palm oil

Palm oil-free may be an emerging trend

A shift towards palm oil-free foods and ingredients could be an emerging trend in Europe, according to market analysts.

Tate & Lyle Food Systems announced in June the launch of Hamulsion stabiliser systems using emulsifiers not based on palm oil for dairy cream toppings, creamy soups and sauces. And Sensient Food Colours Europe has just launched a range of colours without palm oil.

Says Miranda Dickinson of market research firm RTS Resource: Much has been written in recent months about the need for sustainable palm oil. Sunflower crops are seen as being a viable alternative, as are rape crops and there appears to be a slight shift emerging towards alternative crop solutions (mostly at present concerning sources of non-saturated fats). As pressure grows both within the industry and outside from consumers, I wonder if more ingredient companies will follow suit?”

Companies could be responding to the strong consumer awareness of the ecological impact of standard palm oil cultivation, she added. This had been fuelled by initiatives such as Greenpeace’s notorious campaign against Nestle’s use of palm oil in its KitKat brand.

“If food manufacturers are looking to increase reasons for consumers to buy their products, the possibility of adding a ‘palm oil free’ label might be an added purchase motivator when manufacturers are sourcing ingredients.”

She also pointed to the call to cut trans fats and the demand from the industry for products that offered multiple benefits, such as health, ‘all natural’ and environmental claims.

David Jago, director of innovation and insight at Mintel Group, said there had been 72 new products in Europe bearing prominent front of pack ‘no palm oil’ claims in 2011, versus 16 in 2010….. Read the full article