DSM Integrated Annual Report 2022

Trends in Food & Beverage

The global food system faces a number of interconnected challenges. We need to be able to provide sufficient, high-quality and affordable food and beverage products to feed a growing global population, while at the same time alleviating pressure on the world’s finite natural resources. Our food and beverage choices need to be produced and consumed more sustainably. The way that dietary choices impact health and personal well-being is coming into sharper focus every day, and we face the paradox of over-consumption in some parts of our societies and deprivation in others, with some populations struggling to access even a basic diet. Coming on top of the drive to reduce salt, sugar and trans-fats, the COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated consumer demand for functional foods and ingredients that offer health benefits. Functional foods and drinks need to be delicious and appealing; consumer acceptance and brand preference starts with great taste, texture, and a pleasing appearance.

Meanwhile, producers must anticipate and respond to fast-evolving consumer trends in order to stay relevant and differentiate themselves successfully. They increasingly look for partners to help them speed new product development cycles and get to market faster and more effectively. At the same time, business imperatives – including the need to reduce their operational footprint and also manage the volatility of input costs – means that food producers seek to boost production and resource efficiencies and to lower their energy use.

Growing demand for plant-based alternatives

Interest in more plant-forward diets and plant-based choices alongside animal-sourced foods continues to grow around the world, with an estimated 30% of consumers in major markets identifying as flexitarian. However not all consumers of plant-based products are satisfied with the options on the market, which some perceive as falling short in terms of taste, texture, or health benefits. As consumer and societal expectations rapidly become more sophisticated and demanding, the industry is challenged to step up its game in turn to optimally capture the plant-based opportunity. And with producers aiming to convince consumers to convert their curiosity more consistently into repeat behavior, the race is on to develop next-generation plant-based products and experiences. Whether striving for more nature-like analogs, or differentiating by means of distinctive new formats and applications, producers of meat, fish and dairy alternatives know that they need to stand out on the shelf and on the plate.

Our solutions

We provide a uniquely broad range of ingredients, expertise, and solutions for plant-based products. For meat- and fish-alternative applications, this starts with the plant proteins themselves, which we offer through our Vertis™ portfolio, unveiled during 2022. This features Vertis™ CanolaPRO®, our innovative, high-quality canola protein isolate; plant protein concentrates; and textured vegetable proteins (TVP) based on peas and faba beans, which came into the DSM portfolio with the acquisition of Vestkorn Milling in 2021. It also includes the world’s only TVP that contains all nine essential amino acids, has unique textural benefits, and is soy-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free. Together with our scientific capabilities, application expertise, and innovation competence, as well as a broad range of taste, texture, and nutrition and health solutions, the Vertis™ plant protein portfolio enables us to lead the market as an end-to-end partner for the creation of plant-based food and beverages that deliver a positive impact for products, people and the planet.

Our offering also encompasses ingredients, expertise, and solutions for dairy alternatives, including plant-based drinks, the most mature segment of the plant-based market, and cheese alternatives, one of the newer application areas. Within dairy alternatives, oat drinks are far and away the fastest-growing segment of the alt milk market. Our enzymatic solutions help producers carefully tailor taste and texture in their oat beverages, at the same time reducing throughput times and boosting efficiencies, while texturizing hydrocolloids such as gellan help deliver a homogenous, smooth-tasting product. The industry is also making strides in innovating in cheese alternatives, where compelling texture and mouthfeel are just as important as authentic dairy taste. In this segment, we are making full use of the excellent synergies with the First Choice Ingredients portfolio to help producers improve the quality of their offerings.

There is growing understanding that plant-based products must compete on nutritional value and perceived health appeal as well as on taste and texture. With our deep knowledge of nutrition science and our nutritional premix capabilities, backed up by expert understanding of regulatory requirements around the globe, we are well positioned to assist plant-based producers to close nutrient gaps with traditional options and to differentiate on-shelf with substantive front-of-pack claims.

Growing demand for functional foods and drinks

Consumers worldwide are adopting a more proactive approach to their diets in support of their health and well-being aspirations. On the one hand they are looking to cut down on their intake of salt, sugar, saturated fats, and other less preferred ingredients such as artificial colors, flavors, and additives (supported by ‘food minus’ and clean-label claims such as ‘free from’, ‘low’, or ‘no added’). On the other hand, they are seeking foods and ingredients associated with health benefits, including fortified and enriched products (which can be differentiated with ‘food plus’ claims such as ‘good source of’ and ‘high in’) as well as specific concepts in support of immunity, cognitive function, eye health, sports recovery, and energy, to name but a few. Functional foods and drinks are therefore increasingly becoming a complimentary solution for consumers as part of a healthy, balanced diet. Nevertheless, health-conscious consumers still face several hurdles. Thirty-three percent of consumers say they find the taste of healthy food bland and boring, while 26% say a lack of time means they often turn to convenience foods. Skepticism over health claims on labeling is also a turn-off for consumers, who want functional products they can trust to fulfil a variety of claims about active ingredients and benefits.

Our solutions

As the world’s largest manufacturer of micronutrients, we have the expertise in bioscience and nutritional science to help our customers navigate the complex world of vitamins, minerals, nutritional lipids, and probiotics, as well as plant proteins. This includes leveraging our application and (re)formulation know-how and advising on production considerations (such as when and how to add ingredients and ensure they remain stable throughout their shelf-life), as well as our regulatory expertise, with strategies for successful front-of-pack claims across product categories and geographies. Combined with our taste and texture capabilities, we can help our customers’ brands ensure that the healthy choices they offer are also great-tasting choices that will have consumers coming back for more.

More information on our health benefit solutions for Food & Beverage can be found in this case study.

“With DSM, our customers get more than a supplier. They get a purpose-led partner that understands their business needs and will help them innovate, improve and grow. The result is delicious food and beverage products that are good for people and good for the planet too.”
Patrick Niels

President Food & Beverage Royal DSM

Growing demand for sustainable food production

The third key trend that is impacting the food and beverage industry – from purchasing through new product development all the way to the board room – is associated with efficiencies, resilience and truly sustainable operations. Recent macroeconomic volatility has exacerbated food industry players’ need to look for new ways to help mitigate inflationary forces, shorten and diversify supply chains, and support margins, all the while continuing to deliver the food & beverage industry’s essential service: providing the food and drink on which we all rely. At the same time, our industry faces the imperative to chart a clear course to net-zero while protecting biodiversity and radically reducing food loss and waste throughout the value chain, all the while nourishing a growing global population. Consumers are making conscious efforts to choose more sustainable food and beverage brands. According to a recent survey, nearly six in 10 US consumers say it is important that the foods they buy are produced in an environmentally sustainable way.

Our solutions

With every grain of wheat, drop of milk, liter of vegetable oil, and joule of energy at a premium, the need to maximize process and resource efficiencies across the production, distribution, and consumption of foods and beverages has never been so clear. Our ingredients, expertise and solutions help maximize production and process efficiencies such as yield or throughput time, helping to simultaneously manage unit costs and carbon footprint. An excellent example is presented by our fast-acting lactase enzymes, which allow dairies to accelerate throughput and therefore reduce cooling time, saving energy and costs. Business resilience and business results can also be boosted by means of improved resource efficiencies, as well as by having the flexibility to diversify to new raw materials and input streams – as long as the quality of the finished product remains undiminished. Our baking enzymes and application expertise help bakeries adjust their ingredients and recipes without sacrificing the quality consumers expect in the final product. Meanwhile our bioprotective and antioxidant solutions help prolong dairy shelf life and reduce food loss and waste.

Biosciences are any of the sciences that deal with living organisms.
Carbon footprint
The total set of direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions expressed as CO2eq.
Textured vegetable proteins