Food and Beverage Flavor Trends in 2018
Heavy taste or small fresh? By grasping the future flavor trends of food and beverages, you can use the trends to discover innovative products that the public likes and capture the taste buds of consumers in time. Spicy, herbal, fruity and floral... these flavor applications are continuing to heat up. "China Food News" analyzed the flavor of food preferred by consumers in the past two years, and speculated that the flavor trend of food and beverage in 2018 is as follows.
Spices for a more stimulating experience
Many Asian cuisines feature spicy flavors. This year, spices and herbal spices still occupy the C position in the hearts of consumers, especially spices and herbal spices with cultural heritage.
Consumers are already well-known for spicy flavors like Razar, paving the way for other, more exotic flavors. More exotic spices, such as Filipino adobo dishes, saw a 133 percent increase in product sales in 2017.
At the same time, other seasonings from Asia are also emerging. According to Mintel data, the sales volume of fermented chili sauce flavor products with Korean sweet and spicy taste increased by 100 in 2016-2017, while in the past two years, Indonesia's Shenba sauce (chili sauce made by mixing various chilies with shrimp paste, fish sauce, garlic or ginger) flavor products increased by more than 400.
Spicy flavors are also continuing to heat up in the beverage and confectionery categories, such as pink pepper flavors in desserts and chili flavors in cocktails.
Fruit floral flavor enduring
Consumers search for authentic and wholesome ingredients and flavors, and fruit flavors do their part. For example, the coconut itself and its flavor have attracted a lot of consumer attention. While coconut is already an established mainstream beverage flavor, coconut-flavored products are growing steadily in both size and sales.
The application of other fruits has also attracted much attention. For consumers, natural raw materials are more attractive. In addition to its provocative name, Blood Orange enjoys its juicy and intoxicating flavor. Although previously used for bartending, blood orange is a very good synergistic spice and is also found on restaurant menus and in baked goods, confectionery and non-alcoholic beverages, such as the blood orange cream cake used in desserts.
Not unlike fruit flavors, floral flavors also show impressive staying power, and consumer demand for natural flavors has driven the use of botanical flavors. The floral flavor used in food and beverages has increased by 88% in the past year. Elderflower flavors are widely used in cocktails and can now be slowly integrated into the main flavors of a variety of desserts, delicious candies and bakery products. Elderflower's own advantages make it widely used. Its sweet and subtle taste can be tasted alone and combined with other things. The elderflower chocolate caramel is a very successful combination.
Dessert cake into a new flavor carrier
Candy, dessert and cake flavors related to dessert applications are still very attractive to consumers. This year, dessert flavors can arouse consumers' nostalgia and are still a category worthy of attention. Cake flavor will be an important sub-category of dessert flavor. A few years ago, red velvet cake flavor was introduced to the market and gradually became a competitor of birthday cake flavor. In the next year, butter cake flavor strongly recommended by high-end restaurants may become the next popular cake flavor.
More than just a topping or a small portion of a dessert, caramel as an independent flavor will also be popular in restaurants, grocery stores and bars this year, such as caramel martinis. More than ever, consumers want to further drive flavor trends by experimenting with new flavors created with unique methods.
The data suggest that millennials are interested in different flavor profiles, including specific flavors from certain reaction processes, such as caramelization, burning or browning in caramel flavors. Caramel flavor combines the sweet and creamy flavor of caramel, as well as the characteristics of caramel or deep or light and slightly smoked. This flavor birth process allows consumers to distinguish caramel flavor from caramel flavor and enjoy the finished product combining the advantages of both.
Smoky flavor evokes culinary tradition
The smoky flavor allows consumers to recall the most American-style cooking traditions such as campfires and barbecues, and the smoky flavor is beginning to take off in a growing number of innovative products.
According to Nielsen, the value of smoky-flavored products in retail products alone was nearly $1 billion in 2017. In addition to the common hardwood smoke, hickory and apple wood smoke flavors are appearing more and more frequently on the menu, and chefs use tea and coffee in the process of cooking meat to arouse consumer nostalgia. New smoked-flavored desserts grew by 150 per cent in a year, and smoked-flavored cocktails on the menu grew by 27 per cent in 2017.
The delicious ingredients themselves are more concerned
In this year's product flavor trend, authenticity and transparency will be the most important evaluation indicators. "Authentic flavor experiences" from all over the world and continued consumer demand for cleaning ingredients will be the main market drivers this year. Millennials are very interested in different styles, ethnic factors and flavors produced by special processes. They pay attention to the source of ingredients and whether the products themselves come with clean labels.
From the past few years to the future, consumers will continue to pay attention to novelty and exotic tastes, as well as the upgrading and innovation of common sweet and salty tastes. Asian-style cuisine is the most prominent representative of regional flavors in the world. The long-popular Asian cuisine such as South Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia and India will set off a new flavor storm. The unique flavor of these cuisines will provide consumers with a more advanced and authentic experience.
Source: China Food News
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