Finding the “Sweet Spot” with Millennials (and other consumer groups)

As more data comes in about Millennial preferences, one aspect noted by Datassential is that, compared to the rest of the country, the Millennial audience seems characterized by a preference towards sweet flavors. 

In one of its “FoodBytes” reports published last Fall, it found seventeen of the top twenty dishes that skew towards Millennials are beverages and all but one are sweet. 

The difference really is remarkable. For example one dish, a Banana Split Flatbread served at Bonefish Grill appealed to 79 percent of Millennials, but just 29 percent of the total U.S. population, a full 50 percentage-point gap. 

Not that Millennials are the only consumer segment purchasing sweet items. The breakfast circuit also witnessed success with sweeter offerings including cinnamon swirls and cinnamon bread pull-aparts or dishes featuring peaches and sugar.  And close to half of all consumers surveyed said they were likely to purchase a croissant/donut from Dunkin’s. 

Formulators can take advantage of this ‘sweet tooth’ indicator for Millennials and other consumers while playing into the desire for single serve, convenience treats. Baked goods like cinnamon rolls or donuts are popular small indulgences. 

Retail sales bear out the trends seen within the foodservice segment. Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) reports the revamped Hostess Donettes, a mini donut, took second place just behind Little Debbie for the 52-week period ending November 30, 2014. The category leader, McKee Foods Corp., saw its sales increase 13 percent and the overall donut category appeared healthy in 2014, with a sales increase of 10 percent overall. 

General Mills recently rolled out Pillsbury™ Minis, bite-sized bakery treats in resealable packages containing four cinnamon rolls, crumb cakes or a variety of muffins. This roll-out specifically targets the C-store audience. As the company reports from IRI AllScan store data for the latest 52 weeks ending Sept. 7, 2014, breakfast items represent 64 percent of the nearly $2 billion packaged bakery category and grew five percent compared to the previous year. 

In cake donuts whether full-sized or mini, egg yolks add richness and tenderness to the finished product and aid with volume and shelf life. In a mini-muffin or crumb cake bakers can rely on egg ingredients to contribute binding and supply an impressive degree of leavening action. Nothing helps a baking formulation along better than egg ingredients, for appearance, texture and mouthfeel.

2015-04-17 16:30:16

Yolks for You: Successful Formulating

While the benefits of whole eggs and egg whites are well-known and celebrated, last fall the consulting and research group Sterling-Rice in Boulder, Colo., named 2014 the “Year of the Yolk” in its annual “Cutting-Edge Dining Trends” report, bringing the yolk into the spotlight.

In January, predicted eggs would star in dishes in every daypart, not just breakfast, as the number one dining trend for 2014. Aside from being a tasty addition in foodservice establishments to everything from egg salad and omelets to more creative culinary concoctions such as egg topped burgers and pizzas, egg yolks play an important role in food manufacturing.

Salted yolk remains a staple for mayonnaise and salad dressing manufacturers for its emulsification properties, stemming from its composition of low-density lipoproteins. Pasta benefits, too, because egg yolks serve as a natural protein binder for all types of noodles. Plain dried egg yolk contains 30-32 percent protein and liquid/frozen egg yolk protein ranges from 15.3-16.0 percent. This binding capability is particularly useful in par-cooked pasta sold refrigerated under modified packaging conditions, or in prepared foods sold either refrigerated or frozen.

Egg yolks can supply a rich, golden color to pasta and baked goods, help bind, coagulate, act as a humectant to absorb moisture and of course, emulsify. Egg yolk thickens and binds when heated due to the protein denaturation making egg yolks a popular addition in meat and meat substitute patties and hot creamy sauces.

Egg yolks are available in dried, liquid and frozen forms. Typically, further processed frozen egg yolk will be comprised of either 10 percent salt or sugar. This is added to the egg yolk to inhibit gelation and avoid increasing the ingredient’s viscosity. Freezing the egg yolk does not affect their emulsification properties.

An enzyme modified egg yolk possesses high water solubility, enhanced emulsifying properties and has greater heat stability. In addition, the egg yolk features a full complement of impressive nutritional values.

2015-04-02 19:52:27