Hot Topics & Trends: 10 Things You Should Know

February 23, 2015
Beverage Consumer Flavor Ingredients Trends Vegetables

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1. Good-For-You Sips

Feeling the chill? Try a soothing, good-for-you cup of steeped citrus and spices — cinnamon, turmeric and ginger are all thought to have healthful properties (and taste good, too). | Martha Stewart

2. Vegetable of the Year

New year, new vegetable. It’s kale. It’s Brussel sprouts. It’s kalettes. According to Eating Well magazine, kalettes are the vegetable of the year! They were naturally cross-bred in England and made their way stateside last fall. Look for them in a produce section near you.

3. Health-Conscious Consumers

According to USA Today, the most health-centric consumers are Generation Z — consumers under age 20 — with 41% saying they would willingly pay a premium for “healthier” products. That compares with 32% of Millennials (ages 21 to 34) and about 21% of Baby Boomers (about 50 to mid-60s).

4. Rose

Rose flavored products grew 27% globally from 2013-2014. APAC is the top region with 53% of all new products. Top categories include hot beverages and sugar & gum confectionery. | Mintel 

5. Maple is Breaking Through Breakfast

With strong ties to regional cues and American heritage, maple is bringing its distinctive flavor and long finish to sweet and savory dishes. The breakfast boom also pushes maple into further discovery in flavor pairings. Look for it on the menu at Sable Kitchen & Bar featuring Pork Belly Flatbread with Maple Sugar. | Flavor & the Menu

6. Mushroom Cocktail

Make a mushroom cocktail. Yep, you read that right. Recently some unexpected vegetables — ramps, butternut squash and beets — have started showing up in creative cocktails. Now, mushrooms are getting in on the fun(gus) at high-profile spots like London’s Artesian and San Francisco’s Dirty Habit. | Saveur 

7. Gluten-Free For You and Me

The gluten-free claim saw a significant increase of 29% in global new products from 2013-2014. Europe is leading the way with 37% of all new products. Taking a look closer to home — the Pillsbury Bake-Off had its first gluten-free winner. Merry Graham from California won the first gluten-free award with her Herbs and Seeds Parmesan Cracker recipe. | Gluten Free Living

8. Smoked Yogurt

Smoked yogurt! Cool, creamy yogurt gets more interesting in the hands of Honolulu chef Ed Kenney, who smokes it over wood before mixing it with white miso. He explains, “the smoke creates an illusion of bacon, and salty miso adds savory roundness.” | Saveur

9. Popcorn Leads to Happiness

You’re not just imagining the happy feeling you get from munching on popcorn while watching a movie. Like yogurt, whole-grain carbohydrates contain serotonin-boosting tryptophan. Plus, crunching on popcorn can alleviate the stress of a bad day at the office! | Clean Eating

10. Sprouted Grains

Power to the sprouts. Advocates say sprouted grains deliver more vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein than their unsprouted counterparts. When grains are sprouted the bitterness goes away and the natural sweetness comes forth without sacrificing the nutritional perks.| Eating Well

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Let FONA’s market insight and research experts translate these trends into product category ideas for your brand. They can help you with concept and flavor pipeline development, ideation, consumer studies and white space analysis to pinpoint opportunities in the market. Our flavor and product development experts are also at your service to help meet the labeling and flavor profile needs for your products to capitalize on this consumer trend. We understand how to mesh the complexities of flavor with your brand development, technical requirements and regulatory needs to deliver a complete taste solution. From concept to manufacturing, we’re here every step of the way. Contact our Sales Service Department at 630.578.8600 to request a flavor sample or visit