We’re in the heat of summer festival season which means food trucks are churning out their trendiest dishes and drinks. Music festivals across the country have become synonymous with highly anticipated food line-ups, featuring both local and national vendors.

From Coachella to Governors Ball, freedom of expression is encapsulated in festival menus, boasting buzzwords like vegetarian, vegan and gluten free to appeal to all parties. To fit an elevated and carefree vibe, festival-focused flavors hone in on fusion, freshness, and colorful fruits—specially crafted for the camera.

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As a part of our Seasonality Initiative, we’re looking at some of the hottest summer festival food and beverage trends you can expect to see this season. Let these examples inspire how your brands can recreate the taste of America’s most popular festivals in an accessible way for all to enjoy whether they have a ticket or not.

PIZZANISTA’s Mac and Cheese Pizza at Coachella

Indulgence takes new form with Pizzanista’s mac and cheese topped pizza. The Southern California pizza spot fuses these two classics into a unique, carbo-loaded delight. Slices are available in a 5 cheese blend (asiago, fontina, cheddar and grana Padano) and believe-or-not, a vegan option!

PAPERMILL’S Spurrito at Firefly

What do you get when you mix a spring roll with a burrito? A Spurrito! Paper Mill’s Asian menu is inspired by Australia’s beachy lifestyle, resulting in their spring roll-burrito fusion – an ideal festival treat. This Philadelphia-based food truck is fueled by the belief that a healthy lifestyle can be fun and delicious. Spurritos span from pork, vegan to green curry with an array of different fresh ingredients all rolled together in rice paper.

NEW TERRITORIES’ Hong Kong Ice Cream at The Meadows

On the sweet side, New Territories scoops out traditional Hong Kong ice cream in artisanal flavors like Tokyo Banana (banana crème with banana sponge cake) or Yin Yang (Hong Kong milk tea with coffee swirl). However, the big draw may just be the bubble waffle cones that make for a great Instagram picture. But if you get it Grandma’s Way – expect a crispy fluffy waffle with the flavor of your choice!

BIG MOZZ x DŌ’s Fried Cookie Dough at Bonnaroo

The frying expertise of Big Mozz paired with Cookie Dō NYC’s edible cookie dough may be the most epic music festival collaboration of our time. Featured at festivals like Bonnaroo this duo serves up fried cookie dough balls that make an indulgent snackable treat. These chewy and gooey delicacies are available in Rainbow Cake Batter, Chocolate Chip and Brownie Batter.

RELATED: 6 Food Trends Inspired by Summer Festivals

JOHN’S JUICE’s Dragon Fruit Juice at The Meadows

When it comes to summer festivals, hydration is key. John’s Juice quenches the thirst of festival goers with fresh, organic and completely natural fruit juices. Committed to their motto, ‘All Juice No Cups,’ the brand’s environmentally responsible mission to eliminate plastic straws and cups makes for an exciting consumer experience. Juices like dragon fruit, pineapple and watermelon are served in their natural fruit body.

MAINE ROOT at Austin City Limits

Maine Root’s sodas are handcrafted with conscience. The brand swaps out high-fructose corn syrup for 100% organic and Fair Trade sugar cane from Brazil. The brand’s claim to fame is an organic root beer that has since expanded into other bottled beverages like Sarsaparilla and Ginger-Lemongrass Lemonade.

When most people 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.

The biggest takeaway from our Seasonality Initiative is about novelty, flavor, functional benefit, association, excitement, and priming. It is also a reflection of our world — weather, time of year, ingredients, locales, cultures, etc. Seasonality can be a good product development tool with the right balance of market curation and experimentation. At the same time, it can be expensive and hard to pull off without a healthy balance of change and stability.

Within this initiative we’ve developed a framework to help our customers develop pipelines of new concepts and flavor ideas for the seasons and major holidays. If you have questions or would like to learn more about our initiative please contact us.

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