Health and wellness angles
Other flavor trends may take a health and wellness approach. McCormick & Co., Inc., Hunt Valley, Md., included “Drink to Your Wellness” in its McCormick Flavor Forecast 2018. A “Morning Jumpstart” drink features green apples, cucumbers, clementines and a kick of cayenne. A drinkable soup contains oyster mushrooms, avocado, thyme and sage, and it may assist people in staying energized in the afternoon. To rebalance after a busy day, consumers may drink a mocktail with pineapple, ginger, turmeric and dandelion greens.
Sensient Flavors now offers a deep-fried flavor that comes without the frying.
“Our deep-fried flavor is versatile in its application reach as the flavor adds a bready, fatty and crisp profile of products mimicking the flavors associated with eating a lightly fried food,” said Joshua Jackson, beverage applications technologist at Sensient Flavors and based in Hoffman Estates, Ill. “An example of its usage is, we blended our spice flavor and the deep-fried flavor to create a churro flavor, which resulted in mimicking the perfect flavor profile of a churro. This was used in a cake product, creating a true-to-taste churro cake, with no actual frying involved.”
The deep-fried flavor has been used in such products as beverages, dairy items and sweet products.
“Some examples include yogurt, granola bars, cakes, coffee and tea,” he said. “While beverages might not seem like the typical application for this type of flavor, it adds a fatty richness to coffees and teas, enhancing fun and the overall profile of the beverage.”
The deep-fried flavor fits into what Sensient Flavors calls a “healthy indulgence” approach.
“Items with a healthy indulgence angle appeal to consumers who are overly stressed, which certainly isn’t relegated to any specific age or socioeconomic profile,” said Lauren Williams, global director of marketing at Sensient Flavors and based in Hoffman Estates. “This could look like a parent who has been running errands all day and wants to treat him- or herself to an alcoholic beverage or maybe a sugary or fatty treat.”
Nuts have become known for health benefits. Walnuts, for example, contain alpha-linolenic acid (A.L.A.), an omega-3 fatty acid. The California Walnut Commission, Folsom, Calif., found 72% of people in a “California Walnuts Attitudes & Usage Survey” said they were likely to purchase a food product if it were labeled “heart healthy.” Another 65% of the respondents in the study, which was released in April, said they would purchase a food product if it said “contains healthy walnuts,” and 63% said they would purchase it if it said “contains walnuts.”
A Davis Sensory Institute study released in 2017 had consumers evaluate walnuts prepared in 15 sweet, spicy and savory applications. Flavors that paired well with walnuts included dark chocolate, vanilla, sesame cayenne, sea salt caramel, coffee, candied orange and cinnamon chai spice. Overall food and drink launches with walnut ingredients increased 101% between 2012 and 2016, according to Mintel.