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Developing a taste for food research

/ 04:16 AM December 13, 2019
Developing a taste for food research

Chito Medina Cue Jr.
—CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Chito Medina Cue Jr. is the general manager of Puratos in the Philippines. Puratos operates in over 100 countries with over 70 subsidiaries worldwide. In this interview, he shares with us Puratos’ continuing research on “Taste Tomorrow,” the largest global research on bakery, patisserie and chocolate.

Q: Puratos has been doing the “Taste Tomorrow” research since 2011. What new trends have you discovered?

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A: Puratos’ global research follows a three-year cycle. Presently, we are sharing the third edition of Puratos Taste Tomorrow research conducted in 40 trending countries around the world, with more than 40,000 respondents and 80 focused interviews with industry experts and foodies. Initially, there were only three trends referred to as the food triangle (health, taste and freshness). The Taste Tomorrow 2019 gave us fresh insights on consumer behaviors and preferences and can be summarized as follows; ultimate convenience, next level experience, hyperpersonal, craft, ethical lifestyle and transparency.

Q: Can you tell us more about hyper-personalization in food?

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A: One example that Puratos introduced was the app called My Bread wherein the consumer can select the ingredients and type of bread according to their own preference. This is “personalizing” the bread to the specific preference of the individual. This technology and format shall be adopted here in the Philippines by a very well-known group of hotels for its guests. Upon check-in they shall be given the opportunity through this app to formulate their own bread for the next-day breakfast. This is a great way to delight their guests by personalizing their breakfast bread for the next day. In other countries, some bakeries already offer these personalized bread wherein the consumer can order through the My Bakery app then either pick up or have the products be delivered to their doorstep the next morning.

Q: Obesity is a health issue worldwide. On the other hand, taste and health appear to have opposite benefits for people, where healthy food might not be necessarily be flavorful. How is Puratos helping prevent obesity?

A: Puratos is putting more focus on significant product innovations and finish product developments revolving around the “health and well-being” concept and on the other hand keeping all the goodness in taste, flavor, aroma, texture and appearance. Puratos continues to invest 2.7 percent of its revenues and make these technology breakthroughs happen with product innovations, i.e., “Puraslim” technology that reduces up to 6 percent of fat in the recipe without compromising the texture, mouthfeel and appearance; sugar-free solutions; clean label on bread improvers; addition of sprouted grains and seeds in the products; increasing fiber and fruit contents; gluten free solutions; plant-based ingredients; organic raw materials and among others. All these are centered to the health and well-being concept for the consumers.

Q: In experiential marketing, smell is the most sensitive of human senses because of the limbic system of the brain, which affects emotions of humans that trigger lasting memories. How is Puratos helping food marketers make smell come alive in their consumer journey?

A: It is very true that the aroma of the product is relative to taste. In Puratos, we are very particular with the taste and aroma, this is the reason why the company invested significantly in the development of powdered natural sourdoughs that we call “O’tentic Durum” and natural flavorings named “Sapore” range for the bread. These products give rich flavors and a wonderful aroma during and after baking of the bread.

In chocolates, Puratos applies the “Belgian” know-how in chocolate manufacturing from the controlled fermentation, delicate roasting and precise conching process. This gives the consistent full flavor that makes it the “best-tasting” chocolates in the world (Belcolade). To confirm the Puratos product developments, we always subject the products to sensory evaluation with the consumers. Only after the approval of the consumers through the sensory analysis shall Puratos finalize and launch a new product.

Q: Taste is king, experience is queen. How can food service outlets meet this mantra?

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A: To meet this mantra, we can apply the results of the Puratos Taste Tomorrow 2019. It suggests that we give ultimate convenience (service), next-level experience (story selling), make it hyper-personal (tailor fit), show craftmanship (artisanal and traditional), initiate sustainability efforts (source), be transparent in the ingredients (show that it is healthier and natural). We also make it a practice to share stories behind each product with our customers, to make it meaningful and memorable. —CONTRIBUTED 

Josiah Go is chair and chief innovation strategist of Mansmith and Fielders Inc. Follow him at www.josiahgo.com.

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