The results of Food Processing’s 47th annual R&D Survey of 623 product development and R&D personnel at leading food companies indicated that R&D in the food industry will be flat in 2018, with 40% of respondents stating that their budgets are generally the same as last year. Only 17% of respondents indicated an increase in their R&D budgets, which is six percentage points less than 2017, while 16%, nearly double last year, reported cuts to their 2018 budgets.

The R&D department accounts for the largest portion of respondents’ product development teams, according to 86% of respondents. Marketing, manufacturing, corporate management and purchasing round out the top 5, representing 54%, 49%, 33% and 33% of respondents’ product development teams, respectively. The share of marketing on product development teams decreased the most, dropping 11.5%. All other departments’ shares as part of product development increased slightly.

Removing GMO ingredients from foods remains the top priority for ingredient R&D, according to Survey results, with 34% of respondents indicating it as the chief endeavor. Removing added sugars, replacing synthetic colors, adding fruits and vegetables, and removing sodium are also important priorities, according to 33%, 22%, 21% and 17% of respondents. Also indicated was an interest in moving towards incorporating plant-based proteins into foods.

SourceFood Processing

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