KANSAS CITY — Key lime flavor is a frontrunner in new offerings hitting the market and menus alike in 2021. Kerry, in its Global Tastes Charts for 2021, identified Key lime as one of the emerging flavor trends in the sweets segment.
But what’s the difference between a lime and a Key lime? Key limes are smaller and rounder than the traditional lime and are grown in subtropical North America. The Key lime has a bolder, slightly floral aroma and is known for its sharp and sour taste, according to FONA International.
The preference for Key lime over traditional lime flavor points to growing interest in regional flavors following the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
“International and regional cuisine has sparked consumer appetite for flavor exploration as many crave a sense of adventure in food and drink while stuck at home,” said Rebecca Shurhay, marketing analyst at Flavorchem Corp.
“Tracing flavors to a specific region creates a transportive experience that helps differentiate an otherwise standard flavor.” —Kristen Wemer, Flavorman
While consumers want to travel with their taste buds, they also crave familiar flavors after a year of uncertainty, according to Flavorman’s top 2021 flavor trends report. Staples like grapefruit, lemon and lime will continue to be popular, Flavorman said, but there is an opportunity to elevate these familiar profiles by grounding them in specific locations of interest.
“Tracing flavors to a specific region creates a transportive experience that helps differentiate an otherwise standard flavor,” said Kristen Wemer, director of beverage development for Flavorman. “As the market continues to saturate with the usual essentials, consumers can expect more diversity and premiumization through varietals of familiar flavors.”