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Nostalgia with a hint of spice: Bell Flavors unveils top 2013 flavor trends

By Elaine WATSON , 14-Dec-2012
Last updated on 14-Dec-2012 at 15:01 GMT

Bell Flavors & Fragrances has unveiled its annual list of the top 10 flavor and fragrance trends to watch in the next 12 months, from comforting butterscotch and whipped cream for beverages to “nostalgic” rhubarb and peanut-butter flavors for desserts.

The trends were identified by tracking customer requests over the past year, trend scouting by its marketing and R&D departments, and tracking external databases.

The trends reflect consumers’ desire for nostalgic and familiar American flavors, a continued demand for sweet beverage flavors and the growing popularity of Mediterranean and Latin American cultures, says the Illinois-based firm.

SWEET AND DAIRY PRODUCTS: NOSTALGIA AND HEALTH & WELLNESS

Nostalgia: (Peanut butter, rhubarb, hot chocolate).

Nostalgic dessert flavors offer “relief and security from a hectic lifestyle”, says Bell. “Hard economic times have consumers craving stability and as a result, food and beverage manufactures are introducing brands with nostalgic appeal, reminiscent of the good old days.”

Mediterranean: (Greek yogurt, honey cinnamon, fennel seeds)

More consumers want to buy healthy products, and Mediterranean cuisine fits the bill perfectly, says Bell.

BEVERAGES: DESSERT-INSPIRED FLAVORS AND SPICES

Desserts: (Horchata, whipped cream, butterscotch)

“In 2012 we saw an overwhelming amount of sweet beverages take over the market and in 2013; we’ll continue to see that trend with dessert inspired flavors”, predicts Bell.

“The beverage category is taking some cues from confectionery trends as we are seeing new flavors based off of some of our favorite desserts and treats.”

Spice/Spicy: (Cardamon, Jalapeno, chai)

Spicy beverages are “playing a strategic role in differentiating familiar products which in turn attract new consumers to the category”, says Bell. Consumers are also looking for less fat and sugar, driving demand for “more flavorful solutions, such as herbs, spices and other flavors”.

SAVORY CUISINE: MEXICAN, AND AMERICAN REGIONAL

Regional Mexican and Latin American (Aji Amarillo, sofrito, mole)

“Consumers are demanding a variety of more complex and authentic flavor and ingredient options over traditional Mexican”, says Bell. “Latin America is also luring foodies from all over the world as it is becoming a veritable hotbed of culinary attractions for travelers.”

Regional American (New Orleans seafood boil, bourbon, andouille)

“Interest in the regional cuisines of the US will most likely evolve much like interest in global cuisines, moving from broad regions to smaller areas, more refined ingredients, more specific pockets of influence and increasingly authentic ingredients,” predicts Bell.

“The food world is turning inwards and looking at America’s rich culinary heritage. Many American regional foods appeal to consumers’ desire for comfort, nostalgia and familiar food with new twists.”

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