Concentrate and Puree Q&A
12.14.2015 | Author: Global Organics | Category: Fruit & Vegetable
We recently dialed up Loren Morr, Global Organics’ fruit and veggie juice and puree expert, who has over 30 years experience in the organic and natural foods industry and posed some questions on trends and purchasing tips for organic fruit and vegetable ingredients.
What trends are you seeing when it comes to using organic fruit & vegetable ingredients?
One of the big trends I’ve seen is replacing artificial colors and flavors with organic fruit and vegetable juice concentrates. For example, synthetic red colors that are being used in food products have been replaced with a variety of organic juice concentrates such as cranberry, black currant, elderberry, aronia and red beet.
But, the top trend has definitely been the use of organic fruit and vegetable purees and juice concentrates in various organic baby food products. The organic baby food category has seen incredible growth in the last five years.
What are the top fruit and vegetable ingredients right now?
The top three vegetables that are seeing increased demand include beets, spinach and kale. Everyone is looking for healthy ingredients and these vegetables supply antioxidants as well as many other nutrients. Food products for toddlers that contain hidden vegetable ingredients are becoming popular.
On the fruit side, organic fruit purees are in big demand, including apple, pear and mango. Banana is also very hot right now. I expect these to remain popular so it is important for companies that are looking to use these ingredients to forecast their demand well in advance and work closely with their supplier.
Is there anything special that a buyer needs to look for in a supplier?
As we know, consumers are asking more and more where their foods come from and if they are safe. Therefore a good supplier should have traceability on all of their products along with a quality team that supports every aspect of food safety and quality. A good supplier will also source globally and have as many sources as possible to help mitigate availability risk.
Organic integrity is very important, and your supplier needs to know the growers and processors well. The temptation for cutting corners when supplies are tight and prices are high is great. For example, Global Organics works only with growers and processors that they have visited, know well, and pass their stringent quality standards. Many of Global’s supply partners also have internationally recognized third-party audits, so their customers can be confident in the integrity of what they’re buying.
Are there any important issues that come to mind when it comes to purchasing organic concentrates and purees?
Timing and planning are key, as we can’t control Mother Nature. Global Organics created a global harvest chart that allows you to plan well ahead of the crop, so you get what you want when you want it. It’s important to understand growing regions and contra seasonality when it comes to supply. Now (December – January) is the time to start looking at contracting for purees and concentrates that you need from the southern hemisphere. This includes apple, pear, apricot, peach and berries that come from Chile and Argentina to name a few.