Veganism is increasing the demand for gums

Gums, or hydrocolloids, have many uses in several industries, including the food industry. They help with food consistency as they improve the gelling effect and control the texture. They also help with flavour and shelf-life. Veganism is becoming more popular in Europe. This creates an opportunity for gums, as they are alternatives for animal-derived ingredients, such as gelatin.

The vegan lifestyle and plant-based diets are on the increase among European consumers. European consumers are also reducing meat consumption and following the flexitarian way of eating. Many food and drink manufacturers are developing vegan products to cater to consumers. Retailers across Europe are also stocking more vegan options and adding them to their private label ranges.

Convenience drives demand

At the same time, European consumers are demanding high-quality products. With a growing number of people moving to the cities, the way of preparing and consuming food is changing. Convenience drives the demand for ready-made and packaged foods. This trend is also visible in the vegan and plant-based sector. Food manufacturers of vegan products have to make sure that the quality of their products is the same as conventional products.

Gums in the food industry

Gums are used in the food and drinks sector. They and are well-known to formulators because of their properties. A European importer of gums states: “Gum Arabic is really needed in the food industry. There are no other products that compete with it.” They are also a solution for European food and drink manufacturers, as they are plant-based and have a wide range of properties. Gums can improve the overall quality, texture and feel of plant-based foods.

There is a growing number of food products, such as meat-free sausages, dairy alternatives and vegan candies. This provides an opportunity for gums. For example, gellan gum can be used in vegan gum sweets to improve the texture, as well as in dairy alternatives. Gum arabic can be used in vegan ice-cream, and guar gum can be used in plant-based milks and creams. When mixed with water, guar gum can be used as an alternative to gelatin.

Market opportunities

Gums have many properties that make them an attractive ingredient for food and drink formulators. Increasing demand for vegetarian and vegan food products stimulates the demand for gums on the European market. New product developments in the plant-based food and drinks sector will create further opportunities for gum exporters from developing countries. Read the CBI study on exporting gums to Europe for more information.

This news article was written for CBI by Ecovia Intelligence.

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