‘Tis the season for trend predictions, and this year many flavour houses envisage a shift away from the very exotic fruits and botanicals that have featured on such lists in the past, back toward easily recognisable and well-loved flavours.
Apple flavours are among those tipped for success in the year ahead
Austria-based Esarom has picked apple as its top flavour for 2020, while Swiss firm Firmenich has picked ‘classic blueberry’. Among its flavour trends for the year ahead, Einar Willumsen has highlighted classic flavours with provenance, such as Sicilian Lemon and Arctic Raspberry, as well as common vegetables like carrot and beetroot to flavour beverages and bakery items.
Simple flavours tap into consumer demand for simpler ingredient lists for foods and beverages, with more than three-quarters (76%) saying they look for recognisable ingredients when shopping, according to a survey of 1,300 consumers across Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific, commissioned by Ingredient Communications. What is more, 73% of consumers said they would be willing to pay more for products with recognisable ingredients.
Of course, a recognisable flavour does not necessarily mean it comes from a recognisable source, but manufacturers increasingly are choosing natural sources for their flavours. According to Innova Market Insights, use of natural flavours is increasing globally, with the number of new product launches containing natural flavours up 9% from 2017 to 2018. It found that ‘no additives/preservatives’ was the top positioning for such products, appearing on 27% of new naturally flavoured products. The top natural flavour in 2018 was milk chocolate, followed by lemon, strawberry, orange, and vanilla.
For the consumer, a flavour like ‘apple’ may seem reassuringly simple, but the options available to manufacturers are numerous. They could choose to home in on a particular apple variety, such as Granny Smith, Gala or Braeburn, or play up various flavour notes like juicy, sweet, tangy, fresh, sour, or crisp. Similarly, for a seemingly uncomplicated flavour like strawberry, Givaudan offers 2,200 varieties, allowing manufacturers to create their own, unique strawberry flavour with fresh, green or jammy notes, for example.
Health and wellness underpin many of the flavour trend choices for 2020. Firmenich has said blueberries are a top superfood, and its recognisable flavour may help consumers try new, less familiar foods like plant-based yoghurt alternatives or kombucha. In addition, the choice is Instagram-friendly, with photogenic blue and purple foods and drinks already trending on social media.
Likewise, Einar Willumsen says its prediction that vegetable flavours will get a boost in the year ahead is based on growing interest in plant-based diets, as consumers are beginning to understand the depth of flavour that fruits and vegetables can contribute to vegetarian and vegan foods.
Verified Supplier of flavors on OKCHEM: Hangzhou Shande flavor Co.,Ltd
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