As part of the product development process, Synergy conducted primary research with a panel of more than 600 consumers of non-dairy alternatives.
Image: Synergy Flavours
Synergy Flavours has launched two flavours specifically formulated for plant-based milks, backed by analytical flavour development and research into consumer taste preferences for dairy alternatives.
The new flavours are fresh milk and UHT milk, both of which will help manufacturers to replicate the taste of dairy in plant-based milk alternatives. These flavours provide the dairy-type profile that consumers increasingly expect in plant-based milks, adding creaminess, indulgence and sweetness across a range of bases, including soy, oat and pea, according to Synergy Flavours.
Synergy has analysed a range of popular plant proteins to examine how their taste characteristics differ from that of milk protein. For example, the differences between the aroma of cow’s milk and soy milk can be pronounced, which requires a specialist approach for flavour pairing. Soy protein has taste challenges such as bitter and hay-like notes that need to be overcome in order to deliver optimal taste properties that consumers now expect from plant-based alternatives.
As part of the product development process, Synergy conducted primary research with a panel of more than 600 consumers of non-dairy alternatives (milk, cream, desserts and yogurts) in France, Germany and the UK, to understand the varying preferences for these products across different geographies.
Consumers in the study stated a number of ways that the taste of dairy alternatives could be improved, many of which had strong associations to the taste experiences associated with dairy products. When asked what they wish for from non-dairy milks, 32% of UK respondents said a fresh dairy taste, 31% of respondents in Germany said a fresh milk taste, and 26% of the French consumers surveyed said a creamier taste. [Primary research with 600+ dairy alternative consumers in the UK, France, and Germany (2021-22) conducted by Synergy Flavours]
Natalie Sheil, category manager, Synergy Flavours, said with the plant-based milk market growing rapidly, consumers are increasingly expecting products to have similar attributes to those of cow’s milk.
“People are opting for plant-based milks for a variety of reasons, such as following a vegan diet, lifestyle choices, or health reasons,” she said. “However, regardless of the driver behind their choice, they are still looking for manufacturers to provide products that have the same creaminess and dairy flavour of cow’s milk.
“Combining Synergy’s dairy heritage with our broad flavour expertise enables us to work with manufacturers to recreate a dairy taste experience in a plant-based alternative. We carefully consider every aspect of the eating experience, including mouthfeel, aroma, masking, depth, balance and flavour, to ensure that consumers can enjoy plant-based products as much as their dairy counterparts.”