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12 Food, Beverage Flavor Trends For 2014

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill.—Sensient Flavors identified 12 up-and-coming flavor trends, using both structured research and grassroots market excursions to track, identify and predict consumer mega- and micro-trends for 2014.

Encompassing flavors inspired from mega-trends including "health and wellness," "sensory" and "personalization," Sensient’s trend predictions include:

1.  Balsamic Fig—A blend of full-flavored figs and aged dark balsamic vinegar; neither too sweet nor too tart, it is a mellow combination that elevates the sensory experience when added to a variety of other flavors in myriad formats.

2.  Burnt Calamansi—A hybrid of a kumquat and mandarin orange, Burnt Calamansi is the next generation of citrus flavors; a unique citrus profile similar to a sour orange or a slightly sweeter lime with caramelized notes, with a fragrance to match. (micro-tend: sophistication)

3.  Fernet—An aromatic spirit or bitter containing myrrh, chamomile, cardamom, aloe and saffron. A digestif popular in Italy, Fernet is flavored with lengthy lists of spices, roots and herbs. (micro-tend: regional)

4.  Ginger Plum—A juicy, sweet and tart plum with a touch of spice from ginger that delivers multiple sensory experiences.

5.  Gochujang—Described as “the new Sriracha™ sauce," Gochujang is a savory and pungent fermented Korean condiment made from red chili, rice, fermented soybeans and salt.

6.  Green Coconut—Green (young) coconut gained its initial recognition in the United States from the increase in popularity of coconut water, which stemmed from the claim of its superiority over traditional sports drinks. (micro-tend: lifestyle management)

7.  Guasacaca—A Venezuelan avocado sauce, many have likened it to guacamole, but with a difference in flavor profile due to the addition of fresh parsley notes. (micro-tend: regional)

8.  Juniper Berries—Consumers long for the decadence of an expertly mixed cocktail in its proper type of glass. Gin, primarily flavored with Juniper berries, invokes a feeling of that elegant past era. (micro-tend: nostalgic)

9.  Rhubarb—With antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, rhubarb helps boost the immune system and fight off disease. (micro-tend: lifestyle management)

10.  Ras el Hanout—Its name in Arabic means “top of the shop," or the best spices the merchant had to offer. Typically including cardamom, clove, cinnamon, chili peppers, coriander, cumin, peppercorn, paprika, fenugreek and turmeric, Ros el Hanout brings the flavors and culture of Morocco to consumers’ doorsteps. (micro-tend: regional)

11.  Tayberry—A cross between a blackberry and a red raspberry, tayberries are rich in vitamins and antioxidants and are a welcome addition for the health-conscious consumer. (micro-tend: lifestyle management)

12.  Willamette Hop—Used primarily as a flavoring and stability agent, hops impart a bitter, tangy flavor in beer, and increasingly, in confections and other unexpected food products.

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