Health consciousness has made the food industry sit up and try natural products in the food as flavors, dyes and texture. This demand by consumers continues as baking and snack companies introduce and reinvent products to keep up with this trend. Here enters the superfood, natural dye and flavorful spice, turmeric that has become a key ingredient, especially within the snacking category. Companies such as Larabar and Health Warrior have incorporated it into snack bars successfully in the past few years.
Commonly found in Indian foods, turmeric is a spice that comes from a plant by the same name, which is a part of the ginger family. Curcumin, the main active ingredient in turmeric, has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting properties in various studies.
In the past, turmeric was used to add a natural yellow tint to foods, and its color remains a big influence for snack companies. Turmeric is having its (literally) golden moment for a confluence of factors, first, the color is gorgeous and looks great on social media sites. Second, the health benefits of turmeric are widely-reported on the web, with health-focused communities embracing its anti-inflammatory properties. And, finally, bolder tastes pave the way for turmeric.
Called “a product of the moment” by Mintel and named “superfood of 2017” by USA Today, turmeric is an ingredient and watch word that snack producers can incorporate to send the message of health and flavor to consumers.
Turmeric has a bold flavor that consumers are drawn to. And it is seen that culinary-inspired and regional curries, like massaman, madras, masala, korma and berbere, being turned into delicious snacks. In savory applications, onion, garlic, ginger, capsicums, cumin, and coriander pair well with turmeric and in sweeter foods, cardamom, ginger, and cinnamon are great spices to blend with turmeric.
In November, Wolo WanderSnacks released its Proten WanderBar at Sprouts Market. Designed for travelers, the bar includes turmeric to improve circulation in the body. RW Garcia expanded its Artisan Crackers with Organic Lentil with Turmeric Crackers. The company’s goal was to create a product that combined superfoods, and the crackers included lentils, chia, flaxseed, sesame, along with turmeric.
According to Nielsen, products with turmeric had $11 billion in sales in the year ended July 7, 2018. These products also had a 97% consumer penetration rate. To keep up with turmeric in the snacking category,