It’s fair to say that texture is one of the key topics in today’s food development game. Over the last couple of months, everyone from artisan chocolate innovators to vegan pizza pioneers have cited texture as their standout focus for 2020 – and this trend shows little sign of waning.
According to recent Innova Market Research, 45% of US and UK consumers are influenced by texture when buying food and drinks, while, 68% share the opinion that textures contribute to a more interesting food and beverage experience.
The textures of food have recently been proven to have a considerable effect on consumer purchasing decisions too, while it has also been seen to impact perceptions of health, taste and enjoyment.
Earlier this month, ingredient manufacturer Puratos became the latest to show a newfound allegiance to all things mouthfeel by unveiling a new texture-centric baking enhancer range, Smoobees.
Puratos’ new line, which is set to arrive in the UK from mid-March, is made up of a trio of flavoured beads - lemon, blueberry or caramel - which are mixed into baked products during the manufacturing process to add a soft and smooth texture.
Exciting all the senses
In creating the new range, Puratos acted on research from their recent Taste of Tomorrow sector study, telling Food Spark that texture is a key element in the taste of food, with taste being at the very top of the agenda for potential consumers.
“For the consumer of 2020, food is about a multi-sensory experience and our recent Taste Tomorrow research shows that 64% of people like to try food with different textures,” says Vera Malhotra, marketing director at Puratos UK.
“The texture of food plays a big role in how consumers experience and enjoy products as it has the potential to excite all the senses – not only affecting the mouth feel of products, but also boosting visual appeal.”
Theatrical and interactive desserts have cropped up as a forecasted trend for 2020, most recently in Baileys’ Treat Report 2020, with Puratos hoping their new Smoobees range – which contain up to 30% fruit – get tongues wagging.
“Dramatic and contrasting textures offer consumers a sense of theatre and originality and provides them with something to share with others, whether verbally, or on social media,” continues Malhotra.
“Added texture can be incorporated into products in several ways. Toppings, such as granola - a top trend for 2020 – can be used to add crunch, as well as different flavours, colour and even additional health benefits.
“Fillings with high fruit integrity offer a softer texture and mouth feel, as well as boosting the perceived naturalness of products.”
Puratos, who invest 2.7% of their annual turnover in R&D, also expanded its Satin cake mix portfolio in the UK this month with two variants that contain 20% less sugar than their standard Satin mix.
Puratos said that the consistency of the finished cake was, along with flavour, of paramount importance.
“It is important to ensure marketing materials, as well as recipes, focus on the texture of foods,” recommends Malhotra.
“Words such as ‘crispy’, ‘fresh’, ‘melting;’ and ‘tender’ have been found to be some of the most appealing, so be sure to use these on menus, websites and across social media.”