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Innovation Flavours

Plant future

Taste solutions for plant-based alternatives

Plant-based nutrition has become mainstream

The health and wellness trend is fueling product innovation on plant-based food and drink alternatives on a global level. Based on the growing health consciousness of consumers and changing lifestyle habits, they increasingly avoid animal ingredients on a daily basis.

Providing flexible alternatives to traditional animal products such as dairy, meat and fish has become increasingly important across many product categories, with launches having accelerated during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Plant-based diets have evolved beyond traditional vegetarian and vegan consumers and are moving into mainstream. Hence, flexitarian consumer groups and younger consumers are key drivers for this megatrend.

Motivations for plant-based diets include:

  • Health & wellness aspirations
  • Environmental concerns & sustainability
  • Food safety & animal welfare
  • Novelty and multi-facetted choice


Plant-based revolution is driving market innovation

The industry is still at an early stage, yet grows fast and and presents a huge opportunity for tapping into new segments and areas to gain market share and win consumer trust in the long-term. As consumers want to be presented with a choice of food varieties, eating occasions and innovation, product development evolves fast beyond the niche categories. With a plant-based claim highly appealing to today's consumers, plant-based products and ranges can help them to do good for both, their health and the planet.

Taste remains a major challenge

68% of consumers agree, that the taste of a plant-based product is crucial. Yet, plant-based proteins often create unwanted off-notes or missing sensory attributes, making them less appealing for consumers. Within the meat and fish substitutes, for example, mimicking the classic taste profiles of their animal-based counterparts is highly appreciated by consumers. Dairy alternatives, on the other hand, are usually linked to a creamy and milky texture and taste profile. Adding a popular flavour variety such as blueberry or mango can also be key in creating a product consumers enjoy on a daily base.

However, creating plant-based products can be challenging. Some proteins create bitter, or beany off-tastes or a lack of specific organoleptic characteristics. Depending on the protein source and formulation, masking properties and effective natural flavour solutions are essential in creating well-rounded market products consumers will love. Within our PLANT FUTURE platform, we therefore combine our expertise in flavour creation with a comprehensive understanding of the sensory effects of plant-based proteins – helping you to overcome challenges in product development from the very beginning.


Bell‘s PLANT FUTURE platform – Enabling you to develop a natural and sensory appealing plant-based product portfolio

At Bell, we believe in tailor-made solutions for your individual product needs. We therefore developed a profound understanding of plant-based categories, such as dairy, meat and fish alternatives and the key protein sources used. With a toolbox of flavour solutions for various plant-based areas and segments, we aim to keep up with challenging developments, providing a holistic approach for your successful product launch. Next to functional taste solutions, such as masking specific off-notes ore enriching certain sensory profiles, we are able to provide a broad range of natural flavours to fit to your product development needs and brand positioning objectives.


Taste Modulation

Identifying potential off-tastes and applying masking expertise and flavour solutions to mitigate those notes.

Masking unwanted notes such as: bitter, beany, earthy, green, astringent, chalky, nutty, grainy,…

Taste Performance

Enhancing sensory taste attributes and rounding off the overall profile by enriching mouthfeel or umami notes, meaty and fatty profiles and smokiness – or: creamy notes, sweet and sour profiles or refreshing notes.

e.g.: umami, meat and juicy/ fatty notes, enhancing grill or smoke notes, spiciness, …

e.g.: REDsugar, enhancing creaminess or mouthfeel, fresh profiles,…

Taste Differentiation

Creating a unique taste profile by applying characteristic flavour top notes or identifying on-trend taste combinations.

e.g.: grilled beef, roasted chicken, white fish, seasonal varieties, herb combinations, exotic spices,…

e.g.: ripe or green strawberry notes, butter/milk profiles, seasonal varieties, exotic combinations, trends such as hemp,…

Discover our range of taste solutions and product concepts for plant-based alternatives:

Dairy alternatives

  • Vegan Drinks
  • Vegan Yoghurt
  • Vegan Ice Cream

Meat & fish substitutes

  • Vegan Beef Burger Patties
  • Vegan Chicken Nuggets
  • Vegan Fish Sticks


You want to learn more about Bell‘s PLANT FUTURE platform and how we can help you in creating sensory attractive plant-based products?

Contact our team

Download Full Media Release (PDF)


Why Bell

  • Support in product ideation and market research, combined with a mutual understanding of consumer needs and sensory aspects of plant-based protein varieties
  • Keeping track of your regulatory parameters
  • Tailor-made flavour solutions for your specific product needs, application formulas and labeling restrictions
  • Natural taste solutions adapted to specific sources of protein (taste modulation, taste performance, taste differentation)
  • Technical support: inhouse application tests & product prototyping, culinary expertise and trials
  • High performing flavours developed to fit to your production process (e.g. heating/freezing resistance)



EXPLORING PROTEIN: Taste solutions for high protein products

The rise of high-protein products

With a rising number of consumers seeking their individual feel-good diets and lifestyles, the demand for products with high and added proteins has increased among many sectors. They expand from core users such as athletes and bodybuilders to a broader basket of consumers, that are majorly focused on fitness and healthy living trends. At the same time, younger consumer groups are increasingly craving for high protein products, as part of a social hype and lifestyle-trend.

While the segment is driven by products such as protein shakes and bars, plant-based variants for both categories are constantly emerging, providing many opportunities for innovation and targeting a broader customer base. At the same time, plant-based sports nutrition products are often perceived as healthier and more sustainable than regular versions.

Whether dairy- or plant-based, consumers are not willing to compromise on taste. Creating appealing products that can be incorporated into consumer’s everyday lives therefore is key.

Hence, masking solutions or intense taste profiles are inevitable to meet these demands, as based on the high protein content, off-notes often provide unpleasant taste characteristics.


Providing taste solutions for dairy & plant-based high protein products

The high protein and sports nutrition category is driven by the constant evolution in consumer demand for sensorial attractive, more natural and plant-based varieties. Developing functional high protein products at the same time is a challenging task.

Whether you are looking for creating appealing plant-based product options for high-protein bars or choosing classic formulations within protein shakes – we are happy to support your product development from the very beginning. Our flexible toolbox system allows for tailor-made product developments meeting today’s market needs while being in line with your brand positioning objectives.

Discover our range of taste solutions for high-protein products:

  • High Protein shakes (Sports Nutrition)
  • High Protein Bars

Contact our team


Essentially organic – organic certified taste solutions

Meeting the new EU-organic regulations with organic certified flavours and beverage compounds!

Organic food products are forecast a double-digit growth rate within the next four years, driven by consumer demand for naturalness, transparency and clean labelling. Additionally, an increased focus on eco-friendliness and sustainability are decisive factors influencing the customers' buying decisions and the growing demand for organic products.

The European Union represents the second largest market for organic food and beverages, following the US. About 16% of all new product launches in Europe between January 2017 and September 2020 carry an organic claim (data: Mintel GNPD). At the same time, organic represents one of the major growth drivers in retail business, helping to generate shopper loyalty and sustained category growth.


Changing EU regulations

The new EU-Regulation (EU) 848/2018 applying for organic-certified products will lead to a change in the raw materials and flavourings allowed to be used in organic-labelled products. Following the new legislation, only natural x flavourings (95/5) or flavouring preparations are allowed to be incorporated in organic food. In order to keep the organic certification within end products, they are therefore only allowed to contain organic suitable or organic certified natural source flavourings or extracts.

As only a maximum of 5 % non-certified ingredients within product formulation is allowed, organic certified flavours or extracts are mandatory in product categories with high flavour dosages, such as beverage compounds, seasonings and others. This bears challenges for many product categories, especially within the beverage segment – being at risk to lose their organic status. A reformulation of the existing product range therefore is indispensable.

At the same time, the use of organic certified flavours enables product developments based on solely organic raw materials, addressing the growing consumer need for transparency and thus, emphasising the shared values associated with a brand or company.


Essentially organic: Bell’s line of organic certified flavours and beverage compounds

With a new designed range of organic certified natural source flavours and beverage compounds, Bell enables beverage manufacturers to meet the new EU organic regulations while delivering authentic taste properties such as orange, lemon, apple, lime or cola, among others. The range further aims to support product developments based on solely organic certified raw materials, providing added value for your brand and helping you to meet consumer demands and expand your target group.

  • Organic certified Natural X Flavours compliant with the new EU regulations. 100% natural, clean label solutions for severely affected categories such as non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Bell guarantees the use of high quality raw materials, bearing a strong commitment to responsible sourcing.
  • Authentic natural taste creations delivering unique profiles for targeting organic-focused consumer groups and addressing consumers’ health & wellness aspirations.
  • Regulatory expertise and support to meet your specific label requirements and to guide you through the process of certification.

Delivering comprehensive guidance on product reformulation, flavour creation and regulatory, we are happy to support your product development! Get in touch with our team:



Bell’s strategic approach in overcoming regulatory challenges

In order to deliver a comprehensive portfolio of flavours fitting market needs and growing consumer demands for organic products, Bell EMEA has carried out an organic certification for its European site. Having been effected with great efforts, this investment reflects Bell‘s increased technical expertise in all aspects of organic flavour creation, sourcing, production technology and regulatory proficiency. Hence, Bell’s organisational structure ensures compliance of its production methods with the new EU organic regulations while adhering highest quality based on carefully selected raw materials and a strong commitment to responsible sourcing.

Delivering comprehensive support in product formulation and regulatory compliance, Bell EMEA further offers a broad portfolio of organic suitable natural source flavourings (95/5) and extracts for beverage applications. While targeting organic needs on a global scale, Bell likewise comprises a portfolio of organic certified and compliant flavours based on USDA-regulations.

“With investing in organic certified product solutions, we are not only supporting our customers in developing EU-compliant organic products. We are further reflecting Bell’s ambition to target consumer’s health & wellness aspirations and to provide our customers with opportunities to engage with broader target groups while increasing their brand‘s own value.” Agneta Hoffmann, Manager Marketing Flavours


Download Full Media Release (PDF)

Innovative flavour creations for BBQ sauces

Inspiring product ideas based on global consumer and market trends.

The past months have put consumers and industry to a tough test. All the more consumers are longing for a return to normality and thus for an increased focus on taste and product diversity. Although the start of the BBQ season was a bit bumpy this year, it is the small measure of normality that connects industry and consumers to bring back the pleasure and joy of good food. Without any doubt, BBQ sauces represent an indispensable classic in this respect.



Consumer Insights: What trends and expectations define a good BBQ sauce?

Consumers are looking for multi-sensory taste experiences. They are demanding exciting and versatile product innovations based on extraordinary combinations of ingredients from around the world. Due to their increasing health awareness, younger generations in particular are paying closer attention to natural ingredients. They are equally focusing on the origin and manufacture of products. At the same time, popularity for plant-based and organic BBQ sauces is rising.

When formulating BBQ sauces, unique and innovative flavours based on high quality and natural ingredients can contribute to attract new consumer target groups and thus boost retail sales on a global scale.


Innovative and aromatic taste varieties for BBQ sauces

Our invigorating product concepts are based on traditional American BBQ sauce recipes. With appealing smoke profiles and the use of various spices, we are meeting the market requirements in Western Europe, while focusing on current market and consumer trends such as the willingness to experiment.

Whether you are looking for exotic and fruity creations, intense smoky profiles or sweet-chocolate notes with a hint of chili – Bell's extraordinary flavour profiles can turn BBQ sauce into a unique taste experience. Thus, satisfying the consumer's need for exciting and authentic product varieties. Our intense and complex flavour profiles are characterised by consistent quality and are also free of added flavour-enhancing ingredients. The use of natural flavors and extracts enables clean labelling. We are offering tailor-made flavour solutions that help to refine and expand your product portfolio. 

You want to learn more about our unique flavour creations? Our team is happy to assist:

Get in touch with us!


Culinary perfection meets flavour expertise: Bell’s Culinary Solutions

Bell's Global Culinary Team consists of classically trained chefs and food scientists that work tirelessly to create new and on-trend flavours and applications. Naturalness and authenticity are key in this process. Based on tailor-made flavour profiles and our passion in culinary perfection, we can support you in developing successful market products.

Learn more about our culinary expertise:

Discover Bell's Culinary Solutions 


Meet the team: Dan Bell – Culinary Chef UK & Europe




Innovative flavour creations for BBQ sauces.

One of the finest things about traditional cooking is the scent of something grilled upon open flames, with BBQ sauce being the staple accompaniment for this classic cooking technique. The diversity of this focus topic continues with classic flavours thus far extending it to exciting, authentic and unusual varieties that are increasingly appealing to consumers.

“By creating this BBQ sauce range and using it as a platform for myself to incorporate the ingredients through our flavours, I bring provenance, authenticity and innovation to the forefront of my culinary developments.”

Dan Bell – European Culinary Chef Bell Flavors & Fragrances EMEA




Get to know our Chef's Favourite BBQ Sauce Varieties


Smoked Apple Butter BBQ

Flavour profiles: Apple Flavour, Type Smoke Flavour, Cinnamon Flavour Powder

Our Chef‘s recommendation: This highly concentrated form of apple sauce, produced by long, slow cooking of apples with cider, caramelises to give that rich dark buttery and smokey profile.

Cola BBQ

Flavour profiles: Cola Flavour, Allspice Flavour Powder

Our Chef‘s recommendation: Cola’s sweetness and slight pimento-like taste component’s rounds off BBQ sauces, perfectly. A treat for BBQ sauces of all ages.

Pacific Rim BBQ

Flavour profiles: Pineapple Flavour, Papaya Flavour, Mango Flavour

Our Chef‘s recommendation: A tropical taste of pineapple, mango and ripe papaya, rounded off with the finish of smoke offers a fantastically fruity experience.

Barrel Aged BBQ

Flavour profiles: Oak Cast Smoke Flavour, Pineapple Flavour

Our Chef‘s recommendation: An Oak cast barrel smoke that brings with it hints of vanilla and caramel to the BBQ sauce makes this our signature profile and pairs with everything grilled.


Flavour profiles: Allspice Flavour Powder, Sauce, XO Type Flavour, Coriander Flavour Powder

Our Chef‘s recommendation: East and West merge in this combination of two classic sauces, with umami richness and savoury soy adds to this authentic version on modern Asian BBQ.

Guajillo Loco

Flavour profiles: Pepper/Guajillo Flavour, Garlic Flavour

Our Chef‘s recommendation: Meeting our consumers demand for spice around the globe, the guajillo chili and the intense garlic profile makes this sauce just so loco.

Shawarma Grill

Flavour profiles: Smoke/fatty Flavour and Smoke, Grill Flavour

Our Chef‘s recommendation: Shawarma spice blends were created in the Middle East for rotisserie meats, when adding grill and smoke flavours to warming spices it showcases this region perfectly.

Mole BBQ

Flavour profiles: Cumin Flavour Powder, Pepper, Type Chipotle Morita Flavour, Dark Chocolate Flavour

Our Chef‘s recommendation: Mexico’s favourite dish, Chipotle Chili and Chocolate are a great combination for this warm spice and savoury BBQ profile, inspired by a dish I ate in Mexico City, Mole Madre by Enrique Olvera, Pujol.

Carolina Red

Flavour profiles: Tabasco Flavour, Smoke/woody Flavour

Our Chef‘s recommendation: True pit master sauce and made not only for those spice fanatics. When dredged over some fatty pork shoulder this BBQ sauce of smoke, heat and tangy flavours brings everything to balance.

Covid-19 Report: Effects on the F&B Industry

What are the impacts of the global pandemic on the European food & beverage industry?

The outbreak of COVID-19 is having a profound impact on the global economy and consumer markets. With various levels of lockdowns and self-quarantine being executed in most European countries, consumer behaviour needed to adapt, impacting the food and beverage consumption and certain consumer and market trends in response.

Based on Bell’s profound market research methods and databases used, we have evaluated the changing consumer preferences and purchasing behaviours, market needs and possibilities for innovations in light of the pandemic for the European market. Hence, providing our customers with opportunities to align your future market and product development strategies.


Changing consumer behaviour and impacts on the food and beverage segment

In the era of COVID-19, consumers are adjusting to the “new normal”. As such, purchasing behaviour is characterised by lower disposable incomes, stress and anxieties about the future, and concerns over hygiene, health and wellbeing. At the same time, an increased level of digitalisation has brought online shopping to a new height and social distancing has evoked new levels of meeting digitally.

Additionally, consumers are still limiting their shopping excursions to one stop only, leading to a further need for retailers to position themselves as a place to satisfy all general lifestyle needs.


What you will learn in our COVID-19 report:
  • 5 Key trends and effects of changing consumer behaviour amid COVID-19
  • Impacts on various segments of the food & beverage industry including non-alcoholic & alcoholic beverages, dairy & plant-based dairy alternatives, meat products & meat substitutes, sweet & salty snacks, and foodservice
  • Key take aways for brand positioning and innovation


Get your free copy of the report, here:

Download COVID-19 Report


Adding value through partnership

At Bell, we believe in being successful together. Our market insights and trend observations help you discover key target areas and dynamics, aiming to build up a holistic business and product strategy.

With COVID-19 further influencing the food and beverage industry, Bell has installed a business contingency system in order to provide our customers with the usual quality and support. Thus, protecting the health and safety of our employees, partners and customers is our key concern. We therefore guarantee increased hygiene measures to ensure a reliable and safe manufacturing of our products. Our team is at your disposal, helping you with regulatory needs, documentation and technical support and ensuring to deliver continuous service.

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