Binoy Sahee from Food Marketing and Technology Magazine, India, spoke to Vinod Rajasekharan, Director, Key Accounts and Marketing, Stonefield Flavours Pvt Ltd. He explained the careful processes being followed to come up with India’s first truly vegetarian dairy flavours- DairyONE.
1. I would like to begin by asking you about Stonefield Flavours? Could you tell us a bit about the company?
Stonefield was formed by a group of seasoned food industry professionals who came together because of our passion for taste. Initially, we wanted to work as the flavour partner for tier II companiesWe realized there was a gap in this space, with enormous demand for quality ingredients and flavours at affordable prices. Our initial target audience was bakery end users. Today, we are one of the fastest-growing flavour companies of the country, catering to most end-user segments including Bakery, Dairy, Beverage, Confectionery, Savouryetc and serving o almost all the top FMCG companies in India and in other countries as well. We are selling in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Middle-East and Africa.
I would say that we have grown into a company that works as the extended arm for food and beverage companies to co-create innovative flavours and taste solutions, , helping them to serve delightful tastes, everytime.
2. What is truly vegetarian Dairy Flavours?
DairyONE is an enzyme-modified dairy flavour, 100% vegetarian from cow rearing to final produce. It is made using different enzymes and cultures in natural dairy substrates as per EDMI profile. Stonefield Flavours are the first in India to manufacture this product..
Other companies are importing similar products. In Western countries, cows are given bloodmealas supplement to other cattle feed to maximize produce. The milk of these cows hence cannot be deemed vegetarian.. In India, cows are fed grass, vegetarian feeds, grains etc.DairyONE is Stonefield’s signature range of dairy flavoursdeveloped from cattle that are fed, bred and nurtured in India, thus making them a truly vegetarian and truly Indian product.
The vegetarian dairy also adds to an outstanding natural enhancement of dairy flavours. Thus, products made using DairyONE will have superior aroma, lingering mouthfeel and truly delightful dairy taste.
3. What is the market potential for this product considering there is rise in plant based dairy products?
Plant based protein has seen significant rise in popularity due to lot of awareness happening around these products. Vegan milk is in demand due to lactose intolerance and allergies in people. We get lot of enquiries in this regard from customers for products based on soy or oat milk. We are working on several products to cater to this growing demand.
Understanding the intricate needs of the consumers moving from dairy products to alternate natural beverages for essential nourishment, we launched CreamR. CreamR is our non-dairy creamer range developed by combining our deep expertise in dairy with our world class research and technologies. CreamR which is available in coconut, palm and soya fat bases is authentic in flavour, rich in texture and memorable in taste.
4. Applications of DairyONE products in Food and Beverage Industry.
DairyONE is a highly versatile dairy flavour which works really well in bakery, confectionery, beverage,, mayonnaise, sauce etc. WithDairyONE, we are able to recreate the same great taste, velvety richness and creaminess of natural dairy in a much more impactful way. For instance, ButterONE a product in this line can enhance the butter flavour of any product by 8 times.
Its value proposition is the rich buttery flavour in an economical price range. It helps manufacturers to offer superior tasting products with enhanced butter flavour while increasing shelf-life at the same time.
It also leaves a lingering taste in the mouth.
ButterONE is one of our hugely popular products in the DairyONE range and we are seeing our customers really happy with the results.
5. How many variants of truly vegetarian dairy flavours do you have?
We have totalsix variants of DairyONE – ButterONE, MilkONE, CheeseONE,YoghurtONE,SourCreamONE and CreamONE. We know flavours make lot of difference in dairy products and hence, we are exploring this segment further.
6. How is the response from market?
We are getting very good response for DairyONE from the market. We plan to sell 80 tons of DairyONEflavours alone in FY 2022 and 2023. As 39% approx population is vegetarian in India, vegetarian diary will continue to see lot of interest in the market.
Our go-to-market strategy is to focus on the key differentiator which is the intense, enhanced flavour by replacing high-margin and perishable products with more value-added enzyme-based replacements.
7. Will a brand be able to draw attention from vegetarian consumer base?
Consumers interest in grass-fed protein and dairy is on the rise. Grass-fed dairy connects with consumers on various levels- health, animal welfare, sustainability, clean labels etc. DairyONEflavours truly resonate with the evolving needs of today’s consumers. DairyONEflavours support a wide range of food applications, thus helping food and beverage companies to offer 100% vegetarian dairy products. At a time when consumers are very much cautious about what goes into their plate, it will be only prudent for brands to connect with them through strategies including vegetarian value addition, transparency, responsible ingredient sourcing etc.