• Flavor Inspiration for 2017

    By Kara McDonald February 9, 2017

    feb9flavors.jpgPredictions for the top flavor trends in 2017 are flooding the internet. Reports from McCormick’s Flavor Forecast and Comax Flavors list which flavors they expect to become popular amongst consumers throughout the year. These help inform food and beverage manufacturers and foodservice professionals, encouraging appealing and innovative product options for the market. In reviewing the expected flavor trends, it’s easy to see how U.S. dairy ingredients can bring those flavors to life while still providing better-for-you products.

    Reports show that many consumers have not lost their drive to be adventurous. As they learn more about the world, travel and meet new people, they are exposed to unfamiliar diets that can widen their cultural curiosity. Yet, you can see within these same trends that this desire for adventure has not eliminated a longing for nostalgic meals and customized flavors fit for daily craves. We can explore this further with three main takeaways from these reports:

    • Adventure from the kitchen table: Consumers will continue to be adventurous eaters at all times of the day by seeking spices, seasonings and tastes based on other cultures. As Comax reported, globalization and multicultural populations have caused flavors that were once new to become familiar, further expanding the flavor varieties that manufacturers need to offer to stay current. Look for heat to take on multiple levels, like hot and spicy, sweet heat, hot and sour, and even a combination of all of these.
    • Making a quick, but impactful, appearance: Seasonal flavor offerings work because they have a sense of urgency. This year, seasonal foods and beverages will receive a customized makeover to further that “need to try” mentality. New and unique products that will only last for the season could include new spices and flavor combinations, like ‘smoked’ paired with seasonal classics such as pumpkin or peppermint.
    • Floral doesn’t just smell good: Driven by the health and wellness trend, floral flavors will make a stronger appearance in products this year. They have a clean, fresh and sweet reputation, making them a good option for healthy indulgence (try incorporating into late night snacks). Blueberry hibiscus, orange blossom vanilla and raspberry lavender are a few examples.

    Even though flavor preferences might alter with each new year, consumers continue to expect clean labels with simple ingredients that offer nutritional and functional benefits. U.S. dairy ingredients have many qualities that make them good contributors for flavor and nutrition enhancements. Ingredients derived from milk offer a mild dairy taste, while enhancing natural flavors found in products. This mild taste allows formulators to take advantage of the nutritional benefits of dairy while not altering intended flavors.

    New flavor combinations can increase the appeal of your product lines. When exploring these new trends, remember that U.S. dairy ingredients can provide the functional and nutritional foundation for products in a variety of flavors. See what other trends dairy can deliver by visiting the resources and insights page on ThinkUSAdairy.org..

    Dairy Ingredients Market Insights Consumer Insights Dairy Trends Nutrition Global Consumer Trends
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