Flavor Insight: Maple by the Numbers

May 4, 2018
Flavor Ingredients
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Maple refers to the flavor of maple syrup, originally called “sweetwater” by Native Americans. This syrup is a reduction of the sap extracted from the maple tree. Also sourced from this tree’s sap is maple sugar, which is sap that has even more water removed from it. Traditionally a fall favorite, maple usage is expanding and we're tracking yearround popularity. Maple is appearing in a host of products and recipes - from a more traditional maple pecan bar to a more savory creamy maple brie & cheddar apple soup. Let’s take a look at the various forms of maple on the menu, in social media, and in new products.

Print & Social Media Highlights

There are several mentions of maple in social and print media. Here are some of the highlights.

• While scrolling through Pinterest, maple pins appear in a wide variety of food and beverage recipes but especially baked goods. These pins include maple walnut coffee cake, Vermont maple meringues, maple mustard chicken & potatoes, maple pecan baked brie, maple bacon cinnamon rolls, maple-walnut cheesecake, and maple pecan roasted Brussels sprouts.

• A Twitter search shows tweets mentioning maple, include this one by @alpinesausage “we offer you bacon jam – a sweet and savory jam that combines tasty bacon, rich coffee and maple syrup” with included recipe. Also mentioned by @kyleecooks “sticky maple walnut blondies” also with attached recipe.

• The December 2017 issue of Rachel Ray Every Day features an article for Tipsy Tito’s Maple Syrup. Tito’s handmade vodka is combined with maple syrup for complement to pancakes, cupcakes, and even a splash to sweeten your coffee.

• On the Food Network, 2,271 recipes appear when you search for maple. Recipes include maple-candied bacon, maple oat nut scones, maple-whiskey turkey, bacon, egg and maple grilled cheese, maple baked beans, maple-roast parsnip, maple bourbon sweet potato pie and maple citrus salad.


Maple is positioned to usurp pumpkin spice as the next big seasonal flavor. According to data from Technomic, maple is up as a flavor while pumpkin spice is trending down in some categories. They attribute the interest in maple to the fact that it is perceived as a more “natural” flavor. Consumer perception data backs this up. When looking at purchase intent, a higher percentage of consumers perceive maple-flavored products as tasty, healthy and natural than pumpkin-flavored products.

Maple on the Menu

We're spotting 948 maple mentions on menus nationwide. Casual Dining is the top restaurant segment, with sandwich, entrée and appetizer as the top three menu sections with the most maple flavored items. Beverages account for 22% of all maple flavored menu items.

• Maple Chipotle Pulled Pork Sandwich is a 3-hour braised pork served on a Portuguese roll with maple chipotle BBQ sauce at Windjammer.

• Cedar Salmon with Maple Mustard Glaze includes sautéed spinach and is served with choice of soups or salads at Applebee’s.

• Maple-Bourbon Glazed Pork Porterhouse is served with cheddar bacon stuffed croquettes, crispy bacon Brussels sprouts and apple onion confit from Ram Restaurant & Brewery.

• Grilled Maple Chicken Salad comprised of organic mixed greens, Maytag blue cheese-pecan spring rolls, sliced apples & pears, candied pecans and maple vinaigrette at Kincaid’s.

Global New Product Introductions

1,692 maple-flavored new product introductions globally.

North America is the top global region for maple new product introductions with Europe coming in second.

Syrup is the top product sub-category globally for maple flavored new products.

Brown Sugar is the top flavor paired with maple.

Products of Note

• THE COLLECTIVE PEAR ‘N’ MAPLE GOURMET LIVE YOGURT: is a thick and creamy yogurt with a double layer of compote and a Williams pear and maple syrup conserve. Ireland

• WILD FRIENDS ORGANIC MAPLE SUNFLOWER BUTTER: is an all-natural sunflower butter which is made with only four non-GMO and USDA certified ingredients. Australia

• WAITROSE MAPLE & JERK SPICED GAMMON: this easy to cook gammon comes in a jerk marinated with sweet potato wedges, peppers and a maple glaze. UK

• ORION POCACHIP MAPLE FLAVORED POTATO CHIPS: are made with maple syrup from Canada to give a sweet flavor to the potato chip. South Korea

North America New Product Introductions

• 795 maple-flavored new product introductions in North America

• NORTH AMERICA accounts for 47% of all maple flavored new product introductions.

• SYRUP is the top product sub-category for maple flavored new products.

• BROWN SUGAR is the top flavor paired with maple.

Products of Note

• NEAL BROTHERS MAPLE BACON KETTLE CHIPS: said to be an extremely tasty, addictive combination of bold smoky bacon and the sweet taste of maple syrup. USA

• SPECIALLY SELECTED MAPLE GOURMET VINAGIRETTE: is an apple cider vinegar and maple syrup combined with a dash of sea salt and black pepper. USA

• PICCOLA CUCINA WALNUTTI MAPLE WALNUT ALMOND MACAROONS: these low-sodium macaroons are free from gluten, dairy, grains, soy, yeast, corn and added preservatives. Canada

• PRESIDENT’S CHOICE MAPLE & RYE SMOKED ATLANTIC SALMON: is a cold-smoked over natural hardwood and basted with Canadian maple syrup and rye whiskey. Canada

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Sources in full report