T. Hasegawa has named Ube as the official 2024 Flavor of the Year. The company's 2024 Food and Beverage Flavor Trends Report report explains the drivers behind Ube's rise:
A bright purple tuberous root hailing from the Philippines, Ube has gained international recognition for its exquisite purple hue and distinctive earthy, nutty and sweet flavor profile. Fast becoming a mainstream ingredient in the U.S. thanks to its trademark violet or lavender color, Ube offers a multitude of applications ranging from savory dishes such as purple mashed potatoes, gnocchi and sauces to infusing a twist into desserts, baked goods and even beverages. Due to its growing popularity among foodies and culinary influencers on social media for providing a splash of natural color in Instagram- and TikTok-worthy dishes, experts agree that Ube is poised to take center stage as a flavor ingredient next year.
“Studying and predicting upcoming consumer flavor trends is foundational to our industry and T. Hasegawa’s R&D team is uniquely positioned to share these findings because we work with many of the world’s leading food and beverage brands,” said Doug Resh, director of commercial marketing at T. Hasegawa USA. “Understanding where consumer trends are headed is the first step in the process of flavor development, which blends expertise and novel technologies to create better-tasting food and beverage products.”
“While specific flavors, spices and ingredients are always a key part of our trends analysis, we also look to identify broader shifts in consumer habits since they impact everything from restaurant menus and food service to CPG products,” added Resh. “The overarching theme is that consumers are seeking heightened culinary experiences, across every category in the industry.”