Many people in the food industry are aware that CocaCola added lime to its Diet Coke beverage in early 2004, earning the company a round of applause from consumers.
But, it is interesting to see that the trend towards the tangy didn't only interest the biggest names. Food and beverage manufacturers launched 247 new products in the US and Canada in 2004 in which lime was a major flavor or ingredient. This figure represented an over 16 percent increase compared to two years ago, when the total was 212 products, according to Productscan's database.
The research company found that lime is now a key component of a whole raft of products from cheese to chocolate.
Leading in the way in the cheese department was Alouette Cilantro lime spreadable cheese from New Holland, Pennsylvania based Bongrain Cheese.
Meanwhile, over in the chocolate corner, Minneapolis, Minnesota based B.T. McElrath Chocolatier launched its kaffir lime with coconut and ginger chocolate truffles.
And not to be out done in the confectionary stakes, chewing gum joined the trend with chile and lime gum from Chargers in La Jolla, California.
Savory snacks also took up the challenge. Frito-Lay's, for example, launched a new puffed snack called flamin' hot limon Cheetos crunchy cheese snack.
Lime has long been a staple of Hispanic food, but some companies have started adding lime to their food in a deliberate attempt to win over the Spanish-speaking Americans. Last year, Greely, Cobased Swift launched a new line of authentic La Herencia brand meats of which Carne de Puerco Estilo Pibil - pork seasoned in a red spice mixture and marinated in lime - was a favorite offering.
Productscan expects lime's star to continue to rise in 2005. Indeed, according to Beverage Digest magazine, Diet Coke with lime has outsold earlier flavor extensions like Vanilla Coke and Diet Coke with lemon, racking up a 0.7 percent share of the US soft drink market in 2004. And, following on from this success, PepsiCo plans this summer to launch Pepsi lime and Diet Pepsi lime this summer.
But, if something a little stronger is more up your street, then Burnett's lime flavored vodka from Bardstown, Kentucky based Heaven Hill Distilleries, may be just the thing.