Looking Ahead To Look Back

We’re a few days away from turning the page to 2011. As you practice writing the new date in your checkbooks, you might like to think of the new flavor trends predicted for the new year. At least, Comex, a leading flavor manufacturer, is thinking about the up-and-coming flavor favorites.

The Food Navigator online news story predicted 2011 flavor trends will be either comforting and familiar, or exotic and escapist. A third group will combine these two groups. These groups are based on the facts of the economic problems facing the US. It is thought that the current stresses evoke the need for nostalgic experiences, creating a sense of happiness while one is brought back to memories of happier times, and/or escape experiences in which the person is transported in his imagination to happier places far away.

Because of these two concepts, flavors are going to be produced and marketed that irresistibly invite consumers to try new things in foods that either remind them of past comforting memories or beckon them to escape to places that promise new experiences. Three flavor groups have emerged:
“Homespun”, such as pumpkin pie, French toast, gingerbread and toasted peanut;
“Soft exotic”, including coconut, orange caramel, finger lime, and chocolate persimmon flavors; and
the intriguing “Take me away” category, which includes Manila mango, vanilla pandan, Seville orange, and Chinese five spices. If flavors can help the eater escape, theses should do it!

For coffee lovers, we can look forward to new flavors in coffee drinks featuring flavors from travel brochures or past happy experiences. ROASTe already has coffees in many of these flavors, in case you’d like to get a jump on the new year’s coming attractions. The flavors that ROASTe doesn’t have are mostly available in Torani syrups. Chinese five spices is an exception, but that gives us all something to anticipate.

Oh, just in case you’re wondering, pandan is an exotic plant whose leaf extract is used as a dessert flavoring in Southeast Asian cuisine. Have a flavorful New Year!

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