In their 45th Annual R&D Survey, Food Processing asked manufacturers about what they’re focusing on in 2016. Here’s what they had to say.
- “Really new” product development will continue to be most important for R&D efforts this year, followed by “cleaning up” current products.
- Food safety will continue to have the most impact on R&D strategy, followed by preventive health and organic/natural.
For the current product clean-up, manufacturers plan to:
- Remove added sugars (28%), sodium (21%), trans fat (15%), and saturated fat (11%).
- Add fiber (15%), fruits and vegetables (22%), and vitamins (11%).
- Replace refined grains with whole grains (15%).
- 41% of respondents are in favor of mandatory GMO labeling, whereas 11% are opposed.
- 17% say we need a national policy right now, while 48% say they will go along with it if it becomes law.
- 36% of respondents are mildly or strongly supportive of GMO ingredients.
- 27% are mildly or strongly opposed.
- 35% of respondents have or are seeking non-GMO certification, up from 23% last year.
When asked an open-ended question about what they’re doing to make cleaner labels, manufacturers said they are:
- Focusing on health and authenticity
- Using stevia and natural colors
- Taking out artificial flavors and colors, as well as chemical-sounding ingredients
- Taking out fillers, binders, coloring, and unnecessary chemical additives
- Exploring ways to be shelf-stable without preservatives
- “Identifying ingredients that are banned for our company”
2015 Dietary Guidelines
When asked how important the Dietary Guidelines are to their plans:
- 53% of respondents said they are “reasonably important.”
- 12% said they are “huge.”
- 35% said they will have little or no effect.
For more details and additional findings, download the full report.