The New Frontier of Infused Products: Powered by Custom Emulsions

Custom Emulsions Powered by SoRSE

The emergence of CBD has been a game-changer for the cannabis industry. Prior to 2018, as more states legalized medicinal and creational cannabis use, THC was the cannabinoid most consumers were familiar with. Yet when the US Farm Bill passed at the end of 2018, which made growing hemp legal, the cannabinoid CBD quickly became something that consumers were interested in, given its purported therapeutic effects. That also meant CBD became the launching platform for many product categories. In 2019, product designers were quick to develop CBD products for the marketplace like tinctures, gummies, and capsules, followed by beverages, baked goods, and confections to capitalize on consumer interest.  

In 2019 when CBD products started to emerge, the main decision a product producer had to make was whether to choose Isolate or Broad Spectrum CBD for their product, depending on the flavor profile they wanted to achieve or whether or not they wanted the consumer to benefit from the Entourage Effect. A lot has changed since then, as the opportunity to go beyond those two choices is seemingly limitless.  

2020 and Beyond: The Evolution and Expansion of Infused Products  

 The CBD-infused product market that has matured and grown rapidly in the last several years, with brands establishing themselves and gaining a good foothold in the market. In that time, consumers have also become more accepting and more knowledgeable about CBD. These informed and experienced consumers who may have tried numerous products have elevated expectations when it comes to what they purchase, and with each new product innovation, the bar is raised higher. In 2021, the CBD market is poised to evolve and differentiate itself, allowing product developers to take their brand to the next level. The next wave of products in this ever-popular, ever-expanding marketplace will feature custom emulsion blends with ingredient pairings and combinations; this movement will create differentiation in product lines. Given the number of minor cannabinoids, terpenes, adaptogens, and nootropics that could be paired with CBD, the unique combination possibilities are truly endless.  

The New Frontier: CBD + (fill in the blank)  

Now more than ever, consumers are highly focused on their wellness and are seeking out products that feature ingredients they believe have significant health benefits. Moving forward, this likely means that product developers will look to pair CBD with functional ingredients like Zinc, Vitamin C, Melatonin, L-theanine, nootropics, or adaptogens. Currently, there are a number of products on the market featuring CBD and Magnesium and L. theanine. Magnesium is a mineral that is critical for helping the body operate properly, particularly for those suffering from inflammation, as it supports muscle and nerve function. L. theanine is an amino acid found in green and black tea as well as some mushrooms; people use it to improve cognitive function as well as for stress and anxiety. Product developers are also pairing CBD with secondary cannabinoids like CBN, CBC, and CBG and as well as prioritizing products that are clean label – organic, natural, and/or vegan. 

These product development decisions are typically grounded in the brand’s goals and objectives and what the path forward should be based on the customers’ needs. If more brands expand their lines in this way, the market will likely see products with increasingly unique combinations of functional ingredients created for a specific therapeutic effect. For more information on functional ingredients trends, check out our two-part blog post, “All About Adaptogens” and “Restoring Protein, Balancing Gut Health, and Boosting Immunity.” 

Your RESōRSE for the New Frontier 

As brands look to expand their offerings to include products infused with CBD and other functional ingredients, SōRSE has positioned itself to be a full solution provider, as a collaborator in the product development process, and as a solution-oriented, strategic partner. Beyond providing a delivery system for bioactive compounds including cannabinoids, terpenes, adaptogens and nootropics, our R & D team is comprised of formulation experts who are always up for a challenge. When a product developer works with SōRSE, they have the full support of the team to get the product off the ground, as well as access to our certified network of suppliers and co-manufacturers. Through each phase of the product development process – ideation, custom emulsion creation, quality assurance and testing, production planning – SōRSE is a partner and resource to its customers. Take the first step by booking a call today to tell us what you hope to achieve with your brand so we can help make your dream of a new infused product a reality.   

Powered By SōRSE Partner Spotlight: Mad Tasty

mad tasty powered by sorse

Contrary to popular belief, being in a band is not all sunshine, roses, and adoring fans. Whether you’re a solo artist, duo or multi-piece band, it takes a lot of time, energy, creativity, and effort to make, record, perform, and market music. Someone who knows this well is Ryan Tedder, front man for the band OneRepublic. Over the course of his career, Ryan has shown the ability to capture the feelings and experiences that matter to people and put them in songs; now, he has taken those same feelings and experiences and put them into Mad Tasty, his beverage brand.    

In 2018, after a few tough years on the road (in 2016, the band logged 400,000 miles) and dealing with anxiety and sleep issues, Tedder decided to start his own brand of CBD-infused sparkling water called Mad Tasty, having spent a great deal of time researching CBD and its potential health benefits. He decided to name the brand Mad Tasty because he wanted something approachable, fun, and delicious that his friends, family, and fans would love to drink. Tedder knew that it was important to hydrate over the course of the day, but he didn’t love how water tasted, so he decided to create a beverage he would want to drink that featured CBD because he liked how it made him feel. The challenge was finding the right partner to help him create flavor profiles as well as provide the emulsion that would seamlessly deliver the CBD.  

STARTING THE JOURNEY: REFINING THE CONCEPT 

The team at SōRSE started working with Tedder on Mad Tasty in the fall of 2018. Michelle Sundquist, Director of Commercialization (aka “the Jedi of flavor”), and the members of the R&D team worked hand in hand with Tedder to develop the beverages that launched in the spring of 2019. When asked to describe the experience working with Tedder from concept to commercialization, Sundquist commented, “Our initial conversations with Ryan were really focused on the kind of experience he wanted his friends and family to have. Because he was so excited to share his experience with others, he wanted to try to find a way to get the drinks to market quickly. In order to help Ryan reach his goal, we focused on ingredients and flavors that would be popular and that we knew would provide a stable flavor platform. He also wanted a beverage that was really flavorful but not loaded with calories, that you could drink a few of without feeling full. That’s how Mad Tasty as a flavored sparkling water came to be.”   

DEVELOPING FLAVOR PROFILES 

In terms of coming up with Mad Tasty’s first two flavors, Sundquist stated, “We wanted to create a clean flavor profile, so we built the beverages around our emulsion’s citrusy, slightly tangy notes. Grapefruit was the first flavor that paired really well with it. The slight bitter notes of our emulsion added to the pithy notes you find with grapefruit juice. We also really liked the sweetness and softness of watermelon; pairing watermelon with kiwi gave the drink another layer of depth and pop. We worked really closely with Ryan as we experimented with flavor and carbonation, adjusting them as needed to match the beverage he had imagined. We all wanted the consumer to open the beverage and be immediately hit with flavor and bubbles. They’d start to drink it, and it would be instantly refreshing.”  

 DETERMINING DOSING 

At the time Mad Tasty was being formulated, most producers were creating low dose beverages, in the 10 to 15 mg range. Sundquist commented, “10 mgs was pretty much the standard in 2017. We decided to bump it up to 20 mg because we wanted to make sure that Ryan’s audience was getting a good value and experience with the beverage.”  

ADDING TO THE OFFERINGS – UNICORN TEARS 

Two months after the initial meeting, the SōRSE team met with Tedder again to sample some prototypes and further build out the product’s story. Sundquist commented, “In late 2018, we did all the beverage design, and we had the first cans coming off the production line in mid-February of 2019. Once we got the first two flavors off the ground, we started working on the profile for Mad Tasty’s third flavor, Unicorn Tears. With that beverage, we were trying to create the feeling of something magical, given the drink’s unique name. The flavors in that are playful and tropical – it’s a base of white tea with a touch of Dragon fruit and a drop of POG, a childhood favorite. That beverage launched summer of 2020.” Tedder continues to grow Mad Tasty one product at a time; wellness shots are expected to launch this summer, and another flavor of the sparkling water will also be coming to market soon.   

REFLECTING ON THE PARTNERSHIP  

When Sundquist reflected on SōRSE’s partnership with Mad Tasty and formulating the beverages, she brought up Tedder’s commitment to creating a quality product as well as providing people with clean water around the world. “Early on we were eager to be a part of this project, because of Ryan’s goal to give back to the community and promoting access to clean water. For every 12 ounce can of Mad Tasty sold, the company donates 12 ounces of clean water to people in places in need through their partnership with Drop4Drop. That was a great reason to do everything we could to make these products successful. Being there on site, watching Mad Tasty be produced proved that our emulsion was truly easy to integrate into the production process. The experience also solidified my belief in our technology and what we are doing to move the industry forward.” 

If you are a product developer who has a great idea for infused product and needs help further developing your concept with the goal of getting your product to market efficiently, our R&D team is happy to walk through the process with you and recommend a SōRSE emulsion that best fits your needs, just as we did with Mad Tasty. Book a call with our team today! 

  

 

  

  

  

Going the Extra Mile: Mobile Runs Powered by SōRSE

A point of pride for the SōRSE team is our relationship with our clients and our willingness to help in whatever way we can to get their product to market – from recommending flavor profiles to connecting them with co-manufacturers. 

Nearly a year ago, one of our clients, Cann, a low dose social tonic, was looking to expand to other legal markets beyond California where they are based, but they did not have a way to produce SōRSE emulsion, the backbone of their beverage. Zach Hershberger, our Operations Managerand the Operations team put their heads together and came up with a plan – create a mobile unit and take production on the road.  

Recently we sat down with Zach, who has executed many of the mobile production runs, to talk about how this service came to be, what they entail, the benefits this provides to a client like Cann, and the service might expand in the future.  

What is the genesis story of the first mobile run? 

The whole process was born out of a request from Cann, who wanted to expand to Nevada. They basically said that “There was no Cann without SōRSE, that SōRSE was an integral part of their product. That led to them asking if we could produce SōRSE with their license holder in Nevada. At first we thought it was going to be pretty tough to install a lab in a new location, but then we realized it was feasible to take our equipment on the road and set up shop at the license’s facility. That first trip to Nevada was May of 2020.  

How did SōRSE’s and your relationship with Luke Anderson and Jake Bullock from Cann develop over time? 

I had just started at SōRSE when the company was ramping up emulsion production when Luke and Jake, Cann’s Co-Founders, visited the office in Seattle as they were evaluating emulsion suppliers. At that point, they were planning on operating out of San Diego. I shared some of my experience working at GreenMed Labs where we produced Happy Apple, just to give them an idea of what beverage production entailed. At that point, they knew what their product was going to be; they just weren’t sure where and how they were going to make it. I think one reason they went with us is that they realized we understood what they needed to accomplish.   

After they signed on with us as a client, I made sure they were taken care of, oversaw the production of their emulsion in California, and coached them through the processes that they needed to get production off the ground. Eventually they hired Ishan Kapoor, their Director of Operations, and I have been working with him since.  

What did you think of the idea behind Cann’s product, a low dose social tonic?  

I like the idea of a low dose beverage – I think it’s a great entry point for someone who is curious about infused beverages. It seemed like they had good idea behind it – a beverage to replace an alcoholic drink – and I really appreciated their commitment to using high quality ingredients. They refuse to compromise on the quality, and it shows in their product. It really seemed like a craft beverage.  

What does the timeline look like for planning and executing a mobile run? 

The calendar and the planning really depend on where we are going. If we are going across the country, it takes time to ship the equipment to the location. If we are driving, you have to factor in the travel time.  We recently introduced a second crate of equipment to the mix, so that should make things a little easier.  

The timeline works like this: A customer contacts us and asks us when we can make it; then our team looks at the calendar to establish a date. Once confirmed, we get the run on the calendar and start getting the ball in motion for what we need to do to execute it. That includes sending a packet of information to the client, basically their to-do list, and in turn they need to send us a Certificate of Analysis (COA) of the cannabis raw material they are using. The goal is that two weeks beforehand, we have all the details buttoned up. Facility requirements need to be met so that it is ready to go when we get there.  

Once we get to the facility, we take stock of the material and equipment we shipped and make sure we have everything we need. Then we set up the equipment for production. On Day 2, we start the conversion of the oil to the emulsion, starting the conversion. Converting a kilo typically takes two days using our mobile lab’s equipment. Day 3 is our wrap up, clean up, and package the equipment to be shipped back. I feel good about how efficient we are on these runs; the key to a successful run is maximizing our time so that we are not wasting our resources.  

In what states have you done mobile runs since this service started? 

We’ve gone to California, Nevada, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Illinois. 

What do you enjoy about mobile runs? What’s challenging about them?

What’s cool is seeing the interest and curiosity of the people working at the license facility in what we are doing and whyBasically when this big crate arrives, they are wondering what’s in it, and then once we arrive and set it up, they are wondering what we’re doing with it. This process is very different from the other processes going on at the facility, and they are inherently curious about what companies do with the emulsion. We find ourselves explaining what we are doing, who we are doing it for, and why. This exposes them to a world beyond flower – something so different from what they are used to.   

The challenges are adapting to the different facilities, assessing the spaces where we are working, and being able to respond to situations and snags quickly. At this point we are used to it – and we have learned how to adapt to new environments and problem-solve quickly.  

Why do you think it is important that SōRSE offer this service, and how does it benefit a partner like Cann? How does it benefit SōRSE? 

I think that offering this level of service to our clients shows that we see ourselves as partners in their expansion and overall success. It also gives our clients consistency in their product because we are using the same equipment and ingredients we do at our own facility. I think they know that not every supplier will have the capability to do a run in a new state like we do. Mobile runs have been beneficial for us, because we have been able introduced to partners and potential partners in new states. We have also learned a lot about how licenses work, and how differently they operate. 

 A year from now, what will mobile runs look like for SōRSE? 

If things continue to progress the way they have been, I think we will have more employees on the road doing these conversions. I see us doing higher volumes through trusted locations instead of small volumes in many locations – maybe two to three conversions a month. We will look to find trusted partners in each state where we can work consistently. Those partners can then act as a reseller to other companies who are interested in SōRSE.  I would love to see us get to a point where the license was wholesaling SōRSE to other companies for make their own products.  

 

Water-Soluble Technology: The Solution For Personal Care Products

From the moment we wake up to the time we go to sleep, personal care products are an integral part of our daily routines.  

Personal care products are divided into three categories  

  • Skin careFacial cleansers, hand soaps, body wash, moisturizers, lotions, make-up, and bath bombs 
  • Hair care: Shampoo, conditioner, hair masks, serums, and styling products 
  • Oral care: Toothpaste, mouthwash, and lip balm  

What makes a consumer loyal to their personal care productsThere are a few factorsFirst are the product’s sensory attributes – people want products that smell, feel, and in the case of oral care, taste good. Second, consumers prefer products that are easy to integrate into their daily routine and that are accurately dosed. Third, consumers need a product that consistently delivers the result or effect they are seeking 

 In the past few years, CBD has become an important part of people’s health and wellness routines. Outside of it being a natural plant extract, consumers gravitate towards CBD for a number of reasons, including its ability to address dermal concerns such as acne, psoriasis and eczema.   

When infusing personal care products with CBD, product producers have two options to choose from – oil or a water-soluble emulsion. When weighing the pros and cons of each, it’s important to keep sight of the consumer’s priorities. If the product doesn’t look good on a store shelf, they won’t notice it. If it doesn’t smell good, they won’t apply it. If it doesn’t feel good, they’ll remove it. If they do buy it and it isn’t easy to use, they won’t buy it again.  

CBD Oil for Personal Care: The Problems  

CBD oil is extracted from the plant; this format can pose problems for both the consumer and producer. For the consumer, oil-based products can separate, which leads to inaccurate dosing. The pungent cannabis smell can be off-putting, and the residue of oil can stain clothing. For the producer, oil needs to be incorporated early in production and requires special equipment and additional production stepsAdditionally, while oil makes sense for some personal care product formats, it is not compatible with many.  

Water-Soluble Emulsions for Personal CareThe Solution 

An emulsion is a transformation and dispersion of minute droplets of one liquid (in this case, CBD oil) into another in which it is not soluble. Because oil-based ingredients are tricky to work with, they are commonly emulsified for ease of use for product developers. There are many benefits to replacing oil-based ingredients with water-soluble emulsions that impact both the producer and the consumer. 

Improved Sensory  

With personal care, you’re not just selling a product; you’re selling a sensory experience. A water-soluble emulsion complements common personal care product ingredients such as jojobalavenderhoney, and vitamin CIt does not carry the cannabis sensory elements that some consumers find unappealing, and ieliminates the residue associated with oil-based products.  

 Accurate Dosing 

The potency of CBD oil can vary from batch to batch, meaning loading levels need to be adjusted for accurate dosing. In contrast, a water-soluble emulsion is easy to formulate to a target potency. Because the emulsion is homogeneous, the CBD will be evenly dispersed throughout the product, resulting in consistent and accurate dosing.  

 Versatility 

Simple modifications to a base product formula allow product developers to create multiple SKUs. These modifications can include varying the dosage levels, offering new scents via essential oils and terpenes, and utilizing other sensory modifiers. The more SKUs offered, the more legitimacy the products have in the marketplace, and the more appealing the products will be to retailers and consumers.  

 Seamless Integration 

Most personal care products primarily consist of water. A water-soluble emulsion can replace a portion of the water in the product formulation in one step to achieve the desired cannabinoid content while still maintaining product integrity. A process that makes it easy to integrate the emulsion also means that it is easy to scale up. Using a water-soluble emulsion does not require extra heating or equipment and is compatible with small and large-scale manufacturing.  

To ensure successful commercialization of your finished product, look for a co-manufacturer to produce your finished product, make sure your co-manufacturer has produced a product similar to yours. Ideally the facility will be close in proximity to your target market, which will save you money when it comes time to distribute the product.  

SōRSE 7.5%: The Best Choice for Integrating CBD into Personal Care Items 

CBDinfused personal care products are not newbut they can be better by using water-soluble CBD emulsion. The consumer will benefit from an improved sensory and more consistent, accurate dosing experience. The producer will benefit from a seamless one-step integration into the product formula, which will allow for scale and multiple SKUs with simple modifications.  

Create a product that lives up to its hype; come to the SōRSE.   

Request a sample of SōRSE 7.5% today! 

 

What You Need To Know When Evaluating Water-Soluble CBD Emulsions

For those who are not familiar with emulsionsthey are defined as transformations and dispersions of minute droplets from one liquid into another that are not solubleA great example of an emulsion is salad dressing. The oil in the dressing is lighter than the vinegar, which is why it rises to the top. To get the oil to mix with the vinegar, agitation in the form of vigorous shaking will get the two ingredients to mix – but they will eventually separate.Similarly, oil and water do not play well with each other, which is why using a cannabinoid emulsion for food and beverages is great option for companies producing infused products.  

While it is common for product developers to use emulsions when working with tricky oil-based ingredients, not all emulsions are created equal. While emulsion technology has improved, there are still challenges working with cannabinoids such as negative sensory attributes, shelf life, homogeneity, scalping, and the ability to scaleHere are some tips for the evaluation process. 

TIP #1: Know Exactly What You Are Looking for in Your Emulsion 

When you start evaluating emulsions, you should already know what desired effect and qualities you want, as well as the services you need to get your product to market.   

Do you want your flavor profile to be clean or earthy? Are you looking for the Entourage Effect, where the cannabinoids and the terpenes work synergistically? In terms of dosage, will your product be micro-dosed or offer a high milligram count? What product certifications are important to you – organic, vegan, or kosher? Lastly, how and where will your product be produced, and what kind of support will you need through the process?  

Throughout the evaluation process, keep your requirements front of mind so you get the right emulsion for your product.  

TIP #2Consider Sensory Profiles  Taste, Smell, Appearance, Texture 

Whether you are producing a food, beverage, or personal care product, the consumer’s sensory experience is an important consideration. With food and beverage, if the product doesn’t smell, taste, or look good, they won’t buy it. With personal care, if the product doesn’t feel or smell good, they won’t put it on their body. There are some negative sensory attributes associated with cannabinoids; how you work with those attributes depends on your target consumer and what sensory experience they are looking for.  

Some consumers want their product to taste like the flavor that’s on the label without any hint of cannabinoid flavor, while others like the sensory attributes cannabinoids carry. Knowing this will help a product developer decide if they want to use an emulsion featuring an isolate which will have clean flavor profile or a broad spectrum emulsion which will feature grassy, earthy, herbaceous notes. It also important to remember that organic, all-naturalkosher or other certifications also impact flavor profile, shelf life, production timeline as well as cost.  

 Tip #3Evaluate Ingredients, Stability, Homogeneity, and Shelf Life 

Getting your infused product on a store shelf is the ultimate goal, but you also need to look at the quality of the emulsion, which includes ingredients, stability, homogeneity, and shelf life. These attributes are critical for providing the consumer with a consistent experience. top quality emulsion begins with high quality raw ingredientsAsk your emulsion supplier about their active and non-active ingredients and review the Product Data Sheets, the Safety Data Sheets, and the Certificate of Analysis (COA) with them. Ask how they test inbound and outbound material, if they utilize internal and third party testing.  

When working with cannabinoids, it’s essential that the emulsion you choose is stable and homogeneous, meaning that the cannabinoids do not separate from the water over time and are evenly dispersed in the emulsion. Proven stability and homogeneity are critical because it will ensure accurate label claims. Your emulsion supplier should be able to verify stability and estimate the shelf-life of their ingredient. Ask how they test for stability, and make sure they provide documentation that verifies the potency on the COA.  

 Tip #4: Discuss How Packaging Impacts the Emulsion 

Packaging should be considered at the beginning stages of product development because it will play an important part in working with a co-man for production and scale up. Make sure your supplier understands how your selected packaging will interact with the cannabinoids in the emulsion.  

 Cans are a popular and  familiar packaging solution, but any product developer knows that where there are cans, there is scalpingScalping is when an ingredient gets absorbed into the can lining, resulting in potency loss.  Scalping and other factors such as manufacturing processes that result in potency loss can be mitigated by careful planning on behalf of your supplier and production partners.   

To achieve accurate dosing that matches your label, you need to factor in potency loss early on.  Most producers will overdose their product and account for loss when they begin production. Guidance should be provided by your production partner.   

TIP #5: Choose an Emulsion Made for Scaling 

Just like any other ingredient in your product, the emulsion should be easy to incorporate into the manufacturing process. This will allow for integration into almost any product format, a seamless transition from small batch to commercial scale production, and ease of use for co-manufacturers, which leaves less room for error. The bottom line is that an emulsion that is easy to incorporate into a production process will also be easy to scale. As you evaluate emulsions, don’t be afraid to ask what support you will need to scale as well as how future FDA rulings might impact your finished product.  

Selecting the emulsion to infuse your product with will be the single-most important decision you make during formulation because it impacts the entire product development process as well as the consumer’s experience with your product. Taste, stability, product consistency, dosing and scalability are all incredibly important attributes in any emulsion. Throughout this evaluation process, remember that you are not only looking at the quality of the emulsion; you are also choosing a strategic partner that can support you from concept to commercialization.  

The team at SōRSE offers liquid and powder emulsions designed for easy integration into food, beverages, and personal care products as well as guidance through every stage of product development. If you are looking for a high-quality emulsion powered by a team of experienced food scientists and product developers to get your product to market fast, come to the SōRSE. 

 

Functional Ingredient Trends: Restoring Protein, Balancing Gut Health, & Boosting Immmunity

SoRSE Functional ingredients

 In Part 1 of Functional Ingredients Trends, the focus was on adaptogens more commonly incorporated into food and beverage products for the health benefits they bring. Beyond adaptogens, there are other key functional ingredients that developers are beginning to integrate into their products to meet consumer needs. 

 Calling on Collagen to Restore Protein Levels  

Collagen is the most prominent protein our body produces. It is in our skin, bones, tendons, muscles, and ligaments – even in our teeth! As we get older, our bodies produce less collagen, resulting in rougher skin and weaker joints. The health benefits of taking a collagen supplement or consuming products featuring collagen as an active ingredient are undeniable. These include improving skin hydration and elasticityproviding relief for aching joints, and supporting the development of muscle. 

Probiotics and Prebiotics: The Foundation to a Healthy Gut 

Probiotics: Most consumers are familiar with Probiotics, the live yeasts and bacteria that help maintain and support a healthy gut and aid in digestion. Doctors often recommend a probiotic supplement to restore balance to the body’s bacterial system after taking antibiotics.  They are also used to treat lactose intolerance, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and Diarrhea.  

 Prebiotics: For those of you who have never heard of Prebiotics, you are not alone. Although not as well know, they are just as important. Prebiotics are plant fibers and carbohydrates that the body cannot readily digest. When they move through the lower digestive tract, they feed the healthy bacteria that promote gut health. Prebiotics are found in a variety of different vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, such as bananas, cocoa, garlic, leeks, and flaxseeds. 

Boosting Immunity with Vitamin C (and Zinc!) 

Now more than ever, consumers are hyper-aware of their immune systems and are looking for natural ways to strengthen its ability to fight off illness. Vitamin C, also known as L. ascorbic acid, can be taken in many different forms to ward off the common cold as well as fight infections. Where to get your supply of Vitamin CWhether it be in raw produce such as strawberries, citrus, and spinach or in the plethora of food and beverage products featuring the immunityboosting vitamin, the resources are abundant. When combined, Vitamin C and Zinc are a particularly powerful duo for improving immunity. Grapefruit and elderberry offer high levels of both! 

Improving Sleep Quality with Melatonin 

Most consumers are familiar with Melatonin as supplement used for sleep issues including insomnia. Melatoniis a hormone our brain produces, letting us know when it’s time to go to sleep and when it’s time to wake upTypically, our bodies generate more melatonin at night when the amount of light we are exposed to diminishesMelatonin supplements come in liquid, pill or chewable form and are either natural or synthetic; the natural form sourced from animals or micro-organismsBeyond taking Melatonin for better sleep, consumers also take it to manage jet lag and post-operative pain.  

The Future of CBD = CBD + (Insert Functional Ingredient Here)  

Most consumers want to minimize the number of products in their daily health routine, yet still get the nutritional value of all the vitamins, minerals, supplements, and other functional ingredients. The best way to achieve this is to pair functional ingredients in food or beverage products. In this next wave of infused food and beverage products, CBD will likely share the spotlight with some of the functional ingredients described above, and that ingredient will be dependent on the product’s purpose and the consumer’s needs. 

Combining ingredients is not as simple as it looksThe R&D Team at SōRSE  understands the challenges and nuances of pairing various cannabinoids with other functional ingredientsLeveraging our current CBD emulsion portfolio combined with our formulation and technical expertise, we can create a blended solution tailored to your needs. If you are considering adding another functional ingredient to your product or product line, get in touch with the SōRSE team today! 

 

Functional Ingredient Trends: All About Adaptogens

Functional Ingredient Trends

With health and wellness being front of mind for many consumers, the food and beverage industry creates language to describe the different qualities an ingredient brings to a product. functional ingredient” can best be defined as one that provides some sort of health benefit to the consumer.   

Adaptogens is a word the consumer is seeing a lot of these days in the realm of functional ingredients in food and beverage, but they may not know exactly what they are and that familiar herbs fall into this category of functional ingredients. Adaptogens come from plant material, namely herbs and roots, that help the body manage and combat different stressors. They are used to bring balance back to the body. Here are a few adaptogens that are either featured prominently on grocery store shelves today or are becoming more widely known given their beneficial health properties.  

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is a succulent that thrives in tropical climates. Most consumers are familiar with it because its gel is typically marketed as a way to treat sunburn, acne, psoriasis, and surface-level wounds. Due to the high concentration of water in its leavesAloe is a great source of hydration, flushing out toxins and impurities. It also provides a healthy dose of Vitamins B, C, and E. The result of these healing properties is that consumers are seeing more aloe vera juice drinks on the shelves.  

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is a small shrub that grows in India, parts of Africa, and the Middle East that has been used medicinally for hundreds of years. Its roots and berries are said to boost energy levels, reduce stress and anxiety, improve brain function, lower blood sugar levels, and increase fertility. What more could you ask for? 

Ginseng

Ginseng is a root which has long been used in Chinese medicine. There are two types on the market today: American and Asian. Despite being from the same family of plant, the two offer different health benefits. American ginseng is used for its antioxidant properties and to boost the immune systemPeople with Type 2 Diabetes can also use it to lower blood sugar levels. Asian ginseng (also known as Korean red ginseng) is can mitigate the possible onset of the cold or flu, promote heart health, improve physical endurance, and minimize symptoms of menopause. 

Mushrooms

When consumers typically think about mushrooms, they picture them as an ingredient in a savory culinary dish like Stuffed Portobellos or Crimini and Leek risotto. While its true that these fungi are a staple in many diets, certain mushroom varieties like Lion’s Mane, Reishi, Shitake and Maitake have notable medicinal qualities. Mushrooms have been used to treat infection, boost the immune system, alleviate stress, and improve sleep. They are also used to treat heart disease, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.  

Rosemary

Rosemary is an extremely fragrant herb that many consumers are familiar with because it’s a key ingredient in Mediterranean foodThe evergreen shrub is a member of the mint family, as are many of the other herbs like Thyme, Basil, and Oregano. Rosemary is used for its anti-inflammatory properties, improving circulation, aiding in digestion, and improving focus and memory.   

 Turmeric

 Turmeric is best known for its place in Indian cooking. It is the main spice in curry that gives it its golden color and its bright, slightly bitter taste. Turmeric comes from the stem of the Turmeric plant, which grows in India and South East Asia. Beyond its role in cooking, Turmeric, powered by curcumin, the substance responsible for the spice’s bright hue, has notable anti-inflammatory properties. Hence, Turmeric has been used for thousands of years to treat various illnesses and health problems, including inflammation, arthritis, heart disease, high cholesterol, and allergies.  

Today’s consumers are shopping for products based on the role they play in promoting good health and reducing the risk of disease, resulting in an increased demand for items that taste great AND deliver added health benefits. If you are considering adding an adaptogen to one of your products to meet your consumer’s needs, the SōRSE team is eager to consult with you to find a great match for our emulsion.   

Read Part 2 to Functional Ingredients Trends, where we cover functional ingredients for restoring protein levels, balancing gut heath, improving sleep, as well as the benefits of cannabinoids being paired with functional ingredients. 

Trends in Flavors 2021: Consumers Seek Comfort, Novelty, & Functionality

Trends in Flavors 2021: Consumers Seek Comfort, Novelty & Functional Health

Who will drive the flavor trends of 2021? Chefs? Food writers? Product designers? Flavorists? The answer is the consumer. If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that the consumer is ultimately the arbiter of what flavors will be successfulwhat trends will become mainstays, and what trends will be short-livedThe impact of consumer preference and behavior is evident in the flavor trends we saw emerge in 2020 and the trends we see coming in this new year. 

Nostalgia with a Twist 

When looking at flavor trends, it’s important to consider how consumer habits have changed in the last year; there’s been a major shift in how much time we’ve spent cooking in our own kitchens versus dining out. It’s natural for people to gravitate towards flavors that are familiar to them – flavors from their childhood or from their favorite travel destination  and create an eating experience that evokes a sense of nostalgic comfort. That said, younger consumers have shown they’re not afraid to balance their comfort food with flavors that are new, exotic, or something they might experience in a foreign country.  

Food with a Function 

 In the wake of COVID 19, many consumers are seeking out natural, holistic ways to improve their health through nutraceutical benefits, particularly in terms of boosting immunity, finding relief from stress and anxiety, and improving quality of sleep and gut health. Consumers are researching CBD, adaptogens, probiotics, prebiotics and botanicals and are looking for products that not only provide benefits but also taste good. Most consumers would prefer to get their daily dose of functional ingredients in as few items as possible, as opposed to taking multiple pills a day.  

 Consumer demand for functional ingredients impacts a product’s flavor profile. Take, for example, products built to boost immunity – they will likely feature Vitamin C, Vitamin B, Ginger, Turmeric, or Ashwagandha. Because Vitamin C occurs naturally in citrus, it is relatively easy to pair with other flavors, whereas an ingredient like Ashwagandha has a very unique flavor profile in that it is earthy and bitter, but pairs well with the flavors of nuts, chocolate, and honey. 

Enthusiasm for Fermented Foods 

Today’s consumers are gravitating towards natural, healthy products that are processed without additives and preservatives. A food category that emerged in 2020 for their floral, tart, slightly sweet and robust flavors were naturally fermented products such as drinking vinegars, kombucha, and kimchi. Today, you can purchase products such as apple cider vinegar gummies, kombucha tea, and kimchi-flavored potato chips, and even kimchi-flavored sodas. Fermented products particularly resonate with younger consumers who have been exposed to international flavors and are not afraid of new tastes and textures.  

Tested, Tried, and True Flavors

There are some flavors that consumers can’t get enough of and that never seem to go out of style, like berry, citrus, apple, and mint. Most people have been consuming fruit products since they were young; hence, these flavors are familiar to us and we know what to expect from a product featuring that flavor. In the confectionary world, strawberry remains very popular with consumers world-wide. Today, we are also seeing more of these flavors combined with botanicals to give products an added level of complexity – for example, basil paired with strawberry, mint paired with cucumberor lavender paired with lemonIn line with consumers seeking functionality, botanicals offer their own health benefits. Basil is a great source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as Magnesium; mint offers antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties; and lavender has been used to treat insomnia and nausea. 

Up and Coming Fruit Flavors

There is no shortage of products on store shelves featuring citrus and berry, but there are some varieties to pay attention to this year, including Marionberry, Yuzu, Blood Orange, and Makrut Lime 

Marionberry: Marionberries are a variety of a blackberry grown mostly in Oregon; they are both sweet and tart with a rich, earthy flavor  similar to eating a raspberry and blackberry in the same bite. In terms of product development, products featuring marionberries are mostly found on the west coast, because the berry itself is too delicate to ship.  

Huckleberry: Huckleberries resemble blueberries but are smaller in size and have a dark purple skin when ripe. They are tarter and juicier than blueberries, which means their flavor packs a punch in food product or beverage. Huckleberries are not a domesticated fruit; they are mostly picked by foragers in the northwestwhich makes them somewhat harder for a product designer to access  

Yuzu: Haling from China and used widely in Japan, Yuzus are about the size as a tangerine. The rind is highly aromatic and sweet with floral notes, while the juice of the fruit is extremely sour and tart. Products on the market featuring yuzu are varied, from marinades to marmalades. 

Blood Orange:  A blood orange is slightly smaller than a navel orange with slightly thicker skin. What makes the blood orange unique (and subsequently products that feature its juice) is the deep red, maroon color of the interior flesh. Flavorwise, blood orange juice is a bit sweeter and less tangy than classic orange juice.  

Makrut LimeMakrut (aka kaffir) are in the lime family and derive from Southeast Asia; they are a staple of Thai cooking. Compared to a western lime, the texture of the rind is bumpy, and when ripe, it’s yellow as opposed to greenThe zest of the rind is often used in curry paste, and its leaves are added to dishes for fragrance. Makrut lime juice is quite bitter and sour, so it needs to be paired with other flavors that can stand up to it and balance it out.  

As consumers continue to feel the impact of COVID in 2021, product producers can anticipate that functional ingredients including CBD will be top of mind when people look for new health and wellness products to add into their daily routines. While it’s evident that consumers are seeking a balance in familiarity and novelty, data shows they are also highly focused on their health and well-being. When designing products for the consumer in 2021, companies need to focus on creating great-tasting products that feature functional ingredients that provide some nutritional or health benefits, from boosting immunity to improving quality of sleep. 

 If you have an idea for a product to bring to market in 2021 featuring functional ingredients, the team at SōRSE can help you create a flavor profile that will resonate with consumers.