From floral flavours to mushrooms, here are the summer trends we think you should look out for this year:
Floral Flavours Flourish
Florals such as lavender, rose, orange blossom and elderflower will be seen in savoury and sweet applications, from biscuits to beverages. Flavoured tonics for gins will have an emphasis of botanical notes. As well as pairing unfamiliar ingredients with more familiar ingredients which will appeal to a wide range of consumers, especially the millennial group who seek more unusual and exciting flavours.
Sugar Reduction Goes Further
With more than 1.9 billion adults – 39% of the global population – currently overweight and 13% obese, consumers will seek more bitter flavours in conjunction with the sugar reduction movement. Sparkling beverages will be the tipple of summer, with the definitive move to natural. Sugar reduction will no longer be a trend but the norm, with flavoured waters from cactus, birch and maple leading the way.
Sports Nutrition Goes Mainstream
Sports nutrition has moved from niche to mainstream. Shoppers seek high protein, high energy and extra-hydrating products whether we are an athlete or not. Sports bars and ready to drink formulas are the fastest growing areas in sport nutrition. Protein-hungry consumers seek convenient ways to fill their daily macro-nutrients. Yet they are moving away from chocolate to fruit flavours as these are perceived healthier, as well as non-animal derived proteins which appeal to the growing Vegan movement. Energising ingredients such as guarana, ginseng and green tea are becoming more popular as consumers move away from caffeine and look for alternative, natural substitutes.
World foods from Thailand, Mexico and the Middle East will be influencing our food scene, as people travel further afield, influencing our culinary scene. Tahini will be appearing in more than just houmous which will benefit those with nut allergies. Mango is already one of the most popular tropical fruits. Global product launches incorporating mango flavours have increased by 240% over the last 10 years, according to Innova Market Insights.
There is an increased focus on the ways that food waste can be limited. As a result, into 2018 expect to see an increase in the number of dishes which seek to make use of every part of the ingredients being used. We will be reinventing leftovers from broccoli-stem slaw to pickled watermelon rinds and even unusual cocktail ingredients.
From cold-brew to fungi-focused coffees, why have mushroom made their way into coffee you might ask? Chaga mushroom having seen 114% growth over three years and due to its alkaline properties, it is able to counteract the acid found in coffee. Maitake mushrooms have also seen 150% growth over three years which have been said to regulate blood sugar levels with those with Type 2 diabetes. There is still much scientific research to be done but more antioxidants, better brain health and a similar taste it would be rude not to follow this trend. We are likely to be seeing a lot more of these fungi, even in smoothies and teas.
Consumers want recognisable ingredients and they want to know where the ingredients come from. We will be seeing much more identifiable ingredients on the back of our products, as consumers become more knowledgeable about their health.