast-growing fish alternative segment, allowing manufacturers to further increase the nutritional value of their plant-based alternatives without impacting the marine ecosystem.
Our savory taste and flavor solutions based on our yeast extract and process flavor technology platforms continued to enjoy good demand despite a challenging operating environment.
Pet foods are subject to many of the same trends that shape the human food and beverage industry – not least because it is the same consumers who make the purchasing decisions on behalf of their beloved companion animals. We performed well in this segment, with increased interest in our palatability and texture capabilities alongside our nutritional ingredients.
Beverages & More
Our premix capabilities and the depth of our understanding of nutritional science, combined with our breadth of portfolio, application expertise and consumer and market insights, allow us to bring value to our customers that goes beyond our ingredients alone. Increasing consumer interest in health benefits in categories such as energy drinks, for example in support of mental as well as physical energy and performance, offers customers exciting headroom for growth, and we saw continued strong traction in this space.
Building a strong portfolio of plant proteins
The acquisition of Vestkorn Milling in December 2021 provided DSM with an established presence in the market for plant proteins, increasing our relevance as an end-to-end partner for the creation of plant-based food and beverages that create a positive impact for products, people and the planet. We took a number of actions to further strengthen this strategic presence during 2022, including introducing a differentiating positioning for our complete plant protein portfolio under the Vertis™ brand.
We launched Vertis™ CanolaPRO®, our high-quality canola protein isolate – a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids required for good health, and free from major allergens. This milestone follows more than 10 years of research and development at DSM to unlock the healthy protein from the canola seed and produce it at scale for the food industry. Furthermore, we introduced a world-first solution in the form of Vertis™ Textured Pea Canola Proteins, the world’s only textured vegetable protein that contains sufficient levels of all nine essential amino acids to be a complete protein, has unique textural and functional benefits and is soy-free, gluten-free and dairy-free. Vertis™ Textured Pea Canola Protein will help producers create even more realistic and nutritionally appealing meat alternatives or plant-forward applications.
Sales of Vertis™ plant proteins will contribute to DSM’s commitment to reach 150 million people with its ingredients and solutions for nutritious, delicious, and sustainable plant-based food and beverages by 2030. This forms part of our Food System Commitments.
Further growth for fermentative Stevia
Avansya, our 50:50 joint venture with Cargill for fermentative Stevia, continued to build its sugar reduction business with the sustainably produced EVERSWEET® Stevia sweetener. Numerous reduced- and zero-sugar consumer end-products incorporating EVERSWEET® were successfully launched by customers across our target segments, as new product development continued to bounce back after the COVID-19 pandemic amid increased consumer interest in healthier foods and beverages. EVERSWEET® received further approvals for use in additional markets worldwide, with registrations in the EU and elsewhere also underway.
Strong demand for hydrocolloids
Hydrocolloids are thickeners and stabilizers that dissolve, disperse or swell in water to provide a broad range of important functionalities and physical attributes including gelling, texture, mouthfeel, viscosity and suspension. Our hydrocolloids are primarily delivered in the form of plant-extracted pectin and fermentation-derived bio-gums, notably gellan. Both are used as gelling and stabilizing agents in a variety of foods and beverages. We saw strong demand for our hydrocolloids in 2022, resulting in a very strong performance for this business, with many new important wins in biogums among key food & beverage customers as part of our total solution. Beyond the food & beverage sector, our hydrocolloids continued to enjoy demand in new and sustainable applications such as vegetarian soft-gel capsules. Finally, particular interest in pectin was evident in markets outside China, accelerated by the ‘one-stop-shop’ approach made possible by our focused Food & Beverage ‘powerhouse’ set-up.