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Braver flavours: Trends to help you stand out from the crowd in 2023
Addressing supply issues, helping customers with rising costs and getting things done quickly are key challenges for the baking industry, but did you know that offering the right flavours can help you succeed?
I.T.S., whose mantra is ‘A Braver Flavour’, has outlined its six top flavour trends in bakery for 2023. Are you brave enough to see them through?
1. Flavours for life
This is all about your big sellers, your core flavours, the ones that really pay the bills. Vanilla, chocolate, strawberry – you know the drill. Okay, this one isn’t all that brave. But, even we know when to be sensible – sometimes.
Before you venture off all excited about a crazy new idea, make sure you have a strong core range that can really compete with flavour. Remember, taste is everything. If you want those big repeat sales and volumes, you’re going to need a core range that delivers.
Top flavour tip: Try exciting flavour twists and positioning claims with your core flavours to help them stand out from the crowd. Core flavours don’t have to be boring.
2. Classy cocktails
What better way to open up new markets and generate excitement in bakery than exploring the exciting world of cocktail flavours? The standout flavours we are seeing in cocktails at the moment are Espresso Martini, Negroni and Passionfruit Martini. Not only are these flavours being driven by the growing RTD alcohol market, but also the huge rise in low and no products that use cocktail flavours.
Bakery NPD has seen a huge rise in leaning into this exciting world of beverage flavours and translating them into new bakery applications.
3. Totally tropical
It’s time to get fruity. Some of the most interesting flavours coming through at the moment sit under the tasty category of tropical. This doesn’t just mean your standard fruit punch, or a little bit of pineapple – we’re talking tropical flavours that really stand out from the crowd.
We’ve been sourcing some of the most obscure (and tasty) tropical fruits the world has to offer to help develop impactful and head-turning tropical tastes. It’s also about what you can do with tropical flavours to help them stand out and give them that extra premium and indulgent twist.
Top flavour tip: Try discovering new tropical fruits such as Calamansi – a unique tart flavour that is a mixture of lemon and lime with a hint of orange, a real burst of flavour. Or go even braver and try pairing popular tropical flavours with herbs or aromatics, such as passionfruit with thyme.
4. Innovate indulgence
Nothing reduces stress levels and puts a smile on your face like a big slice of cake. Indulgence is very much in this year. There is always a time and a place to push the boat out and have something a little naughty. As basket spend is reduced and purchases become evermore scrutinised, consumers who do splash the cash are going to want a treat. And here’s the proof – according to a recent report by Mondelez, 74% of global consumers cannot imagine a world without chocolate.1 So go wild with indulgent flavours that will give consumers that warm fuzzy feeling. Chocolate, caramel, toffee, cream – have fun with this one.
Top flavour tip: Push the boundaries. Consider miso caramel, or something a bit safer that’s big right now – blonde chocolate, which is white chocolate cooked on a low temperature for a long time to caramelise the sugars.
5. Twisting traditions
The retro and nostalgia trend has been running strong for the last couple of years now. Brands are increasingly taking customers on a trip down memory lane to take them back to popular flavours of the past. It’s now time to take things a step further and give these much-loved traditional and retro flavours a modern twist.
This is such a great trend as you’ll be using a flavour people already know and love, whilst twisting it up with something new and exciting. The trend has been running wild on social media platforms, including a video for a retro 'school tray bake' on TikTok by chef Jon Watts which reached over 4m views.
Top flavour tip: This trend gets even more exciting when you twist a tradition from a different category. Take a traditional flavour from the bakery category and blend it with a beverage product. We saw some really interesting concepts at Christmas this year, with many Christmas bakery products including alcohol flavours, such as a negroni-flavoured stollen – the strong bitter orange cocktail was fittingly festive.
6. A braver flavour
2023 will no doubt continue to see a slowdown in spending, with consumers cutting back and changing what they eat and drink. The important thing to remember is that food and drink can still offer an affordable luxury. Unlike big ticket items such as holidays, cars and tech, these are quick impulse purchases that can help raise the mood.
If people are going to spend more on a luxury food or drink item, they want it to be money well spent on an exciting product. Ensure you are pushing boundaries and that your new product development is both brave and exciting.
Top flavour tip: If you’re worried about going ‘all out’ with a braver flavour, pair something a bit more ‘out there’ with something that people already know and love. The familiar flavour will gain their trust, and the braver flavour will tempt their adventurous nature.
Want to know more, or taste some of the braver flavour trends? Get in touch with I.T.S.
1. Third Annual State of Snacking Report, Mondelez (January 2022)