Commodity Innovation Series - New Products Containing Pulse Ingredients in North America

July 2017

Contents

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Executive summary

Mintel New Product Database (GNPD) highlights that the actual and future North American demand for pulses is in their inherent attributes for health benefits.

Between January 2006 and December 2016, in North America 4,922 products were released containing pulse ingredients. The surge in launches in the United States (US) and Canada come because of strong consumer demand for highly nutritious products and the quest for health-promoting benefits of natural foods, with the added benefits of functional foods. In 2016 alone, 914 new products were introduced in the United States and 298 new products were released in Canada.

The growing popularity of pulse products in North America is strong as food and drink manufacturers are tapping into a demand for these nutritionally dense ingredients. Nevertheless, pulses are not only limited to food and drink, they are also in pet food aisles because of today's consumers awareness of their benefits for themselves and for their trusted legged friends.

New releases represented 44% of total new product launches, suggesting that manufacturers are acknowledging growing consumer interest in new and innovative pulse products. Furthermore, new varieties/range extensions represented 33% of new product launches, which indicates that manufacturers are willing to alter formulations and incorporate pulses, to satisfy consumer demand for these types of products.

In 2016, Canada exported over C$4.1 billion of pulses. The US received C$239 million worth of pulses, a remarkable CAGR of 13% over the past 5 years.

This report will cover the food and petfood sector.

New product launch analysis

A total of 4,922 products were released containing pulse ingredients between January 2006 and December 2016 in North America. Some 3,449 new products (70%) were introduced in the United States and 1,473 new products (30%) were released in Canada.

Pulses are used to add a range of natural health benefits to food and drink products. Furthermore, healthy pulses are staples in many ethnic cuisines, offering Canadian and US food manufacturers a pathway to innovative food products consumers seeking ethnic food exploration.

New products releases containing pulse ingredients in Canada and the US between January 2006 and December 2016
Country 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Source: Mintel Global New Products Database, 2017
United States 116 104 148 189 216 200 236 519 587 518 616
Canada 50 43 42 52 57 66 80 162 326 297 298

Pulses ingredients health benefits are well known in wet and dry pet food for both cats and dogs. Pulse crops contain large amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber, which aid in overall pet's health.

New pet food products releases containing pulse ingredient in Canada and the US between January 2006 and December 2016
Country 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Total new products
Source: Mintel Global New Products Database, 2017
United States 31 25 56 53 62 65 107 167 255 179 124 1,124
Canada 5 5 8 23 16 15 28 37 148 100 72 457
Total new product 36 30 64 76 78 80 135 204 403 279 196 1,581
Top 10 pulse ingredients used in new products by (%), by country between January 2006 and December 2016
Ingredient United States Canada
Source: Mintel Global New Products Database, 2017
Peas 37.4% 16.4%
Pea Protein 14.1% 4.6%
Pulses 6.5% 2.7%
Pea Fibre 5.6% 3.0%
Chickpea Flour 4.2% 2.0%
Dried Peas 3.4% 1.0%
Pea Protein Isolate 2.6% 1.3%
Green Lentil 1.3% 0.8%
Pea Protein Concentrate 1.3% 0.2%
Red Lentil 1.2% 1.3%

Product categories

The trend towards a wheat-free diet has resulted in a growing number of products containing pulse products over the last decade. Meals and meal centres with 33.3% was the top product category incorporating pulse ingredients, followed by soup (18.3%), snacks (16.9%), and fruit and vegetables (16.3%).

The popularity of prepared meals, soups and snacks bodes well with North American consumer's busy life style as they are trying to combine convenience and healthy eating. Health and wellness attributes of pulses and specifically the gluten free trend in the Canadian and US markets are also contribution to this growth.

Pulse ingredients in new products by category (%), between January 2006 – December 2016

Source: Mintel Global New Products Database, 2017

  • Meals & meal centers 33.3%
  • Snacks 16.9%
  • Soup 18.6%
  • Fruit & vegetables 16.3%
  • Bakery 0.5%
  • Processed fish, meat & egg products 2.3%
  • Side dishes 5.2%
  • Other beverages 0.3%
  • Baby food 6.6%

Product launched by sub-category

Top 10 pulse ingredients in new food products by sub-category in Canada and the US, between January 2006 and December 2016
Sub-category 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Total new product
Sourc: Mintel Global New Products Database, 2017
Prepared meals 26 18 19 22 20 29 11 51 59 44 44 343
Vegetables 17 10 15 13 33 20 20 62 39 48 63 340
Wet Soup 18 17 17 25 19 14 17 60 53 33 39 312
Snack/cereal/energy Bars 3 3 3 3 4 1 5 20 27 34 70 173
Meal replacements and other drinks 0 0 4 1 0 5 3 17 24 40 55 149
Meat substitutes 2 6 5 8 9 12 12 25 16 26 24 145
Pastry dishes 5 10 7 7 12 12 4 14 19 24 14 128
Meal kits 3 8 4 8 18 8 5 11 8 18 24 115
Bean-based snacks 1 0 0 3 2 7 10 13 11 19 31 97
Hors d'oeuvres/canapes 7 1 5 6 5 6 9 9 14 10 22 94
Top 10 pulse ingredients in new food products by sub-category by country, between January 2006 and December 2016
Sub-category Number of products - US Number of products - Canada
Source: Mintel Global New Products Database, 2017
Prepared meals 242 104
Vegetables 236 101
Wet soup 224 88
Snack/cereal/energy Bars 142 70
Meal replacements and other drinks 128 54
Meat substitutes 104 41
Pastry dishes 58 31
Meal kits 98 31
Bean-based snacks 66 21
Hors d'oeuvres/canapes 40 17

Pulses are highly available in retail outlets in Canada and the US. Because dry, fresh, pulses require relatively labour-intensive preparation, they are not very advantageous to foodservice or institutional preparation. According to Euromonitor, retail accounted for 87.8% of total volume sales in 2016, foodservice 11.0%, and institutional 1.1%. Foodservice and institutional channels do heavily feature dishes with pulses, though the pulses in these channels are generally sold in a can format, and peas especially are often sold frozen.

Distribution of pulses by format in Canada and the US: (%) total volume between January 2011 and December 2016
% total volume 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Source: Mintel Global New Products Database, 2017
Retail 86.4 85.7 85.8 86.3 88.0 87.8
Foodservice 12.5 13.2 13.2 12.5 10.9 11.0
Institutional 1.1 1.1 1 1.1 1.1 1.1
Total 100 100 100 100 100 100

Furthermore, according to a Mintel survey, over one third of Canadian and Americans who purchase gluten-free products generally considered gluten-free as healthier than equivalent gluten-containing food products and about one quarter purchased gluten-free foods to manage their weight. Most notable is that the majority purchased gluten-free because they perceive gluten-free to be healthier and better quality rather than purchasing for specific medical conditions such as Celiac disease.

Products launched in pet food by subcategory

According to a Euromonitor survey in 2013, 67% of Canadian and US respondents consider their pets as beloved members of the family, while a much smaller number (29%) consider them as animals (although well cared for).

Today's consumers want what they think is best for their pets and will pay a lot for natural, organic or grain free pet food. Many North Americans are now buying expensive, grain-free food for their pets, based on the notion that grain is unhealthy for cats and dogs.

Pulse ingredients in new pet food products by subcategory in Canada and the US, between January 2006 and December 2016
Sub-category 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Total new product
Source: Mintel Global New Products Database, 2017
Dog food dry 14 13 23 24 30 31 55 60 114 113 88 565
Dog food wet 8 7 14 14 21 16 30 68 142 70 45 435
Dog snacks and treats 5 6 7 15 11 15 22 38 86 47 41 293
Cat food dry 7 3 15 8 7 13 18 23 37 26 12 169
Pulse ingredients in new pet food products by sub-category by country, between January 2006 and December 2016
Sub-category Number of products - US Number of products - Canada
Source: Mintel Global New Products Database, 2017
Dog food dry 427 138
Dog food wet 248 187
Dog snacks and treats 218 75
Cat food dry 151 18

Product launched type

The majority of the new launches (44%) were new product, followed by new variety/range extension (32.9%), and those that were newly packaged (16.1%).

Canadian and US consumers are trying to eat more healthily thanks to increasing awareness of health problems, such as diabetes and celiac intolerance, which has resulted in growing consumer demand for new pulse products. Shelf-stable pulses offers greater convenience, as these products can be warmed up very quickly in a pan. Healthier eating habits and the affordability of these products enabled pulses to see increased demand.

Pulse ingredients in new products by launch type (%), in Canada and the US, between January 2006 and December 2016
Launch Type US Canada Total New products % launches
Source: Mintel Global New Products Database, 2017
New product 1,445 723 2,168 44.0%
New variety/range extension 1,192 429 1,621 32.9%
New packaging 558 234 792 16.1%
Relaunch 166 55 221 4.5%
New formulation 88 32 120 2.4%
Total sample 3,449 1,473 4,922 100.0%

Product claims

38.0% of the new products released were positioned as low/no/reduced allergen. Other leading claims included microwavable (35.4%), gluten-free (34.4%) and kosher (31.7%).

The free-from diets continues to be a fast growing trend, not only followed by coeliac patients, but also by the general health-conscious Canadian and US consumers who believe that low, no or reduced allergen and gluten-free products will help them overcome avoid allergen or digestion problems.

Pulse ingredients in food product Releases, by top 10 claims, in Canada and the US between January 2006 and December 2016
Claim Product count (US) % of total (US) Product count (Canada) % of total (Canada) Total product count % total
Source: Mintel Global New Products Database, 2017
Low/no/reduced allergen 964 28.85% 306 9.16% 1,270 38.01%
Microwaveable 844 25.26% 340 10.18% 1,184 35.44%
Gluten-free 882 26.40% 270 8.08% 1,152 34.48%
Kosher 816 24.42% 243 7.27% 1,059 31.70%
No additives/preservatives 635 19.01% 338 10.12% 973 29.12%
GMO-free 689 20.62% 128 3.83% 817 24.45%
Vegan 581 17.39% 175 5.24% 756 22.63%
No animal ingredients 565 16.91% 172 5.15% 737 22.06%
Ethical - environmentally friendly package 486 14.55% 215 6.44% 701 20.98%
Ease of use 437 13.08% 203 6.08% 640 19.16%

Euromonitor also reports that sales of free-from foods have increased by a CAGR of 4.8% in Canada and CAGR 7.9% in the US since 2011, as consumers are adopting diets such as gluten-free for the health benefits, not just medical reasons.

Historic free from retail sales in Canada and the US between January 2011 and December 2016
Country 2011-16 % 2011-16 CAGR % 2011-16 Absolute
Source: Euromonitor, 2017
Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR)
Canada 26.2 4.8 136.7
US 46.0 7.9 2326.5
Top claims used in new pulse ingredient food products by category in Canada and the US between January 2006 and December 2016
Claim Low/No/ Reduced Allergen No Additives/ Preservatives Gluten-Free Microwaveable Kosher Total new products
Source: Mintel Global New Products Database, 2017
Meals and meal centers 159 230 137 494 63 726
Snacks 353 187 342 34 269 621
Soup 56 138 49 249 45 397
Fruit and vegetables 35 58 35 158 136 340
Bakery 153 62 131 15 125 231
Processed fish, meat and egg products 81 77 70 96 73 226
Side dishes 63 45 58 84 75 209
Other beverages 142 61 132 0 37 160
Baby food 28 59 23 48 42 119
Top claims used in new pulse ingredient of pet food products by category in Canada and the US between January 2006 and December 2016
Claim New pet food products
Source: Mintel Global New Products Database, 2017
Low/No/Reduced Allergen 982
Low/No/Reduced Allergen 849
Gluten-Free 381
Kosher 2

Companies and brands

In the US, products incorporating pulse ingredients are dominated by branded products, which represented 78.1 % of the new releases, whereas only 21.8% of the introductions were released under a private label. However, in Canada, private label is slightly higher with 26.2% and branded products represented 73.7% of the new releases.

New pulse ingredients in food products by branded versus private label in Canada and the US between January 2006 and December 2016
Category United States Canada
Source: Mintel Global New Products Database, 2017
Branded 78.19% 73.72%
Private Label 21.81% 26.28%

On the other hand, branded products dominate the pet food products incorporating pulse as ingredient. Some pet owners in Canada and the US have expressed interest in foods that cater to pet-specific diets. Major pet food brands are launching new reformulated products without grains, artificial ingredients, or meat by-products. Pet foods with specific attributes that mirror trending human foods, like gluten-free, organic, and locally sourced, are attracting an increasing number of pet owners.

New products containing pulse ingredients by companies, in Canada and the US between January 2006 and December 2016
Company United States Canada
Source: Mintel Global New Products Database, 2017
Loblaws 0 78
Trader Joe's 58 0
Wal-Mart 12 46
Daiya Foods 33 22
General Mills 52 3
Kroger 50 0
Aldi 44 0
Target 40 3
Sequel Naturals 26 13
Hain Celestial Group 26 11

Canadian and US consumers have increasingly demonstrated a high interest in achieving satiety through consuming smaller portions of food according to Mintel. As such, many have shown growing demand in recent years for food products that offer high amounts of protein. Food manufacturers have taken notice and have launched new products accordingly that they hope will meet these consumer demands.

Top 10 food companies using pulse ingredients between January 2006 and December 2016
Company Peas Pulses Green lentil Chickpea flour Red lentil Adzuki bean Pea protein Pea protein isolate Green split pea Pea fibre
Source: Mintel Global New Products Database, 2017
Loblaws 39 3 2 1 7 1 4 4 3 16
Trader Joe's 31 6 2 2 3 2 7 6 2 1
Wal-Mart 34 1 2 0 5 0 5 0 6 3
Daiya Foods 1 0 0 0 0 0 21 34 0 0
General Mills 31 6 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 2
Kroger 34 3 1 0 3 1 8 0 4 0
Aldi 29 3 2 2 0 0 1 0 1 4
Target 34 5 0 2 1 0 0 1 1 0
Sequel Naturals 0 0 0 0 0 0 39 0 0 0
Hain Celestial Group 15 8 1 6 1 0 6 0 0 3

Greater demand for natural and transparent ingredients, higher amounts of protein, bold flavours and the proliferation of healthy ingredients at the expense of traditional sweets are broad consumer trends that stretch well beyond rice, pasta and noodle products.

Mintel estimates that these trends are continuing to exhibit strong growth with no signs of slowing down anytime soon, with increasing numbers of manufacturers going to great lengths to launch new products that incorporate pulse ingredients.

The same trend is observed in the pet food sectors, as pet health is a top priority for most pet owners, and the functionality of products influences buying decisions. Manufacturers are introducing more and more pet food variants to address different aspects of pet heath.

New pet food products containing pulse ingredients by companies, in Canada and the US between January 2006 and December 2016
Country United States Canada
Source: Mintel Global New Products Database, 2017
Blue Buffalo 98 48
Nestlé Purina PetCare 68 24
Merrick Pet Care 67 21
Hill's Pet Nutrition 63 17
WellPet 36 22
Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Pet Foods 42 12
Nature's Variety 33 16
Freshpet 34 9
Ainsworth Pet Nutrition 24 9
Canidae 30 2

As pet food companies and pet owners in Canada and the US continue to explore a broader range of ingredient options, the peas has been gaining in popularity in the last decade. Dried peas, pea protein, pea protein concentrate and pea fibre, are being used on a routine basis now a days in pet food, and in some cases taking a very prominent position on pet food ingredient.

Top 10 pet food companies using pulse ingredients between January 2006 and December 2016
Company Peas Pulses Chickpea Flour Red Lentil Pea Protein Pea Protein Concentrate Dried Peas Pea Fibre
Source: Mintel Global New Products Database, 2017
Blue Buffalo 125 1 0 0 49 0 0 30
Nestlé Purina PetCare 27 0 0 0 21 0 37 13
Merrick Pet Care 85 0 0 0 11 0 3 5
Hill's Pet Nutrition 66 0 0 0 12 28 12 7
WellPet 47 13 2 0 5 0 0 11
Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Pet Foods 32 0 0 0 18 0 6 17
Nature's Variety 44 0 5 0 2 0 0 0
Freshpet 29 1 0 0 9 0 0 13
Ainsworth Pet Nutrition 10 0 0 0 14 0 14 0
Canidae 32 1 0 0 0 0 0 0

New product examples

Source: Mintel Global New Products Database, 2017

  • Bean & Cheddar Cheese Tamales
    • Company: H-E-B, United States
    • Brand: H-E-B Central Market Private Label
    • Category: Meals & Meal Centers , Prepared Meals
    • Country: United States
    • Launch type: New Variety/Range Extension
    • Storage: Chilled
    • Price: $11.99 US
    • Pack size: 28.00 oz. / 793.80 g
    • Date published: December 2015
    • Product description: H-E-B Central Market Bean and Cheddar Cheese Tamales comprise a blend of cheddar cheese with refried and pinto beans spiced with cumin and chili powder in masa, and wrapped in a corn husk.
    • Ingredients: Dough (masa (corn, water, trace of lime), water, corn flour, vegetable oil (may contain soybean oil), salt, baking powder (cornstarch, bicarbonate of soda, sodium aluminium sulfate, acid phosphate of calcium), cumin), filling (cheddar cheese (cultured pasteurized milk, salt, enzymes), water, refried beans (beans, water, salt, vegetable oil (cottonseed oil), garlic), pinto beans, onion, cumin, chili powder (chili pepper, spice, salt), black pepper, salt).
  • Fiery Garlic Flavor Split Pea Crisps
    • Company: Splitz, United States
    • Brand: Original Splitz
    • Category: Snacks, Vegetable Snacks
    • Country: United States
    • Launch type: New Product
    • Storage: Shelf stable
    • Price: $2.39 US
    • Pack size: 1.50 oz. / 42.53 g
    • Date published: December 2015
    • Product description: Original Splitz Fiery Garlic Flavor Split Pea Crisps are made from all 100% natural yellow split peas that provide 130 calories, 8g fiber and 7g protein. The vegetarian friendly crisps are free from gluten and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO). They claim to be healthy snack alternative to potato and corn snacks.
    • Ingredients: Yellow split pea flour, salt, fresh ground garlic, chilly powder, Indian spice (asafoetida), flavour (citric acid), non-GMO expeller pressed canola oil
  • Three-Bean Mexican Chili
    • Company: Groupe Commensal, Canada
    • Brand: Commensal VG
    • Category: Meals & Meal Centers, Prepared Meals
    • Country: Canada
    • Launch type: Relaunch
    • Storage: Frozen
    • Price: $3.39 US
    • Pack size: 300.00 g / 300.00 g
    • Date published: November 2015
    • Product description: Commensal VG Three-Bean Mexican Chili has been relaunched with a new brand name and look. The vegetarian meal claims to be made with quality ingredients, is very high in iron, rich in fibre, and contains no preservatives or colours. The microwavable product contains 15g of protein, 6g of fibre and 0g trans-fat per 300g serving.
    • Ingredients: Tomatoes, tomato puree, water, black beans, onions, kidney beans, celeries, carrots, soybeans, textured soy protein concentrate, canola oil, tomato paste, spices, tamari (water, soybeans, salt, alcohol), herbs, rice starch, cider vinegar, salt, onion powder, xanthan gum.
  • Organic Green Lentil Ziti Pasta
    • Company: MXO Global, Canada
    • Brand: Tolerant
    • Category: Side Dishes, Pasta
    • Country: Canada
    • Launch type: New Variety/Range Extension
    • Storage: Shelf stable
    • Price: $9.07 US
    • Pack size: 750.00 ml / 750.00 ml
    • Date published: August 2015
    • Product description: This kosher, vegan, organic product is allergen-free, gluten-free, GMO-free, cholesterol-free and contains per serving 21g of protein and 46% of the required daily fiber intake. The Product Claims to be high in protein, high in iron, high in fibre, low in glycemic, a good energy source
    • Ingredients: Non-GMO organic green lentils
  • Science Diet Healthy Cuisine
    • Company: Hill's Pet Nutrition, United States
    • Brand: Hill's Science Diet Healthy Cuisine
    • Category: Pet Food, Dog Food Wet
    • Country: Canada Imported product
    • Launch type: New Product
    • Storage: Shelf stable
    • Price: CAD 2.89 / $2.17
    • Pack size: 354.00 g / 354.00 g
    • Date published: Octpber 2016
    • Product description: Hill's Science Diet Healthy Cuisine Braised Beef, Carrots and Peas Stew Premium Adult 1-6 Dog Food. The veterinarian recommended product is formulated for adult dogs aged one to six years old, and it contains no artificial flavours or preservatives. It retails in a 354g recyclable pack.
    • Ingredients as listed: beef broth, beef, red bell pepper, carrots, green peas, pork liver, rice, rice starch, chicken, wheat gluten, powdered cellulose, chicken liver flavor, soybean oil, dried beet pulp, wholegrain barley, potassium alginate, flaxseed, calcium chloride, caramel color, chicken fat, dicalcium phosphate, guar gum, calcium lactate, calcium gluconate, monosodium phosphate, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), thiamine mononitrate, niacin supplement, calcium pantothenate, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, biotin, vitamin D3 supplement, riboflavin supplement, folic acid), choline chloride, l-lysine, taurine, sodium tripolyphosphate, minerals (zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, calcium iodate), beta-carotene
  • Trufood Living Nutrition CocoChia
    • Company: WellPet, United States
    • Brand: Wellness Trufood Living Nutrition CocoChia
    • Category: Pet Food, Dog Snacks & Treats
    • Country: Canada Not imported
    • Launch type: New Variety/Range Extension
    • Storage: Shelf stable
    • Price: CAD 7.99 / $6.24
    • Pack size: 142.00 g / 142.00 g
    • Date published: June 2016
    • Product description: Wellness Trufood Living Nutrition CocoChia Grain Free Bakes with Salmon, Coconut Oil & Spinach. The grain and wheat free product is made with coconut oil and chia seeds, whole-prey protein, unique superfoods, probiotics, botanicals and is made with fresh salmon and turkey liver. The all-natural product contains no artificial preservatives, colours, flavours or meat by-products, and retails in a 142g recyclable pack, that is made from 100% recycled paperboard.
    • Ingredients as listed: chickpeas, peas, salmon, tapioca, dried parsley, flaxseed, turkey liver, coconut oil, chia seeds, dried spinach, turkey hearts, chicken fat, natural flavour, dried turmeric, mixed tocopherols added to preserve freshness, dried Enterococcus thermophilus fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus bulgaricus fermentation product, rosemary extract, green tea extract, spearmint extract.

For more information

For additional intelligence on this and other markets, the complete library of Global Analysis reports can be found under Statistics and Market Information at the following link, arranged by sector and region of interest: Agri-Food Trade Services for Exporters

Resources

  • Mintel, 2017.
  • Euromonitor 2017: Health and Wellness in the US April 2016
  • Euromonitor 2017

New Products Containing Pulse Ingredients In North America
Global Analysis Report
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