Dairy products included in the Sweet&You service

Three questions for Éric Taillan, Director of R&D Food and Technical Applications, on the development of the Sweet&You service.

Since November 2017, Tereos has offered “Sweet & You”, an innovative service to help its customers create a tailor-made nutritional formulation of their products. The service, which was originally devised for use in confectionery, beverage and pastry production, was expanded this year to include dairy products. Interview.

  • The Sweet&You service is expanding its approach. Can you tell us more about it?

We are offering a comprehensive reformulation program based on four essential principles:

  1. Improve the nutritional profile;
  2. Maintain desirable sensory characteristics;
  3. Have ingredients that conform to consumers’ expectations of naturalness, specifically without additives for clear labeling;
  4. Maintain competitive formula costs for our customers.

In addition, Sweet&You makes good use of the entire Tereos range and no longer focuses solely on the reformulation of sugar and sweeteners, but also on reducing fat and increasing fiber content. To achieve this, we are working on seven key areas: sweetening agents (including intense sweeteners such as stevia), proteins, dietary fibers, native starches from various plant sources (tapioca, potato, wheat, and corn) and, where applicable, ferments and enzymes. We are also working on optimizing our customers’ manufacturing processes. We want to become our customers’ partner and point of contact when they encounter a technical problem with the nutritional enhancement of their products.

Reformulation: the four essential principles

• nutritional profile: fewer calories, more fiber;

• sensory profile: no compromise on taste, the product must be as good or even better than the reference product;

• customer perception: clear labeling including ingredients that consumers approve of;

• profitability: a new formula at a reasonable or reduced cost.

  1. How can manufacturers of dairy products benefit from Sweet&You?

Dairy products, including fermented milk products and ice creams, offer huge potential in terms of nutritional enhancement on global and European markets. For example, dairy products are the biggest packaged food category on the continent. The yogurt market remains dynamic globally with a growth forecast of 5% by 2022*. The dairy products on this very competitive market must adapt to new consumer demands as shoppers search for healthier products with fewer calories. With yogurt, for example, we can optimize its nutritional profile by reducing not only the fat content but also the sugar content of the fruit mixture that comes with the plain base product in fruit yogurts. Our service is also effective when it comes to ice creams, which are sometimes particularly laden with sugar and fat. We currently have several ongoing projects with customers in France and Italy. We have analyzed the technological possibilities, created prototypes and we have been meeting with potential customers since last March.

  1. How do you work with your customers?

In addition to creating solutions to our customers’ briefs, we adopt a decisively proactive approach. The team creates prototypes and then presents them to potential customers. For example, we identified three potential Italian customers for ice creams. We undertook research with excellent results: an ice cream with increased fiber content and 30% fewer calories, thanks to a 50% reduction in sugars and two-thirds less fat in comparison to the benchmark formula**. And all this was achieved while maintaining the ice cream’s sensory signature and reducing the cost of the formula. The next step is to meet these customers with prototypes in hand.

The best way to win over our customers is to provide the “proof of concept”. We want to show them that we bring added value to their own R&D with our expertise in ingredients and knowledge of how these work together. The co-creative partnership with these R&D teams must be open so that our innovation capabilities can be combined.