Taura Reports Strong Growth in US Demand for Real Fruit Pieces
Sales of Taura Natural Ingredients’ real fruit pieces in the US have doubled in the past three years, the company has revealed. CEO Peter Dehasque has attributed the increase to recent agreements to supply its fruit ingredients to companies operating in the booming US healthy single-serve snack foods sector – many of them new entrants into the category.
The US is now the fastest growing market for snack bars, according to a market analysis conducted for Taura Natural Ingredients by CPL Business Consultants. Sales are worth an estimated $7.3 billion a year and are increasing at a CAGR of 7.9%.
Dehasque explained: “There’s been huge growth in the number of entrepreneurs moving into US healthy snacks with premium concepts that meet consumers’ needs by offering natural health & wellness, convenience and of course great taste. In particular, there’s increasing demand for snack foods that are certified GMO-free, gluten-free, Kosher and organic. Our high quality real fruit pieces and pastes are the perfect match for products carrying these claims and, as sales of added-value snacks have taken off in the States, so have our US sales. Three of our top 10 customers globally are now US companies, with the nutritional bar and toddler snack sectors accounting for the highest share of our US sales.”
Taura Natural Ingredients’ fruit materials are produced in Belgium and New Zealand to high quality and safety standards and supplied to the American market through a sales office based in Virginia. Taura’s products are made using a unique process called URC (Ultra Rapid Concentration), which concentrates the taste, texture and natural goodness of fruit into pieces, flakes and pastes for use in applications such as nutritional snack bars, fruit snacks, chocolate, baked goods and confectionery.
Peter added: “The snacks market is crowded and competitive, and both existing players and new entrants into the category are looking for ingredients that will give their products an edge. The companies we work with want the very best fruit ingredients for their products, and our URC® fruit ticks all the right boxes for them in terms of taste, shelf life, quality, healthfulness and easy processing. However, they’re also looking for innovative suppliers who aren’t afraid to think outside of the box, who are willing to push the boundaries and take snacking to new levels. This creative ethos is the backbone of our company and influences everything we do.”
Recent innovations by Taura Natural Ingredients include Mini’s, tiny pieces of fruit the size of a grain of quinoa, which are believed to be the world’s smallest fruit pieces. Product developers at Taura Natural Ingredients have also combined fruit with protein, fiber and caffeine in a range of functional fruit pieces, and with ancient grains such as chia and amaranth to create healthful, gluten-free fruit pieces with a delicious crispy texture.
In terms of fruit trends, Dehasque told FoodIngredientsFirst: “The superfruits are enjoying a very healthy growth at the moment, red fruits are the stand out area with flavors such as blueberries, raspberries, blackcurrant, pomegranate. They are strong in antioxidants and perceived very healthy by the consumer and deliver great flavor and a great visual. The classic flavors (like strawberry, apple, orange) keep doing well as well. On average, fruit inclusion in food applications is on a constant rise, especially in single serve healthy snacks, a wonderful domain for Taura to play in.”
Dehasque noted that the company’s core markets currently are Australasia, the UK and continental Europe. “We believe these markets have still have good potential to grow further organically on the wave of mega trends such as health & wellness, naturally healthy (fruit & veg), convenience and indulgence/premiumisation.”
“Growing the US is the focus of our geographic growth strategy at the moment, but we are also exploring expansion into the South-American market, Eastern Europe, the Middle-East and Asia. The momentum of healthy snacking starts to grow in most of these markets which makes it attractive for us to enter,” Dehasque concluded.