Food Union, a global dairy production and distribution group, is seeking to change the ice cream landscape across Northern Europe by harnessing insights from sensory and behavioral R&D to bring new ice cream flavors to market. The company has prepared over 100 novel products for the upcoming summer season that feature exclusive flavors, textures, and nutritional benefits targeting consumers across the Baltics, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.
“We have built R&D deep into our company’s DNA and have ambitions to test and invent new products while upholding the highest standards of taste, quality, and nutritional value,” says Normunds Staņēvičs, CEO of Food Union, Europe. “We prioritize sensory innovation and behavioral science to identify what consumers demand when disruptive changes have increased the need for joy, comfort, and nutrition from trusted brands. Consumer-centered innovation will always be at the core of our product strategy and business model.”
Food Union produces ice cream in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Denmark and the group holds a strong market position in Norway, Romania, Russia and Belarus. The Food Union Group’s shareholders include its founder and global head Andrey Beskhmelnitsky; the Hong Kong-based investment company Meridian Capital Limited; and one of Asia’s largest private capital firms, PAG. They became Food Union shareholders in 2015 and 2018 to finance the construction of two dairy plants in China and facilitate the company’s dynamic expansion into the Chinese market.
Food Union is showcasing the following five key trends in 2020 products:
Flavor Fusions and Culinary Complexity: An indulgent experience that brings fine dining into take-home ice cream. The team tapped the power of mixology to inspire exciting new tastes, and create ice cream that evokes an experimental joy.
Guilt-Free Gourmandise: Food Union’s innovation team expanded low-calorie snacking options to provide “guilt-free” snacking. Bite-sized indulgences are now available as a “healthy-snacking” option for those concerned with reducing calorie and sugar intake.
Seasonal Signatures Pure to Nature: Signature fruit flavors are used, which offer fresh, natural notes. The natural world was used as inspiration for products that are vibrant, refreshing, detoxing and energizing.
Delicious Disruption: The element of surprise is vital. A black cone was created, incorporating a “sprinkle of something that is not typically sprinkled.” The ingredient philosophy used meant taking the expected and making it unexpected.
Plant-Based Alternatives: Most consumers have now tried plant-based products and are likely to continue incorporating them into their lifestyle due to health benefits and dietary preferences. New recipes were developed to be among the first to fulfill this growing demand.
Edited by Elizabeth Green