Mango has come out as the top sweet flavor trend for 2008 according to Bell Flavors and Fragrances.
The company has today released what it believes will be the top ten for sweet and savory flavors.
Compiled by its marketing and research and development departments, the lists could provide a valuable insight into what flavors will be in high demand for the rest of the year.
For sweet flavors, Bell says mango will be in pole position followed by acai, lychee, pomegranate, mint, blueberry, verbena, goji, noni and guarana. These will be in the beverage, confectionery, bakery and dairy markets, it said.
The savory top ten is listed as: achiote, sofrito, ras-al-hanout, tandoori, tea smoked, chermoula, cumac, kaffir lime, pandan and tamarind. Bell says these flavors are for the meat, condiments, sauces, soups and seasoning markets.
The firm said it compiled the data by tracking samples that have been requested over the past year and through "trend scouting."
Bell's predictions reinforce other forecasts from market analysts, which have said trends will be dominated by consumer fascination with increasingly more exotic fruits.
Flavour industry innovators are seeking inspiration from exotic superfruits in a bid to both harness their healthy reputation and present new offerings to counter consumer boredom.
Analysts at Business Insights has also highlighted exotic flavors as a category to watch. The market researcher said that while fruits previously categorised as exotic such as coconut and pineapple are becoming more mainstream, consumers are looking for new, interesting and exotic fruits. The examples of potential contenders it gave were guava, lychee, pomelo, yuzu, and tamarind.
Indeed, two months ago Datamonitor said that consumers will begin to demand hotter, spicier and bolder flavors, to counteract diminishing taste and smell that comes with age.
This is already been measured in the market place with increased sales of hot and spicy salsas. Datamonitor's Productscan Online notes a doubling of the word "spicy" for new foods and beverages between 2003 and 2006.
"Look for bold flavors to pop up in brand new areas," states Datamonitor. "It's already happening in Portugal where Adagio Moments Yogurt Drink was launched in a spicy flavor earlier this year with a blend of chocolate chips, strawberries and chili peppers."
Flavor trends for last year were also predicted to be unusual.
Last year flavor firm McCormick has identified ten new flavor pairings for 2007, which came up with exotic and unusual combinations as the underlining theme.
Tangerine and thyme, crystallized ginger and salted pistachio, wasabi and maple are just three of the new combinations unveiled in the company's annual flavor forecast, and suggest that exotic and unusual combinations will be a major trend this year.
Altogether, the top ten flavor pairings chosen by McCormick are Clove and Green Apple, Thyme and Tangerine, Tellicherry Black Pepper and Berry, Sea Salt and Smoked Tea, Lavender and Honey, Crystallized Ginger and Salted Pistachio, Cumin and Apricot, Toasted Mustard and Fennel Seeds, Wasabi and Maple and Caramelized Garlic and Riesling Vinegar.