Though the flavor standards in ice cream (vanilla, strawberry and chocolate) and yogurt (strawberry, vanilla, peach) never go out of style — bold, savory, ethnic and unique flavors continue to gain popularity and grab consumers’ interest, especially among millennials.
Chocolate and chipotle, honey and wasabi, and other sweet-heat combinations are migrating into various food and beverage categories. The flavor pairings, some originating in Central America, are enticing North American consumers, especially millennials and baby boomers.
Exciting and significant things are happening across the food and beverage landscape every day. There are businesses dedicated to following trends and developments. Currently trends include a heavy emphasis on varietals, “craft”, and health and wellness - to name just a few.
Though these trends continue to emerge and drive the consumer conscience, at Sensient, we spend a lot of time seeking insights one level higher; teasing out the behaviors and attitudes that enable these trends to be successful and catch a glimpse of what the future may bring. What we are finding is that these trends, at their core, have two primary drivers: curiosity and food safety.
The curiosity or education, of the consumer, has been strengthened by today’s increasingly connected world. With the amount of information consumers have at their fingertips, they are more well-read than ever before. Right or wrong, there are articles, blogs, websites and encyclopedias on any ingredient, claim or processing technique the industry can dream up. Consumers are interested in knowing more about their food and are enabled to do so.
Flavor plays into this beautifully and is the great equalizer (because ultimately, the product must taste good). Consumers enjoy being able to answer questions like “Can I taste the difference of a coconut water processed one way versus another?”, or “I like lemon flavored teas, but there are so many kinds of lemons. Do I like a Sicilian lemon or a Meyer lemon profile?”. Whether using unusual, international, category-blurring, varietal, or sensational flavors, it is about giving consumers a deeper, more robust appreciation of their choices.
Curiosity is also tapped into a deep-seated concern about food safety. Consumers are a diverse group with varied convictions but they all agree on one thing, their food must be safe. There is an incredible, and often overlooked, level of trust required between a food or beverage corporation and its consumer. Trends like varietals, the craft movement, authentic international flavors, and health and wellness are all getting at ways consumers can seek greater transparency about what their food is and how it gets to them. This is actually a very exciting exchange between company and consumer. It is a platform for companies to share in no uncertain terms, all the good works that they are doing on a daily basis with an engaged consumer base.
"Supporting our customers’ efforts to be brands that consumers trust is not something that we take lightly at Sensient, it is the foundation of our business”, said Paul Manning, Sensient’s CEO. As a custom flavor house, we pride ourselves on a “the world is your oyster (or extract or chili pepper blend)” portfolio, as the case may be. We offer natural products lines positioned to give consumers an extra level of detail. Our consumer insights program, Trends to Taste, leverages in-depth insights aimed at helping our customers decide what flavor supports their brand and strategy 3-5 years out. Most importantly though, as Paul said, “we recognize food safety is at the heart of our mission. As a flavor partner to some of the most beloved brands in the industry, the safety of our products and our employees is paramount to everyone’s success.”
This combination of human curiosity and the increasing need for food safety in today’s world is sure to keep the industry on its toes for years to come. At Sensient, we can’t wait. Challenge accepted.
Remember when nothing said summer like sitting on Grandma’s porch and sipping a tall glass of ice-cold lemonade? The pure sourness and simple ingredients made taste buds dance. Yet, as millennials’ palates have evolved and have gotten more adventurous, the demand for bolder, spicier and exotic beverage flavors are filling grocery and liquor store shelves like never before.
The biggest names in food are committing to clean label these days. In February, Nestlé USA announced that it will banish artificial colors and flavors from its chocolate candies and Nesquik powdered drink mixes. Hershey soon thereafter said it aims to reformulate all its candies to contain “ingredients that are simple and easy to understand.” Then Kraft committed itself to replacing synthetic colorants in its flagship Macaroni and Cheese with colors derived from spices like paprika, annatto, and turmeric. PepsiCo got into the act by pledging to swap out aspartame, the artificial sweetener in its Diet Pepsi, with the equally artificial, but apparently more acceptable, sucralose. Even quick-service giant McDonald’s announced that it will no longer serve chicken treated with human antibiotics, while more obviously progressive foodservice brands Chipotle Mexican Grill and Panera Bread made headlines by, in the former’s case, banning genetically modified (GMO) ingredients from its menus and, in the latter’s, releasing a “No-No List” of ingredients that the chain will phase out of its kitchens by the end of 2016.
Sensient Flavors and Fragrances Group es una de las compañías de sabores y fragancias más importantes del mundo. Pertenece a Sensient Technologies Corporation, que se especializa en diseñar y comercializar sisternas de sabores, colorantes y fragancias para las industrias de alimentos, cosméticos y el sector farmacéutico.