2016 Flavor, Food & Beverage Trends

Image courtesy of chawalitpix at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of chawalitpix at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It’s the end of the year and all of the marketers and trend forecasters have weighed in on their 2016 flavor, food & beverage trend predictions. Here is a comprehensive list I compiled of trend predictions for what food & beverages we’ll be eating in 2016…

Some of the trends are on-going and the evolution of an earlier food or beverage prediction. I’m most excited about African and Cuban cuisine and their culinary influences. I foresee unique flavor profiles in new consumer packaged foods & beverages inspired by these multicultural, ethnic cuisines.

The National Restaurant Association’s “What’s Hot 2016 Culinary Forecast

Baum & Whiteman’s 11 Hottest Food & Beverage Dining Trends In Restaurants & Hotels, 2016

Top Trends & Predictions For 2016 according to Andrew Freeman & Co.

2016 Cutting-Edge Culinary Trends from the Sterling-Rice Group (SRG)

The Top 14 Trends for 2016 from Starchefs International Chefs Congress

Whole Foods Market experts forecast top 10 food trends for 2016 

Innova Market Insights’ Top Food & Beverages Trends for 2016: “Clean Eating” Trend Inspires a Back to Basics Approach and trends 6-10

Technomic’s Take: 2016 Food Trends

Mintel Identifies Global Food And Drink Trends For 2016

Seaweed Is the New Kale: 11 Hot Food Trends for 2016 from CNBC

Wellness food and drink trends for 2016: It’s time to upgrade your green juice from WGSN

2016 Wellness Trends from Well + Good

Key Trends in Functional Foods & Beverages for 2016 from New Nutrition Business

Specialty Food Association’s Trend Forecast: 10 Specialty Food Predictions for 2016

The Top 8 healthy food trends for 2016 from the Fit Foodie

McCormick Flavor Forecast 2016

Comax Flavors reveals flavor trends for 2016

Bell Flavors and Fragrances: New Year, Next Flavors

Happy holidays and New Year!  Most of all happy eating and drinking!

Since When is Beer Healthy?

Cheer for Beer
Cheer for Beer – photo by Mor Naaman

I’ve heard that red wine and dark chocolate have health attributes because of the ingredient resveratrol found in both. Now it appears that beer is being touted as healthy, particularly for a post-workout recovery beverage. Some research studies suggest that beer can help the body rehydrate. For example, Lean Machine Ale from Canada is a low-alcohol, protein-packed “fitness” beer in four variants – Lager, Lemon Ale, Honey Ale, and Pepper Ale. Across the pond, Dune Surfer claims to be a post-exercise recovery beer made with antioxidants from Goji, Acai and Yuzu fruits.  

Although not a beer, Ficks All-Natural Cocktail Fortifiers are formulated with a proprietary blend of vitamins, electrolytes and antioxidants “designed to help promote liver health and reduce some of the negative effects of alcohol consumption such as preventing hangovers.” They are offered in Lemon, Lime, and Ginger flavors. And for those that aren’t interested in the health benefits of beer or alcohol, there’s always Chaser Strips. They are like Listerine strips that can be used after a shot to “alleviate the harsh after taste.”

Cheers to working out and drinking!

Ads Get Splashy

Fairlife Purely Nutritious Milk, Milk Life, and Schick Hydro Silk ads
Fairlife Purely Nutritious Milk, Milk Life, and Schick Hydro Silk 2014 print ads

Seems like print ads are getting splashy. The Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP) has replaced the National Milk Mustache Got Milk? ad campaign with the Milk Life campaign. The new ads focus on the “8 grams of high-quality protein found in each 8 ounce glass of milk” and use images of propelling milk splashes that fuel consumers through activities such as playing sports.  Similarly, Chicago-based Fairlife LLC introduced a sexy ad campaign of women dressed in milk splashes in pin-up poses to promote the company’s new Purely Nutritious Milk, which contains 50% more natural protein and calcium than ordinary milk. To connote hydration, Schick’s Hydro Silk Sensitive Care ads feature water splashes on the legs of active young women doing activities such as kickboxing and skateboarding.

Noticed other recent ads that are using splashes?  Please share.

Candy On Tap

beer-foam
Beer on tap trickling into candy flavors

Trend Alert – seems like beer is the newest flavor to trickle into candy. Jelly Belly debuted a non alcoholic Draft Beer Jelly Bean while ChocOBeer in Europe introduced a line of nine chocolates filled with different Belgium beers. They are cleverly packaged in small shaped beer bottles.

The beer and chocolate combination is not new and has been emerging as craft brewers experiment with a variety of ingredients. February is a popular month to launch these seasonal, limited edition chocolate flavors. This year Woodchuck Hard Cider launched the Cellar Series Chocolate and it is crafted with McIntosh and Northern Spy apples and crushed cocao beans. Foothills Brewing is offering it’s Sexual Chocolate Imperial Stout that is infused with cocao and is described as having a “big chocolate aroma with notes of espresso, blackstrap molasses, dark sweet toffee and dark fruit.”  For those who are not beer drinkers, there’s ChocolatRouge, which features three chocolate flavors blended with red wine – Milk Chocolate, Dark Red, and Sweet Red.

Watch as beer spills into other unexpected categories.

2014 Food & Beverage Predictions Continue…

2014 arrived…here are a few more food & beverage predictions for this year…

5 Booms to Shake the Beverage Room in 2014 by BeverageDaily.com

14 in 14: Our Food Predictions for the Coming Year by Epicurious Editors

14 Food Resolutions to Bring in the New Year by HuffPost

Food trends in 2014: from digital dining to healthy junk food by Amy Fleming from The Guardian

Fast casual execs predict 2014 menu trends

Restaurant Trend Mashup: What to expect in 2014 from Fast Casual

FoodNavigator predicts top five industry drivers in 2014

The chocolate prophecies: Industry fortune-telling for 2014 from Confectionery News

2013 StarChefs.com Trends Report (a look at 2013 culinary trends)

Happy eating!

More Food & Beverage Trends 2014…

2014 is around the corner and here are a few more food & beverage trend predictions of what we’ll be eating….

The 2014 Culinary TrendScape report identified by Campbell’s Culinary & Baking Institute

This year’s major menu trends for 2014 “What’s Hot” culinary forecast from the National Restaurant Association

Top 12 trends for food, nutrition and health from New Nutrition Business

Happy Eating and Happy Holidays!

What We’ll Be Eating in 2014…

(photo by Dinner Series)
A place setting (photo by Dinner Series)

Thanksgiving is around the corner with Christmas on its heels and soon it will be a new year.  Here is a list I compiled of some interesting predictions for what food & beverages we’ll be eating in 2014…

Innova reports Top food and beverage trends of 2014

The Flavor of ’14 from the Sterling-Rice Group (SRG)

Technomic’s Take: 10 Trends for 2014

Andrew Freeman & Co. predicts Hot restaurant menu trends for 2014

Top 12 hottest food and beverage trends for 2014 from Baum & Whiteman

London Bar + Drink Trends 2014 from Lost in Catering London

Chefs Convene to Discuss Food Trends from FSR magazine

DNA Response, Inc. Released The Top 8 Food Trends for 2014 From Celebrity Chef and eatcleaner.com Founder, Mareya Ibrahim, “The Fit Foodie” from PRWEB

Jim Meehan: five leading trends driving the New York bar scene from www.diffordsguide.com

Flash In A Bottle

Fragrance Flash
Fragrance Flash

In May 2013 I presented Olfactive Trends Quick Peek at Sniffapalooza’s Spring Fling and mentioned “Flash” as the newest naming convention in fine fragrance.  September is quickly approaching and you can now get your hands on many of the recent launches inspired by the word.

Olfactive Studio’s Flash Back scent is described as “a memory in motion and in action” while Cacharel’s Amor Amor In A Flash is “the feeling of love at first sight: magnetic, addictive, electric… a moment of never-ending intensity.” Jimmy Choo’s second scent Flash, is the newest player and is a “solar” floral that is “about the thrill of the red carpet, the fun of the nightclub, the glamour of dressing up.”

In flavors, the closest interpretation is Oddka Vodka’s Electricity flavor, which Pernod Ricard states is “a tongue-tickling blend that tastes of fire bolt.”  Inspired by the Flash scent, Belvedere Vodka and Jimmy Choo partnered to create a Kuala Lumpur cocktail-fragrance crawl with fun cocktail names such as “Parading on a catwalk” and “Jimmy’s shoe.” The most far fetched recent introduction is Cornetto’s fluorescent ice cream across the pond.

Keep your eyes peeled for more “flash” inspired consumer packaged goods launches. I wonder what will ignite the next catalyst for inspiration.  Any thoughts?

Sensory Gems in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

A Day in Williamsburg Scent by Takasago
A Day in Williamsburg Scent by Takasago (photo by Dan D’Errico)

As a board member of Women in Flavor & Fragrance Commerce (WFFC), I recently organized our sixth annual sensory trend excursion with my colleague Jeanine Pedersen of Takasago. We chose Williamsburg, Brooklyn. In my industry career, this by far was the most challenging tour to design. The biggest obstacle was finding local retailers to participate. For more details, read my recent Fuhgeddaboudit! post.

However, the five retailers that did participate are gems! Without a doubt, add them to your must do list when visiting Williamsburg.

Fabiane's Homemade Yucca Cake & Iced Tea (photo by Dan D'Errico)
Fabiane’s Homemade Yucca Cake & Iced Tea (photo by Dan D’Errico)

For our first stop, 29 attendees gathered outside Fabiane’s Cafe & Pastry. Fabiane greeted us as we delighted in an iced coffee or tea and homemade Yucca cake, a gluten free pastry made with Yucca, coconut milk, milk, sugar, eggs, and coconut flakes. Fabiane addressed each guest and discussed her Brazilian background with her French culinary training and gave a little background about her cafe. Additionally she surprised us with a bag of granola as a parting gift, which took her 10 years to perfect the recipe.

Juice Press Samples - Almond Butter Cup Smoothie, Watermelon Super Cleanser, and Mother Earth (photo by Dan D'Errico)
Juice Press Samples – Almond Butter Cup Smoothie, Watermelon Super Cleanser, and Mother Earth (photo by Dan D’Errico)

We mosied on over to Juice Press, a growing chain of cold-pressed juice bars; this location was brand spanking new, it opened in May. Liz shared the company’s history and explained the cold-pressed process. Then we sampled the Watermelon Super Cleanser, Mother Earth, Dr. Green, and Almond Butter Cup Smoothie, all which only contain “organic calories.” The Watermelon was the group’s darling and my personal favorite. It tasted just like you placed a straw in a fresh watermelon. The Almond Butter Cup Smoothie was tasty with a creamy, nutty banana flavor and hint of cinnamon, but some couldn’t get past the gritty texture. The two green drinks were more of an acquired taste, a bit bitter and astringent, but nonetheless fresh, flavorful and healthful.

Exploring Woodley & Bunny (photo by Dan D'Errico)
Exploring Woodley & Bunny (photo by Dan D’Errico)

Moving to the fragrance side, our third destination was Woodley & Bunny. If you like niche, hard to find beauty products, look no further. Devon, Zeek, and Summer graciously hosted us as we explored, smelled and tried a variety of fragrances, skin care, bath and body care, and hair care products as well as candles. An aside, I often read and write about indie brands, but because of limited distribution I don’t always get to experience them. I’ve never seen so many products that I’ve read about or written about in one place. It was like a curated, indie beauty emporium.

WFFCAllswell Menu
WFFC Allswell Menu (photo by Dan D’Errico)
Flatbread with kale fried egg
House-made Sourdough Flatbread with Ricotta, Kale & Fried Egg (photo by Dan D’Errico)

By now our group had worked up an appetite, so we headed to Allswell restaurant. Based on the farm to table concept, the menu changes daily and is dependent on what’s in season and locally available. If you’re looking for a quaint, comfortable and warm restaurant with fresh food you’ve come to the right place. We started with a Ginless Wonder mocktail crafted with fresh squeezed lime, honey syrup, ginger syrup, club soda, cucumber, fresh strawberries and Oro Blanco. I learned that Oro Blanco (white gold) is a type of grapefruit. Let’s see if this becomes a trend. For a starter, we feasted on homemade olive bread with house-made Ricotta cheese and a crisp, hearty beet salad. For lunch I had their signature crispy chicken sandwich. Others enjoyed their proprietary burger made with Vermont Quality Meat or their homemade sourdough flatbread with Ricotta, kale, and fried egg. As if we weren’t full enough, we concluded our meal with a strawberry rhubarb slab pie with fresh whipped cream. Delicious!

Mast Brothers Chocolate (photo by Dan D'Errico)
Mast Brothers Chocolate (photo by Dan D’Errico)

The perfect finish to our sensory excursion was a final stop at Mast Brothers Chocolate. The overwhelming, raw smell of chocolate wafts through your nostrils as you approach and enter the artisan shop. Meghan explained that the shop only uses two ingredients – cocoa and cane sugar; hence the wide array of dark chocolates. We sampled the limited edition Vanilla Smoke and Maple Cream bars as well as other flavors such as Olive & Sinclair Sea Salt, Stumptown Coffee and Chile Pepper. I’m a sweet, cheap chocolate fan (Oh Henry candy bars are my favorite) and my palette is not sophisticated enough to get past the bitterness of the dark chocolate to taste and appreciate the subtle sweetness nor the smoke of the vanilla and maple flavors. My personal favorite was the sea salt. That combination worked for me because the salt alleviated some of the bitter flavor. Regardless of my preferences, for chocolate fans, this shop is a no-brainer.

Our WFFC guests experienced a truly unique sensory trend excursion in North Williamsburg where their senses were engaged and tickled as they left full and satiated.

A very big thank you to all of the retailers who participated! I look forward to returning; I know I’ll be back and I’m pretty sure others will too.

Summer Bearing Fruit – Trend Alert

Fresh fruit is popular during the spring and summer months and is inspiring new fragrance and flavor introductions. Cherry and watermelon are the in vogue fruits of the season.

Cherries
Summer Cherries (photo by Paolo Neo)

In fine fragrance, as a spring limited edition, Escada launched Cherry in the Air and is described as “an initial burst of cherry and raspberry is tempered by hints of marshmallow, coconut orchid, and sandalwood — moving from fruity to sweet to warm.”  British perfume house Floris released Cherry Blossom made with bergamot, orange, pink pepper, cherry blossom, osmanthus, rose, peony, juicy cherry, sandalwood and musk.

The flavored vodka craze continues. Grey Goose introduced Cherry Noir, which is crafted with “100% natural essence of the finest ripe black cherries” and Absolut launched Craft Bitter Cherry, which is described as “a subtle hint of sweetness and bright, authentic cherry flavor [that] is countered by notes of bitter, dark chocolate.” It is one of three flavors, which are sold exclusively to bartenders in limited quantities. Cherry has even tapped beer. Old Dominion released Cherry Blossom Lager as its spring seasonal brew available in March and according to the company “is conditioned on a bed of 300 pounds of Michigan cherries for 48 hours.”

Summer Watermelon (photo by Renee Comet)
Summer Watermelon (photo by Renee Comet)

Watermelon is popping up in men’s fine fragrances. Lacoste’s latest addition Eau de Lacoste L.12.12 Noir highlights a “living watermelon” accord while Tommy Bahama for Him opens with “a revitalizing burst of juicy watermelon.” Limited edition Annayake Love for Him uses bergamot, grapefruit, bitter orange and watermelon top notes while Calvin Klein’s CK One Summer 2013 limited edition features citrus, waterfall, watermelon, cucumber, water lily, musk and moss accords.

Pucker Vodka unveiled Watermelon Wow as the newest flavor and “combines the luscious flavor of watermelon with the invigorating aroma of candied fruit and melon for a unique sensory experience” while Salty Watermelon joins the UV Vodka range. Watermelon is even trickling down into non-alcoholic beverages, specifically water.  Fruitwater offers Watermelon Punch and Fruit2O offers Natural Watermelon.

Watch as these juicy fruits continue to inspire new summer products and emerge in consumer packaged goods.