The Ketogenic diet started to become popular in the 90’s mostly as a method of treating severe epilepsy, however fast forward to 2020 and the term “keto” became the most Googled food-related topic in the world with 25 million searches [Bolst Global].
While some of our ecosystem partners will already be familiar with developing Keto products, we know that many of you are just starting to embark on this new adventure. That being said, we have noticed that most, if not all are struggling to find indulgent inclusions to incorporate into their keto ice cream.
This article will therefore delve into some of the key trends and challenges in the world of keto, with insights shared by Toppings Solutions, so that those of you interested in developing a keto product can gain some inspiration and insights to help you along that process.
If you’re not familiar with Topping Solutions, you can read our introductory article about them here where we discussed the importance of fast-paced innovation in the ice cream industry.
Top Keto Inclusions Trends
While traditional ice cream does not always fit into a keto diet due to the higher quantity of carbs, ice cream and frozen dessert brands have noticed this gap in the market and developed more products in recent years that cater to keto customers.
Part of developing a great keto product is incorporating the right keto-suitable inclusions to make your product stand out in the freezer aisle.
So, which keto inclusions were most in demand throughout 2021 and into 2022 and what should we expect to see more of later in 2022 and into 2023? Here’s what the experts at Topping Solutions think:
Most Requested Inclusions of 2021-2022
Over the past year, Topping Solutions have noticed a few inclusions becoming popular and receiving a high number of requests for use in the keto category.
Nut butters are one of these popular inclusions. Specifically, the classic and iconic peanut butter continues to be one of the highest requested inclusions by keto manufacturers, with almond butter coming a close second, likely due to its lower quantity of net carbs. Walnut, cashew, and sunflower seed butters are also on the keto-suitable list, each with their own added nutritional benefits.
Sugar replacers have also been hugely in demand by brands developing keto products in the past year, specifically looking at erythritol and stevia, and increasingly monk fruit and allulose.
Top Keto Trends to Expect in 2022-2023
What keto trends can we expect to see more of as the year progresses?
There will be an increased focus on even more natural and clean-label products to align with the customer demand for healthier and more natural ingredient labels.
We will likely see a move away from some of the synthetic sugar replacers as the industry leans towards plant-based sweeteners such as the aforementioned monk fruit.
The addition of fibre will be important for keto products to compensate for the reduced intake of fibre usually derived from carbohydrates.
Finally, functional foods will also play more of a role in the keto category. Consumers want more out of the foods they are eating – especially snacks - and expect brands and manufacturers to improve the keto formulas and labels they create with more functional ingredients for maximum nutritional value.
Challenges with Keto Inclusions
BodyKetosis disclosed that in 2022, 6% (approximately 15.5 million) of Americans continue to follow a ketogenic diet. With no signs of slowing down as a popular, mainstream diet, challenges still remain for brands and manufacturers when developing products for the keto market.
Regulations per geography are a big challenge in the keto world. For example, as mentioned earlier in this article, we see monk fruit and allulose becoming more popular as keto-suitable inclusions however while they are approved for use as a food additive in the US, they are currently prohibited in the European and Canadian markets. This would make it more difficult for US ice cream brands to get their monk fruit or allulose product into freezers in Canada or Europe without considering changing the formula.
The cost of niche ingredients is also typically higher, challenging the brands business case and ability to compete on the long term.
In addition, brands operating in the keto space are not immune to some of the other common challenges of bringing an ice cream product to market, including minimum order quantities, lead time difficulties, and supply chain issues, to name a few.
Topping Solutions service scope has evolved over the years to become a one stop shop for brands, operators and manufacturers looking to source ingredients and inclusions for the snack and dessert industry. In addition to sourcing ingredients for customers, they can also outsource any requirements you may have in the chopping, blending, kitting, or repacking space. Learn more about their capabilities.
For brands struggling with finding the right inclusions, competitive pricing and/or minimum orders, a collaboration with Topping Solutions may be the right solution for your needs. Reach out to the team at Topping Solutions here with your keto, or other, inclusion queries. They will be more than happy to help you build your business!
Founded by former executives in the Ice Cream industry, INNODELICE aims to create a worldwide ecosystem of solutions within the frozen dessert industry. Thanks to the relationships fostered by INNODELICE, manufacturers, brands, importers, distributors and suppliers can discover, buy and sell solutions to GROW their business. These solutions include co-manufactured and branded products as well as innovative and competitive ingredients, packaging and services. Our collaboration model generates lower costs and fewer risks for our participating partners while optimising their time to market. To learn more about INNODELICE, contact Andrea MONTREUIL (firstname.lastname@example.org) or visit www.innodelice.com.