At a special International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE) presentation by Qualisoy, Datassential’s Colleen McClellan shared consumer dessert trends, Qualisoy oils expert Frank Filder explored functionality test results, and Food Network star and celebrity chef Emily Ellyn spoke to the state of the industry now that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) have been removed from the marketplace.

“When you use (high oleic soybean shortenings), they are so silky and cleaning is so much easier,” Ellyn told the audience. “Our demands are being met.”

Flider noted that “those in icings knew very well how hard it was to convert” from PHO shortenings, but today functionality tests of PHO-free high oleic soy shortenings reveal that icing viscosity and icing specific gravity show favorable results. Problem solved. “High oleic soy shortenings may actually be superior to PHO shortenings of old,” he said.

McClellan reported on Datassential research that shows 26% of consumers are interested in “free from” descriptors when deciding on the foods they eat, and the percentage is highest among millennials.

“The way we think about consumption is changing and evolving,” she said. “More health and wellness positioning around dessert is coming.”