Flavor Combinations for the Next Big Flavor Trends

One of the most difficult things that a flavorist can do is predict the next big flavor combinations. One of the most challenging aspects of this task is that upcoming trends can seem somewhat unusual. It is impossible to know which trends will take off and which will be the next big industry flavor.


In recent years, the biggest trends have surrounded bold new flavor combinations. Dark chocolate and hot pepper have made waves with its mixture of sweet and spicy, while caramel and sea salt have changed the way people think about what goes into their favorite sweet treats.


In 2018 and 2019, it is expected that the flavor combinations will continue. However, many of these mixes are moving out of the confectionery industry and into other areas of the markets. As is the case with chocolate and pepper or caramel and sea salt, these new flavor combinations are bold – and in many cases, completely unexpected.


Buyers continue to increase their search for healthier, clean label products and that means natural flavors are in high demand-especially those that are based on herbs and roots. In this case, the key is for flavorists to find ways to make foods taste and feel fresher. Choosing flavor ingredients that can recreate fresh fruit and vegetable flavors are a great way to take advantage of this growing trend.


Among the biggest and boldest of these fresh new flavor combinations are grapefruit and lime, which can create a flavor experience reminiscent of the Japanese citric yuzu. Japanese flavorings such as the earthy matcha tea, savory umami, spicy wasabi and fishy seaweed will take up more shelf space in the coming year. Flavor ingredients such as Advanced Biotech’s fishy Bis (Methylthio) Methane and earthy Organic Unroasted St John’s Bread Extract are therefore great flavor ingredients for experimentation throughout the coming months.


When it comes to sweeter flavors, the trend of pairing classic sweet treats with the resurgent smoked flavors, available through the use of Advanced Biotech’s Natural Guaiacol, is also expected. Flavor profiles like smokey caramel, smokey vanilla and smokey apple are some examples of what we will see in products as varied as savory foods, beverages, desserts and butters.


In fact, alcoholic flavors in general are expected to see a boost over the coming several months, and flavors ranging from wine to rum – and everything in between – can be found in different applications such as cookies and ice creams, giving them a touch of sophistication. In addition to enhancing the flavors of these food products, flavorists can also expect the recreation of classic cocktails in the form of edible treats to be a major trend. According to the Innova Database, “there has been a 101% increase in products featuring alcoholic drinks’ flavours (in the snacks, bakery, sports nutrition and dairy categories). Some examples of flavours that we will see more of in 2018/19 are Gin, Bourbon, Prosecco, Champagne and cocktail flavours such as Pina Colada, Margarita or Mojito.


Though it might seem like a random assortment of trends, there is one universal quality that binds them together. Consumers are increasingly looking for innovation in their food products, even when it comes to the classics.


Flavorists can take advantage of this customer desire for innovation to be more playful with their product lines, as well as with the flavor ingredients that they use in their creation. While the classics are classics for a reason, there is no reason not to experiment and try new things – so long as flavorists also keep in mind that customers are more likely to try these new treats when they are paired with flavors that they are familiar and comfortable with.