The consumer industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by convenience, taste, and health and wellness, and the growing importance of alternative proteins, personalised nutrition, and nutraceuticals. In the last three years alone, there have been over 450,000 patents filed and granted in the consumer industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Consumer: Enzyme fortified cocoa products. Buy the report here.
However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity.
Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.
40+ innovations will shape the consumer industry
According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the consumer industry using innovation intensity models built on over 110,000 patents, there are 40+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Within the emerging innovation stage, hydrogel dressings, dextrin-based compositions, and safety injection needles are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Muscle regeneration supplements, encapsulated proteins, and textured vegetable proteins are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are whey protein compositions and anabolic muscle supplements, which are now well established in the industry.
Innovation S-curve for the consumer industry
Enzyme-fortified cocoa products is a key innovation area in consumer
Cocoa almonds are processed through protease and carboxypeptidase to enhance flavour precursor compounds to produce chocolates with stronger flavour characteristics. They can be developed into confectionery with a soft or liquid filler to obtain a solid filler that might turn into liquid during storage.
GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 50+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established consumer companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of enzyme fortified cocoa products.
Key players in enzyme fortified cocoa products – a disruptive innovation in the consumer industry
‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.
‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.
Patent volumes related to enzyme fortified cocoa products
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Nestle is one of the leading patent filers in enzyme-fortified cocoa products. Some other key patent filers in the space are Lotte, Kraft Heinz, Cargill, and Fuji Oil. In March 2021, Nestle announced the rollout of Incoa, a 70% dark chocolate bar under its Les Recettes de L’Atelier brand, made exclusively with cocoa fruit through a patented natural approach that captures its intrinsic sweetness and texture. Through this launch, Nestle attempts to integrate agricultural side-streams into their value chain and deliver a great tasting dark chocolate.
In terms of application diversity, Empire Technologies leads the pack. Hosoda Shc and Nippon Paper Industries stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Chr. Hansen held the top position, followed by Bayer and Danone.
In the coming years, enzyme-fortified cocoa products will be increasingly used by food manufacturers to capture the intrinsic flavours and textures, thus enhancing the overall taste of products and consumer experience. To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the consumer industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Consumer.