There are few ingredients more beloved than honey. From its source to its flavor to how the sweetener makes people feel, honey simply stands out in the growing category of all-natural sweeteners. Perhaps because it’s one of the only truly natural sweeteners available to food and beverage manufacturers.
Honey does not need to be processed into a powder, syrup or concentrate to be used in commercial food and beverage formulas. We have honey bees to thank for this. They naturally transform nectar into honey that is used in products in the baking, deli, snacking, confectionery and sauce categories.
Why formulate products with honey? Because that’s what consumers want. It also makes your products taste really good. Here are some other reasons:
1. Honey is Full of Good Stuff
Honey is a natural source of a wide array of nutrients, including trace amounts of 7 vitamins, 11 minerals, 5 antioxidants and 17 amino acids. Honey also features a complex mixture of more than 20 carbohydrates, which gives the ingredient its trademark sweetness. But it’s not all sweet with honey, the ingredient also contains acids that help balance the flavor profile and complements other flavor notes in a formula.
2. Honey Tastes Great
Ask any product developer to rank product attributes in order of importance, and taste always comes out on top. That’s great news for products made with honey, as the ingredient’s trademark taste is beloved by people around the world. And, because honey’s complex composition contains a mixture of carbohydrates and acids, the ingredient blends in nicely to a formula without overwhelming it with sweetness.
3. Honey is Made by Honey Bees
Honey has a complex composition because Mother Nature is complex. The minerals, vitamins and acids found in honey are present because bees forage on flowers that pull nutrients from their environment. The bees take the nectar they collect from these flowers and transform it to honey inside of the beehive. Honey bees will generally make more honey than they can ever consume, and the extra honey they don’t need is extracted by beekeepers and sent to food manufacturers to develop honey-sweetened cereals, soft drinks and snacks.
4. It’s Clean Label and Marketable
As consumers continue to monitor sweetener intake, it’s not surprising that food and beverage manufacturers have minimized the impact sweeteners have on a product. That’s not the case when honey is used. It’s one of the few sweeteners that always finds its way onto product packaging graphics. It’s a clean label sweetener that looks just as good in the ingredient deck as it does in a product’s name.
5. Consumers Love Honey
Honey is the most preferred sweetener in food and beverage products, according to the International Food Information Council’s Perceptions and Use of Dietary Sweeteners in 2021.
Need more reasons to formulate with honey? Email us to schedule an educational Honey Up Close webinar for your R&D or marketing team.
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