Cucumber has been named Firmenich’s 2017 Flavor of the Year. The company chose the mild flavor based on its growing popularity as consumers demand more refreshing, healthy and clean options.
Cucumber flavor has seen a 392 percent global increase in use between 2011–2016. Firmenich develops and manufacturers its own natural green notes to support the growing demand, including captive materials reserved for Firmenich flavorists and made from sustainable sources.
Beyond a Salad Fixing
Firmenich cites cucumber’s adaptability for more creative uses and its ability to take on other flavors as reasons for its rise in popularity. The erstwhile salad staple can now be found in potato chips, dumplings and yogurt as vegetables become more accepted as ingredients. Cucumber made the cut as Flavor of the Year due to its relevance in three global meta-trends:
- Refreshment: Cucumber is often paired with a standard flavor to enhance its refreshing characteristics and to create a fresh, energizing beverage, or fresh dairy and savory products.
- Health & Natural: Long used to reduce puffy eyes and hydrate skin, cucumber can also be used for digestive relief.
- Fermentation & Pickling: Cucumbers have been used in pickling for centuries, even as the fermented foods trend rises.
“Our trend insights show that consumers are really enjoying lighter, refreshing ‘green’ flavors, such as cucumber. We anticipate and respond to these needs by continuing to deliver healthy and novel taste solutions to match,” said Chris Millington, Firmenich Flavor Division President.