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7 Hot Flavor Trends
By: Diana Cholewa, senior analyst, Mintel
Posted: June 3, 2009
As disposable income decreases, many consumers are opting to stay home and recreate experiences that were formerly achieved outside the home. A movement demonstrating this trend is the shift from restaurant dining to the resurrection of at-home cooking. To leverage this shift, retail manufacturers are providing consumers with a greater selection of product and flavor offerings. Of these, Mintel has identified seven flavors that will make a notable introduction in not only food and beverage segments, but also in non-edible sectors. Providing these flavors will give retail manufacturers a greater competitive edge over restaurants, as they present consumers with the ability to recreate a similar dining experience in their homes. However, refusing to surrender to this rival, restaurants are demonstrating their own notable efforts, thus making the marketplace even more aggressive.
Retail Flavor Trends
Persimmon: Primarily grown in China, persimmon is a flavorful fruit that contains β-carotene, vitamin C and potassium. Persimmon has had quite an impact on the consumer packaged goods (CPG) world, making appearances in pet and skin care products, beverages, energy bars and cookies, just to name a few. To cite an example, MacroLife Naturals launched an energy bar in the United States featuring persimmon and a number of antioxidant superfoods that are derived from fresh, raw, organic, vegan and whole food ingredients said to promote overall health and wellness.
Carambola/Starfruit: Carambola/starfruit is a tropical fruit that is expected to make an impact on the retail segment. Grown in various parts of the globe such as Southeast Asia and South America, it is a great source of vitamin C, antioxidants and flavanoids. An excellent product example incorporating carambola in its formulation is MD Drinks’ Carambola Punch Brainiac Beverage, said to boost mental sharpness by delivering a combination of antioxidants directly to the brain.
Lavender: Normally featured in home and personal care products for its aromatic and antiseptic properties, Mintel predicts this flavor will become a hit in edible products as well. Lavender’s taste of sweet, fresh-cut wood and rosemary makes this ingredient a perfect complement to a multitude of dishes. An example of this is Woolworths’ oregano and lavender salt seasoning, which is said to be ideal for fish or grilled vegetable dishes.
Cactus: Traditionally used in Latin American cooking, cactus is making a visible introduction into various CPG products. It is used for its abundant flavor as featured in Maximillien & Co.’s Cactus and Coyote Tortilla Chips; in addition, many manufacturers use the agave cactus for its naturally producing nectar in order to sweeten their products. This sweetener registers positively for those who seek healthier product alternatives, and the agave nectar’s low glycemic content, attracts those suffering from diabetes.
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