Assertions about flavor trends can sometimes seem heavy on intangibles and light on data. To fill this gap between theory and fact, FONA developed Flavor Radar®, a flavor mapping methodology that trends flavors from novel idea to everyday pantry staple.
FONA’s Flavor Radar uses a mix of current data points from industry-renowned databases and in-depth analysis on how a flavor trend is affecting the food industry.
Flavor Radar encompasses four categories: Novel, Up & Coming, Mainstream and Everyday. These categories are driven by FONA’s expert analysis of a comprehensive set of indicators including restaurant menus, new product introductions and print media data.
Count on in-depth and action-focused details on the tastes making big moves. Take a peek at the flavors we will be keeping a closer eye on in 2021. Let’s take a look.
Also known as barley leaves and barley greens, barley grass is the leaf of the barley plant. Although fresh barley grass can be tricky to find, it’s available in other forms, including powders, juices, tablets, and gummies. It is often combined with other ingredients in green blends, including kale, spirulina, and wheatgrass. Barley grass has a green or earthy taste and is similar to fresh spinach.
Flavor Pairings: Green Tea, Banana, Cabbage
The tiny white (sometimes yellow) flowers provide an aroma similar to that of an apricot and ripe peaches. Unlike many other flower petals that are bitter to the taste, osmanthus petals have a unique flavor which is only slightly bitter and very mildly sweet; making it ideal for cooking, making teas and wines. It is often used in savory dishes and sweet dim sum; adding sweetness with dimensions of freshness.
Flavor Pairings: Plum, Jasmine, Rose
The flowers of the coconut tree and are rich in vitamins and minerals. The blossoms regrow monthly and nectar and sugar are produced from the sap of the flower. It does not taste at all like you would expect (coconut) but has a fruity and caramellic flavor.
Flavor Pairings: Cranberry, Hazelnut, Chocolate
Chamoy is a Mexican fruit salsa usually made with apricot, mango or plum plus chiles, salt and citrus juice or vinegar. Chamoy is a wild combination of salty, spice, sour and sweet and used in a variety of savory and sweet dishes alike.
Flavor Pairings: Mango, Tamarind, Pineapple
The dandelion is one of the most common and recognizable varieties of edible weeds and is very versatile. The leaves have a slightly bitter and tangy flavor that can be used similarly to spinach. The flowers are also edible and can be used to infuse honey, make vinegars. syrups, ice cream and jellies.
Flavor Pairings: Burdock, Lemon, Cinnamon
Ube is a purple yam, not to be confused with purple potatoes. Popular in many Filipino desserts, ube (pronounced ooh-bay), has a slightly sweet, almost nutty taste that works perfectly in cakes, cupcakes, ice cream, and so much more. Ube halaya is a sweetened jam made from ube that can be eaten plain or as a spread.
Flavor Pairings: Banana, Coconut, Guava
The purple-black, tart fruit of the elder tree. Elderberries can be eaten raw but are better cooked for jams, pies, and homemade wine. Elderberry is known for boosting the immune system and widely used in vitamins and dietary supplements.
Flavor Pairings: Blueberry, Apple, Lemon
Tulsi also known as holy basil, and is considered an adaptogenic herb used to help adapt the body to stress and boost energy. It is also closely related to culinary basil and is native to India and Southeast Asia. Tulsi is known for its strong aroma and an astringent, sometimes bitter flavor. It can have floral and pepper notes as well.
Flavor Pairings: Ginger, Mint, Tumeric
There are more than 200 different varieties of chiles, over 100 of them originate from Mexico. They vary in length and size and their heat quotient varies from mildly warm to mouth-blistering hot—with the general rule, the larger the chile the milder it is. Chiles can be consumed fresh or dried and used in various dishes.
Flavor Pairings: Lime, Garlic, Cheese
Maple refers to the flavor of maple syrup, a reduction of sap taken from the maple tree. Maple sugar, which is about twice as sweet as white sugar, can be created when maple syrup is boiled until all of the water has evaporated. Since pure-grade maple syrup can be expensive, many maple flavored products blend corn syrup with maple syrup or add maple flavoring.
Flavor Pairings: Pecan, Brown Sugar, Bacon
What does true partnership look like? You deserve a flavor partner ready to turn these trends into the tangible. Let FONA’s market insight and research experts get to work for you. Translate these trends into bold new ideas for your brand. Increase market share and get to your “what’s next.” 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. Let’s 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 for you — every step of the way.
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