Figs of the Future: Firmenich Announces Flavor of 2018

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A big fig

Looking to the new year, Firmenich has announced that fig will be the flavor of the year for 2018, due to growing appeal for its health attributes.

“A true feel-good flavor, fig is becoming increasingly popular with consumers, with fig flavored products growing by more than 80% between 2012 and 2016,” said Chris Millington, president of Firmenich, flavors. “With its numerous health benefits and sweet and satisfying flavor profile, fig offers endless opportunities to inspire our customers and delight their consumers across a wide range of food categories.”

Consumer Health Demand

Firmenich trend insight shows that fig resonates with consumers for both health and authenticity concerns. Figs contain a high fiber content and a variety of essential minerals and can be used in sugar alternatives. Additionally, figs contain a complex mixture of textures. It can be meaty or gritty, but also can be smooth.

“A fig is consumed in different formats, so it provides room for creativity to reflect different facets in top notes: fruitiness of the ripe fruit, green leafy notes of the fresh fruit, indulgent and rich notes of the dried version,” said Anne-Claire Robineau, flavorist at Firmenich. “From a flavor point of view, it can be translated into fruity, jammy, floral, green, leafy, coumarinic, woody, winey and sulfury dimensions.”

Not Just Greek Yogurt

In 2010, Firmenich became interested in fig flavors because of the popularity of Greek yogurt and Mediterranean diet trend. Now, fig flavors are cropping up in a variety of different products.

“Pomegranate, olive, dates, and fig were all on the rise and have continued to gain traction in recent years, but there is something about fig that we feel is special to this moment in time,” said Mikel Cirkus, director of strategic foresight at Firmenich. “Often associated with the universality of true understanding and knowledge, there’s a mystical quality of the fig that people are responding to in a world full of uncertainty.”