F&B Innovators Adopt Different Tools to Deliver Authenticity to Consumers

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Authenticity is a key part of the storytelling process in food and beverage (F&B) development, with 27% of those who want to know the stories behind their food and drink saying this is because the story makes a product more real and authentic.

A new report from Arnhem, Netherlands-headquartered Innova Market Insights highlights the different ways in which these authentic stories are being told. Direct claims using generic on-pack language such as “authentic” or “traditional” has been a popular approach for some time. However, strategies appear to be moving on, with a growing focus on recipe choices and traceability to help build a truly authentic image.

When it comes to recipes, specificity is very much the order of the day, in both international and local authenticity. For example, Korean barbecue or Texan barbecue have more positive profiles than generic barbecue flavors. Meanwhile, for international cuisines, launches of retail products that reference “street food” inspirations increased fivefold between 2015 and 2019.

“It is no surprise to find retail manufacturers taking cues from the ‘street food’ environment,” said Lu Ann Williams, director of insights and innovation at Innova Market Insights. “The category has helped to introduce authentically foreign foods to a much wider audience and many consumers want to recreate these dishes in the home.”

When it comes to authenticity through traceability, some suppliers are shifting the ‘made in…’ information from the back to the front of packs, while specific regional associations are important both locally and internationally. The EU’s protected foods schemes are also valuable tools in building an authentic image and launches of new products carrying the Protected Geographical Indication, Protected Designation of Origin or Traditional Speciality Guaranteed logos doubled between 2015 and 2019.