Springtime brings about feelings of rejuvenation, excitement, and new energy. This Spring, major food trends will share similar aspects of refreshment. While health and wellness dominated the ingredient lists of many major culinary categories, consumers still have an indulgent sweet tooth. Decadence is still desirable, but through a higher quality, health-minded lens. Brands will showcase their sweets and beverages with refreshing innovation, in the form of flavors such as bright and fruity citrus, earthy and botanical notes, as well as savory influences.

RELATED: 7 Seasonal Food and Drink Trends Blooming This Spring

FRESH HERBS | Nothing says Springtime more than an abundance of fresh herbs. Whether they are grown in your own garden, purchased from the farmer’s market, or found in your local grocery store, herbs are great for enhancing food and beverage tastes and aromas. Particularly in cocktails, they add distinct layers of freshness – whether they are being muddled, infused into spirits and mixers, or used as a garnish. More exotic types of herbs that are reaching mainstream markets include shiso, which can be found on mixologists’ cocktail menus across the country. For a unique and vibrant twist on a beverage, try adding shiso or other unexpected herbs such as cilantro and sage. The complex flavors of these herbs make wonderful additions to fruity cocktails, mojitos, and spicy margaritas.

CBD GOING STRONG | Cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD, has caused quite a stir within an array of major markets -- from food, beverage, health and wellness, beauty, and more. This Spring, the abundance of available products featuring the plant will continue to rise, so prepare to pack your products with hemp-based and CBD-infused treats. Industry observers have noted the expectation of products like chocolates, gummies, and cookie dough as well as beverages such as beer and spring water to increasingly incorporate CBD and hemp oils into their products. Low-alcohol, CBD-infused beers such as Hop & Hemp Brew Company’s assortment of CBD and “hangover-free” craft beers plays also plays into 2020’s health and wellness-focused “zero-proof” trend.

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CITRUS SIZZLES | Citrus will dominate within beverage and sweet categories this season. From calamansi to grapefruit to yuzu, citrus fruits provide a burst of bright, refreshing flavor to any cuisine or drink. For example the yuzu fruit is fragrant and fresh, and will continue to hold a special place in the hearts of mixologists everywhere. More and more, the beloved Japanese fruit has become a citrus staple in the United States, seen across the country on culinary and cocktail menus.

Sweets and treats will also benefit from a kick of citrus. An example of innovative citrus flavor includes the west coast based, Voodoo Doughnut’s seasonal specials. The beloved doughnut chain is known for serving up inspired and uniquely flavored treats, such as their recent limited-edition “Pot of Gold” doughnut for St. Patrick’s Day, which is filled with a bright lemon jelly and topped with vanilla frosting, Tang, and sprinkles.

SWEET SPICES | Spices will also play a big role in Springtime flavors, such as anise, chai, and even allspice. Right there in the name, allspice is a great addition to nearly any food category. From desserts and confectionaries to spirits and liqueurs, the versatile flavor of allspice can really perk up a meal or beverage. Although it’s often viewed as a warming, autumnal spice, allspice works great as a Spring addition to cocktails, complementing the bright flavors of tiki and tropical drinks. The spice also brings an interesting savory flare to the traditional fruit-forward flavors found in Springtime.

SERVING UP SAFFRON | Another major spice making its way into mainstream markets is saffron. The expensive spice is known for the vibrant, red hue of its threads, which are plucked from the flower, Saffron Crocus. Not only is the culinary spice great in savory dishes like paella, saffron provides a zing of flavor to sweets, too. For example at the popular Superiority Burger in NYC, they’re serving up a Springtime Saffron Gelato. Additionally, at beloved iced cream shop, Oddfellows, the brand is known for pushing traditional ice cream boundaries by utilizing unique and savory flavors. One of their popular Springtime items includes the Saffron Passionfruit Sorbet. Saffron is rich in antioxidants, and recent studies have shown that its properties can provide a variety of health benefits, such as improved sleep, mood, memory and focus. Armed with this knowledge, brands should look out for a rise in saffron-spiced products.

This series is backed by our Seasonality Initiative where we help our customers develop pipelines of new concepts and flavor ideas for the seasons and major occasions like the Spring season.

When most folks think of seasonality it’s normally in preparation of Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall; but when consumers, more specifically foodies, think of seasonality it is usually in anticipation of pumpkin spice lattes or breast cancer pink cookies. At Symrise we are constantly looking for ways to innovate and that means going beyond the scope of normal. It also means not only looking for inspiration within, but outside of the box — our box being the food and beverage space.

If you have questions or would like to learn more about our initiative please contact us.


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