The global flavour house has released its 2020 Flavour Trends collections, which focus on plant-based snacks, nostalgic sweets, Asian food and low or no alcohol beverages.
The power of plants
Plant-based is a major trend that’s set to continue, particularly filtering into the snacks arena as the number of eating occasions grow and ‘snackification’ becomes the norm.
Snacks with a health claim grew 17% between 2013 and 2017, according to Innova Market Insights, and snacks with a nutritious claim grew 22%. Launches with plant-based ingredients grew 44% during the period.
Furthermore, 80% of consumers are willing to pay more for snacks with health attributes, according to the Hartman Group’s The Future of Snacking Study.
“To address consumers’ insatiable quest for better-for-you plant-based foods, Comax created the Plant-Powered Snacks collection formulated for a variety of snacks,” said Catherine Armstrong, VP of corporate communications for Comax Flavors.
Flavours in the collection – which is vegan and kosher – include Maple Bacon Ranch, Honey Siracha and Lemon Truffle.
The popularity of raw cookie dough remains prevalent, particularly as new pasteurisation and heating treatments have made it safe to be consumed. It answers the need for nostalgia and continues to excite consumers of all ages.
The cookie category increased 2.6% to reach $8.8bn for the 52 weeks ending March 24, 2019, according to IRI data, while Technomic reported menu items featuring cookie dough grew 9% year-over-year in 2019.
With this in mind, Comax created the So Doughlicious assortment as a nod to childhood, with flavours like Birthday Cake Cookie Dough, Cold Brew Coffee Cookie Dough and S’mores Cookie Dough.
East meets West
Adventurous younger consumers are still highly experimenting with multicultural flavours that can be shared on social media – and there has been a growing affinity for Asian hints, driven by unique colours and textures.
Data from Foodable Research Labs notes that offerings with Asian flavours in fast-casual restaurants grew nearly 30% year-over-year, while orders of these items increased 12% year-over-year among millennials.
“Comax recognises the younger generations’ desire to experiment; explore global flavours; and broadcast their experiences on social media and, in response, created [a] collection inspired by trending food and beverages,” said Armstrong.
The Asian Influences collection was inspired by trending food and beverages, and includes Japanese Pancake, Ube Vanilla and Milk Tea.
While the low and no alcohol category is still very young and niche, there are definite signs that curious consumers are seeking out options that lean towards the sober variety.
Bottled low and no alcohol beverages are expected to grow by 32% between 2018 and 2020, according to IWSR, triple the category’s growth from the previous five years.
Research from Morning Jump shows nearly half of consumers across all age groups have purchased non-alcoholic alternatives, while 40% of the drinking-age population doesn’t drink.
“Individuals are cutting back on drinking for a variety of reasons and many are looking for low or no alcohol beverages with fewer calories, less sugar and better-for-you profiles,” said Catherine Armstrong, VP of corporate communications for Comax Flavors.
In response, Comax created the No Proof Needed collection, which includes Matcha Pineapple Punch-Less, No-Geroni and Mango-No-Tini.
All four flavour collections from Comax are suitable for a variety of applications, including bakery goods, confectionery, dairy, ice cream, beverages, and nutrition and performance products.
Pic credits: GettyImages/Malkovstock/Koosen