Four flavor trends for 2017 speak to complexity and comfort, Comax predicts

By Elizabeth Crawford contact

- Last updated on GMT

Source: iStock
Source: iStock
Change, whether good or bad,can be disquieting and push people toward the familiar, as likely will be the case for food and flavors in American in 2017 as a new president promising significant political shifts is sworn into office.

Next year, “consumers will seek comfort foods and … throwback flavors”​ as a way to recreate positive experiences from childhood and recall fond memories, Comax Flavors predicts in its 2017 Flavor Trends.

It explains that “nostalgia runs deep in our food and beverage choices,”​ but because change is inevitable, classic and nostalgic flavors will find “their way into new and unexpected applications.”

For example, root beer spiked with alcohol, newly launched malted cookies​ that offer a twist on malted milkshakes, pudding that is frozen​ and on-the-go single-serve cottage cheese​ that updates a 1950s diet food. 

The prediction echoes that of Parker Products, which predicts nostalgia will heavily influence ice cream flavors in the coming year.

In terms of flavors, Comax created a Nostalgia Remix assortment that includes grilled cheese, milk & cookies, root beer and marshmallow.

Spice warms hearts, pallets

At the same time, consumers will continue to be adventurous in 2017 and seek spices and seasonings based in other cultures, Comax predicts.

Citing Technavio data, Comax says the US spice market is predicted to grow 6.72% from 2016 to 2020, and to tap into this growth it is launching its Spice Is Nice collection. The collection includes familiar warm spices, including cinnamon caramel, but also blends of well-known and more exotic flavors, such as Cocoa Curry and Ginger Mandarin Cardamom.

Smoke continues curling into new categories

Once reserved for meat, fish and the rare fancy cocktail, smoking and fire roasting will spread into dairy, produce, snacks and desserts, Comax predicts.

Early adopters of this trend are Amira, which upgraded its basmati rice portfolio with a smoked variety​,  Miyoko’s Kitchen which offers an Aged English Smoked Farmhouse vegan cheese ​ and Chobani which added it to one of its Meze Dips​.

Comax can help manufactures navigate this trend with its Smoke Out portfolio, which includes Blackberry BBQ, Smoked Tomato and Torched Vanilla flavors.

Floral flavors spring up

Driven by the health and wellness trend, the fourth major flavor trend Comax predicts will develop in 2017 is the rise of floral flavors.

Beverages, such as hibiscus tea, is a first-mover category for this trend, but Comax says its versatile floral  collection can be used in dairy, baked goods, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages in addition to more routine tea applications.

The flavor house’s floral line up includes Blueberry Hibiscus, Orange Blossom Vanilla and Raspberry Lavender.

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