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Comax Releases 2020 Flavor Trends

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Comax Flavors' 2020 Flavor Trends feature inspiration from plant-based products, low alcohol or non-alcoholic beverages, Asian cuisine and cookie dough.

Comax Flavors has released its 2020 Flavor Trends, comprised of four categories: Plant-Powered Snacks, based on consumers’ requests for better-for-you plant-based foods; No Proof Needed, based on sober curious consumers’ interest in low/no alcohol beverages; Asian Influences, based on the growing younger demographics’ attraction to Asian flavors; and So Doughlicious, based on consumers’ appetite for nostalgic indulgence.

Previously: Comax is Sweet on Caramel

Plant-Powered Snacks

Between 2013 and 2017, there was a 17% increase in the growth of snacks with a health claim and a 22% rise in snacks with a nutritious claim, according to Innova Market Insights. Launches with plant-based claims grew with a compound annual growth rate of 44% during that period. According to the Hartman Group’s The Future of Snacking Study, 80% of consumers are willing to pay more for snacks with health attributes.

This collection is vegan, kosher and can be used in all plant-based applications. Flavors in this group include maple bacon ranch, honey sriracha and lemon truffle.

“To address consumers’ insatiable quest for better-for-you plant-based foods, Comax created the Plant-Powered Snacks collection formulated for a variety of snacks,” said Catherine Armstrong, vice president of corporate communications for Comax Flavors.

No Proof Needed

Between 2018 and 2022, bottled low and no alcohol beverages in the United States will grow by 32%–triple the category’s growth over the previous five years–according to IWSR. Additionally, nearly half of consumers, regardless of age, have purchased non-alcoholic alternatives and more than four in 10 of the drinking-age population doesn’t drink, according to Morning Consult data.

This collection can be used in applications like low proof alcohol, non-alcoholic beverages/beverage syrups and dairy applications/confections. Flavors in this group include matcha pineapple punch-less, no-geroni and mango-no-tini.

“Individuals are cutting back on drinking for a variety of reasons and many are looking for low or no alcohol beverages with fewer calories, less sugar, and better-for-you profiles. To meet the growing demand, Comax Flavors created the No Proof Needed range,” said Armstrong.

Asian Influences

There has been a boom in Asian food and beverages, as the younger generation is attracted to more adventurous, global and authentic flavors. They use Instagram and other social media sites to share their discoveries. According to Foodable Research Labs, Asian flavors on menus at fast-casual restaurants are up 30% year over year. Millennials also have increased menu consumption of Asian flavor-based items by more than 12% year over year.

This multicultural collection can be used in applications like non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages, beverage syrups, dairy, ice cream, baked goods and nutrition and performance products. Flavors in this group include milk tea, Japanese pancake and ube vanilla.

“Comax recognizes the younger generations’ desire to experiment, explore global flavors, and broadcast their experiences on social media. In response, Comax has created the Asian Influences collection inspired by trending food and beverages,” said Armstrong.

So Doughlicious

Pasteurization and heat treatment have allowed for the healthy consumption of raw cookie dough, and 2017 was a breakout year for safe, edible raw cookie dough. Eating raw cookie dough is a nostalgic act, but regardless of age, edible cookie dough excites children and adults alike. According to Technomic;s MenuMonitor, restaurant menus are showing a 9% year over year growth rate, while the cookie category increased by 2.6% to reach $8.8 billion for the 52 weeks ending March 24, 2019, according to IRI data.

This collection can be used in applications like dairy, ice cream, baked goods, nutrition and performance products, confections, non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages and beverage syrups. Flavors in this group include birthday cake cookie dough, cold brew coffee cookie dough and s’mores cookie dough.

“Whether raw or baked, consumers of all ages have a soft spot for cookies and Comax created the So Doughlicious assortment as a nod to childhood,” said Armstrong.