(Cover photo by abeautifulmess.com)
One of today’s most important global trends is naturalness. It’s no surprise that consumers are seeking out natural ingredients and the desire for sophisticated taste sensations. In the past, we have seen food and beverage companies becoming inspired from a broad range of new product developments in the cosmetic and fine fragrance industry and lately, we have seen floral and blossom flavors showing up in many different food and beverage categories including soft drinks, tea, confectionery, ice cream and more. When we look at food and beverage products on a global scale, this is not a new concept. However, floral and blossom flavored products are just recently gaining popularity in the US.
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Interestingly enough, the fresh floral trend was highlighted at the 2015 Summer Fancy Food Show, where we saw products like Masala Pop Saffron Rose Popcorn and Vosges Haut-Chocolat Blood Orange Hibiscus Caramel Marshmallows. To top it off, in 2015, the Specialty Food Assosiation, who hosts the Fancy Food Show, included florals in food as one of their 2016 Trend Forecasts. Turns out they weren’t wrong…as my colleagues and I walked the show this past year we saw new products like Cham Cold-Brew Tea with a blend of apple, hibiscus, rose hip, raspberry and honeybush, La-Di-Da Lavender Cheese and Bissinger’s Blackberry Hibiscus Gummy Pandas, just to name a few.
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Globally, the most commonly used floral flavors in food and beverage are jasmine, rose elderflower and hibiscus, although this varies between regions depending on culinary tradition, and the region where a particular species is native to. We also see that specific florals are being used more in certain applications. For example, lavender, rose and violet are the top floral flavors in chocolate confectionery. However, we are starting to see these flavors go beyond chocolate, including yogurt, baked goods, spreads and sugar confectionery.
According to Mintel, China accounted for 16% of all new food and drink products with floral flavors launched between 2011 and 2016. After China, we see Germany, France, India and finally the US, coming in at 5%. It is likely that we will continue to see flowers and blossoms being used in in new ways and soon enough, food and drinks flavored with floral and blossom notes will become familiar to consumers. Some of the new products using floral blossoms launched in the US in recent years include:
• Ciao Bella Pear Hibiscus Sorbet
• Valdenza Bis Frolla Flowers & Fruit Cake (includes black billberry jam, red mulberry jam and natural flavorings of violet flowers)
• Liberte French Lavender Organic Whole Milk Yogurt
• Coco Polo Milk Chocolate with Elderberry
Here at Symrise, we have a creative natural blossom flavor collection that covers the most popular florals: rose, hibiscus, jasmine, lotus, lavender, chrysanthemum and elderberry. The collection can easily be combined with other taste directions including vanilla, citrus and red fruits, or simply stand alone as natural floral blossoms. We have tested these flavors in a number of applications: ice cream, yogurt, confectionery, tea and soft drinks…the possibilities are endless. We are prepared to help you create new and inspiring products that exceed consumer expectations.