Sustainable packaging is a continuing subject of interest. The latest trend is the banning of plastic straws. In response, consumer goods manufacturers have gotten creative and are launching sustainable, edible flavored straws.
PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte) season is upon us and Starbucks announced the arrival of Pumpkin Spice Cookie Straws while Kellogg’s brought back its original Froot Loops Cereal Straws, which were discontinued in 2009. These edible straws were only available at the Kellogg’s NYC Café for the week of August 6, 2018.
For those looking for an alcoholic cocktail, Ruffino Wines and Sweet SabaCandy Couture released a limited-edition line of Prosecco-infused candy straws. These hand-painted paper straws are offered in three flavors with edible candy charms garnished with edible gold: Peach (peach emoji charm), Elderflower (flower charm) and “Bubbles and Celebration” (gold bars charm). Diageo recently launched a range of edible flavored straws to complement its premixed canned RTD cocktails in the UK. The Gordon’s Pink Gin and Schweppes Tonic and Pimm’s and Lemonade feature strawberry flavored straws while Gordon’s & Tonic comes with lemon and lime flavored straws. A chocolate straw accompanies Baileys Iced Latte. Pernod Ricard announced a collaboration with Loliware, the edible plastics company, which will produce the “straw of the future” made from hypercompostable and marinedegradable materials.
So go ahead, drink responsibly and get a hold of an edible straw! Cheers! Watch for additional edible straws and creative sustainable packaging.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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…
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.