Katya Witham
Katya Witham is Senior Food & Drink Analyst, identifying and exploring the major trends across various FMCG categories, giving invaluable insights into global markets.

The focus of the food and drink industry on texture highlights opportunities to leverage other sensory elements to attract the attention of consumers. As highlighted by Mintel’s 2018 Global Food & Drink Trend ‘New Sensations’, texture is integral to elevating flavour and providing consumers with satisfying eating/drinking experiences, with more novel mouthfeel appearing across categories as brands look to captivate consumers with divided attention.

Here, Katya Witham, Senior Food & Drink Analyst at Mintel, who is presenting on the latest texture trends at next week’s Anuga FoodTec, has selected some innovative product launches that utilise texture in new and interesting ways.

Add some chew

The South Korean You Us GS Lavelee Soybean Ice Cream has a particularly inventive approach to texture. The use of a rice cake gives consumers a chewy texture to contrast the softness of the ice cream and bean paste.

Layered texture

Once used as a flavour incorporated into a granola type bar, the silky, creamy textured nut butter is being showcased as a star ingredient in its own right – either as a topping or filling. From Nature Valley in the US, these bars feature a chocolate base, a nutty centre and a creamy nut butter topping.

Heard of basil seeds?

Friya Rose Blossom & Sour Cherry Superfood Drink with Basil Seeds. This German product is claimed to curb the appetite, is free from sugar, preservatives, and lactose, and features the V-Label seal from the European Vegetarian Union. Basil seeds are a good source of micronutrients like iron and magnesium, and are also rich in antioxidants (eg polyphenols). After soaking in water, basil seeds expand into a gelatinous mass of a beautiful purple-greyish color, not unlike chia seeds.

Made to be broken

Unilever launched Magnum into a new tub format in 2017, which took the high-end brand in a more playful, multi-sensory direction. The new pint tubs arrive in classic vanilla, almond and white chocolate flavours, with the ice cream inside entirely encased in chocolate, enabling the consumer to squeeze the sides of the tub to crack the chocolate. The cracked chocolate inside adds ‘do it yourself’ texture, which is unusual for tub ice cream.

Smooth, yet hearty

Mindfuel Cacao & Cayenne Pepper Posh Teff Porridge is organic, plant-based, free from wheat, dairy and soy, and packed with vitamins, minerals, fibre and protein to help unlock one’s energy. It contains teff, an ancient grain native to Ethiopia, to bring together a mild nutty flavour with a unique, smooth yet hearty texture. The porridge is described as grounding, warming and super-filling.

A satisfying crunch

Muso From Japan Sprinkling Sansho Pepper Furikake comprises a basic blend of toasted sesame seeds and green nori flakes with ground Japanese sansho peppers, and is described as a ready-to-use table condiment made only with plant-based ingredients. It is suggested to be sprinkled on grilled meat or fish, rice, topped on noodle dishes, used as a salad seasoning, or on anything else where one wants an extra pop of flavour and satisfying crunch.

Jelly + Fizz

Fanta Jelly Fizz. More innovative textures are generating interest across categories, with this soft drink from Fanta, launched in Australia, containing liquid jelly pieces that are “activated” after shaking the can.

Chewy dessert drink

Arteta’s DayUp Pearls is an innovative range of adult-oriented desserts in Poland that come in convenient shelf-stable pouches. Available in three flavour combinations: raspberries with blueberries, apricot with cocoa, and mango, DayUp Pearls desserts also feature coconut cream, coconut flakes and tapioca pearls, which add an exotic flair and an unusual texture.