With growing consumer preference for healthier beverages, and following the Singapore government’s announcement in 2020 of Nutri-Grade labeling requirements for sugar-sweetened beverages, the Kerry team initiated a complete mapping of customer brands and products that were likely to be impacted once the new regulations are enforced, currently scheduled for 2022.
When we presented the findings and potential opportunity that the new regulations would bring, one customer, a leading manufacturer of dairy products in Asia Pacific, shared the challenges they faced.
Firstly, they wanted to reformulate their products in the dairy and juice categories to comply with Nutri-Grade classifications for advertising products, which will be prohibited for Grade “D” beverages, or those with more than 10 grams of sugar per 100 ml. Secondly, they wanted to increase retention amongst customers of their Grade “C” beverages, which contain 5 to 10 grams of sugar per 100 ml. In addition, the customer also sought to enhance mouthfeel in their low-fat dairy products. Plant-based sweeteners were used in some of their products and they wanted a solution that could deliver a clean aftertaste.
To ascertain the impact of the new regulation, it was critical for the team to assess how the customer’s products would be affected by the new guidelines. This exercise presented a clear, detailed scenario to guide the team in developing the best approach for the customer. Our already strong partnership with the customer’s R&D unit also provided a comprehensive understanding of their needs.
Because many products in the customer’s beverage portfolio were high in sugar, our team presented Tastesense™ solutions to address taste challenges associated with sugar reduction. Tastesense combines multiple modulation technologies, including ones with sweetness, mouthfeel and masking capabilities, to achieve up to a 30% sugar reduction in beverages.
With our insight-led approach, such as leveraging Kerry Trendspotter™ and the Kerry Taste Charts, the team identified key trending flavours that were subsequently incorporated into our concept proposals for healthier, low-sugar and tasty beverages.
Kerry’s R&D, marketing and taste teams presented to the customer a diverse flavour portfolio for juices, RTD tea and coffee and yogurt applications. With the addition of Tastesense, the new formulations not only helped the customer meet regulatory guidelines, they also addressed taste concerns by building back sweetness in their beverage range, allowing consumers to enjoy the same taste, texture and mouthfeel that sugar delivers.
Our ability to spot an opportunity early, bring together a cross-functional team to quickly plan and execute targeted solutions based on propriety consumer-driven insights earned our customer’s trust. As a result, they were able to offer consumers a new and improved regulatory-compliant range of beverages that met their health needs while providing tasty refreshment.