Ulrick & Short to invest in plant-based NPD

This focus follows recent ingredient launches such as its egg replacer for vegan bakery goods & a low flavour, high solubility protein for beverages

Ulrick & Short has announced it’s accelerating NPD in key sectors after a spike in demand from manufacturers following the COVID-19 pandemic. The extra resource will develop its ingredient portfolio in applications such as nutritionally enhanced beverages, meat substitutes, vegan bakery & performance foods.

As a result of lockdown and the subsequent increase in home eating, many retail brands have accelerated their reformulation & development programs. Coupled with an increased emphasis on sustainability, nutrition & mental wellbeing precipitated by COVID & intensified government regulation, consumer demand for ethical, healthy, and clean products is now greater than ever, the company suggests.

In the UK during the last year, 25% of all NPD in the bakery sector was plant-based, meanwhile plant-based dairy alternative drink launches have nearly quadrupled, according to Innova data.

Adrian Short, Co-Owner & Director of Ulrick & Short, said: “Instead of the pandemic stifling NPD, we have seen a reorientation or even acceleration of development work from many of our customers. COVID has placed a spotlight not just on physical health, but also on mental wellbeing, boosting these new and exciting sub-sectors which are experiencing fantastic levels of growth. We must ensure our new ingredient technologies mirror this trend.”

Short added: “The current environment favours manufacturers & brands that can adapt their NPD to meet very quickly changing consumer needs. The lack of face to face contact with our customers has made presenting new concepts to our customers challenging, although through expanding our audio-visual systems & capabilities, we have still been able to provide the level of technical support that our customers expect through virtual technical sessions and video guides.”

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