Bell Flavors & Fragrances EMEA presents 2018 Flavour and Trend Forecast
Being one of the leading manufacturers for flavours and fragrances, Bell Flavors & Fragrances EMEA once again presents its flavour and trend forecast for the upcoming year, predicting top market categories, trends and taste directions that will shape the food and beverage industry in 2018. As a German based company with an extensive global network, Bell´s marketing and flavour specialists offer an insight into current and emerging flavour trends based on an in-depth market and trend research, underlining Bell’s vision of being the partner of choice for creating inspirational and winning product concepts.
Back to Nature: Botanical Extracts on the Rise
Consumers continue to push boundaries for clean label products, driven by the ongoing health and wellness megatrend and the search for authenticity in food and beverage products. Agneta Hoffmann, Marketing Specialist at Bell’s Flavor Division, explains: “Authentic eating has not only become a major food and drink trend – the growing focus on transparency and natural claims underlines the strong need for ingredients that continue to deliver higher value. Therefore, innovations with regard to clean, natural ingredients, such as botanical extracts, are a key focus for Bell Flavors & Fragrances EMEA.”
Botanical extracts can be derived from a huge number of plants or other botanical resources, such as fruits, leaves, herbs, seeds or flowers. They are used in widespread applications across the food and beverage industry, offering great taste as well as natural flavour, together with enhanced organoleptic characteristics and advantages in depiction and clean labelling. The use of botanical extracts in beverages, such as wellness drinks or flavoured water, yoghurt or other dairy products like fresh cheese, next to various savoury applications (e.g. ready meals, sauces and soups) will push boundaries in 2018, proving that healthy ingredients and innovative taste creations are not mutually exclusive.
Looking at herbs and spices, fragrant rosemary, fresh curly mint or black pepper extract will be one of the highlights of this trend, due to their ability to fascinate within both, the sweet and the savoury categories. Equally exiting will be the ongoing shift towards floral notes – whether it’s a rose blossom extract or lavender extract, the fragrant and intense character of floral extracts can contribute to a large extend in creating vibrant, sophisticated taste dimensions. The increasing desire for superfoods also plays an important role within botanical extracts. Ginseng root extract, as one of the staples from Asian culture and cuisine, is making its way into European markets – combining both, healthy attributes and a hint of the exotic.
Cold Brew Coffee 2.0
While cold brew coffee has seen a rapid increase within the last year, it’s expected to grow into a staple for many consumers in 2018 and is therefore a trend that is here to stay. Bell took a deeper look at the coffee hype and figured out two major trends for taking cold brew coffee to the next level.
The first trend indicates the use of cold brew coffee notes within dairy drinks, based on the fact that dairy is thriving with indulgence platforms. Increasing launches of dairy products with an indulgent or premium positioning are conquering the market. The “barista” way of life fits perfect into the premiumisation of dairy drinks and combines the cold brew hype with the progression of manifold daytime snacking options. Bell EMEA sees a strong trend in combining natural premium cold brew coffee notes with sweet maple or other types of brown notes. On the other hand, especially fragrant floral notes, as a key topic for 2018, pair wonderfully with the variety of aromas found in coffee. As for dairy drinks, these natural, authentic flavour varieties might also be a good choice for the growing market of non-dairy alternatives.
But there is more to cold brew coffee, than the classic applications. It can also be turned into an artisan, energizing softdrink. If mixed with soda water, cold brew coffee can work as a refreshing alternative to normal coffee. A slightly sparkling, iced Americano for the morning buzz, if you will. Picking up the trend towards sugar-reduced beverages, cold brew coffee notes offer an energizing alternative to sweet ice teas in hot summer days. They also combine the trend for artisan, craft-inspired beverages and set those products apart from the rest, delivering a real, extraordinary taste experience. While top flavours include classics such as peach and lemon, Bell puts its lights up on the combination of fragrant lavender or delicate sweet vanilla with the unique and mild taste of cold brew coffee, creating a sophisticated, less sweet and fresh combination.
The Appeal of Culinary Snacking
The snacks category is driven by a shifting demand towards new, healthy and natural ingredients (e.g. with salt- or sugar-reduced recipes), convenience formats or texture varieties and most of all new concepts. As snacking throughout the day remains very popular, there is an ever-increasing variety of snacking options available, driving the interest of consumers in even more novelties, especially when the food needs to be “instagrammable”.
As “taste is still king”, combining indulgence and premiumisation with natural and healthy ingredients is one of the key trends for Bell when it comes to salty snacks. The largest impact driving new product developments in 2018 will come from culinary innovations, with inspiration coming from gourmet cuisine, foodservice or current food and drink trends, such as the craft beer movement. Bell’s flavour trends therefore include varieties, such as the combination of truffle and cheese, smoked truffle, or smoked caramelised onion. Grilled meat notes will also continue to gain momentum, as well as innovations influenced by other categories, such as combining craft beer and smoky BBQ flavours.
Natural seasonings, focusing on the mentioned taste sensations will not only be a highlight within classic potato chips or nuts and seeds, they can also give a new impact to other growing types of savoury snacks, e.g. vegetable chips made of sweet potato or parsnip, or extruded snacks based on lentils or peas.