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 never been a fan of organ meat, bone marrow or oxtail soup, but it seems like ’tis the season for bone broth soup. Bone broth soups are known to be nutritious and aren’t new. For example, Hakata Tonton in NYC’s West Village, has been serving ‘collagen cuisine’ with dishes based on pig’s feet since 2010. However, thanks to the popularity of nose-to-tail cooking, bone broth soups are hot now.
Enter Brodo from NYC’s Hearth restaurant; it’s a take-out window focused on sippable bone broths. Bone Deep & Harmony is another new player, which is subscription based. Similar to other subscription services, customers can purchase monthly, seasonal, or annual subscriptions for their soup.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that ‘Locally sourced meats and seafood’ and ‘New cuts of meat’ are two of the ‘Top 20 Food Trends’ from the National Restaurant Association’s “What’s Hot in 2015” Culinary Forecast. Additionally, ‘Artisan butchery’ appeared as #23 on the ‘new top trends in 2015’ list. Get your spoons ready, I’m pretty sure we’ll be seeing more bone broth soups this winter.
Red Maca is a Peruvian root known for its health properties and it’s the “it” superfood emerging. Yellow/Cream Maca and Black Maca are also other varieties of the root. All are used in food and medicine and are said to help enhance strength, endurance, and fertility. According to WebMD, it has an odor similar to butterscotch. Until recently it was most commonly used in health supplements, but now maca is popping up in natural and raw foods.
Navitas Naturals offers Maca Maple Cashews, which are made with maca powder, raw cashews and maple syrup while Maca Chocolate by Vega combines “4,000 mg of organic gelatinized maca with 70% cocoa dark chocolate.” Cinnamon Red Maca Almond Butter by Jem Sprouted Nut Spreads is a unique application; it’s artisanal nut butter.
Better get your hands on some maca soon because there’s a global shortage due to Chinese buyers.
Bookworm: Seems like literature goes hand in hand with food. In Amsterdam, there’s The Bookish Banquet, a culinary event for bookworms that serves five course meals inspired by themes in literature with narration between courses. Dinah Fried, a graphic artist, published the Fictitious Dishes: An Album of Literature’s Most Memorable Meals, in which Fried cooked all the meals, staged all the shots and took “literary food” photographs.
Touch to Smell: In Australia, celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal launched a new range of food products named Heston for Coles, which highlights indigenous ingredients. For the launch, the company introduced a national, scented print advertising campaign for the Lemon Myrtle Hot Cross Buns. AROMAFORK™ is a new patented cutlery designed to create a novel and intense olfactive experience. In fashion, Naked & Famous Denim’s newest release is its mint scratch-n-sniff jeans, which is said to last for up to five washes. In beauty, Revlon introduced Parfumerie™ Scented Nail Enamel in 24 scented colors, while Bitty Bettys is a collectible fragrance line with ‘Touch to Sniff’ cartons. CVS even offers a scratch n sniff chocolate scented gift card.
Tech Smells: There has been a lot of activity in scents and cell phones as well as other technological categories. Dr. David Edwards engineered the oPhone, a new device that will send scents like text messages. Oscar Mayer created a Wake Up and Smell the Bacon app and device, which was an alarm clock with a sizzling bacon sound and scent. Scentee from Japan is a round device, which plugs into an earphone jack and releases different fragrances with each incoming notification. Crowdfunded on Indiegogo, the Atomyzer iPhone case holds “60 sprays” of fragrance or hand sanitizer in a refillable cartridge. Sensabubble is a new programmed system, which will enable users to feel colors, icons, texts, and mentions from twitter in a bubble filled with a “scented fog.” Scent Rhythm is a chemical-based watch that emits fragrance in minute doses that are in tune with your circadian cycle. Mercedes-Benz 2014 S-Class sedans offer a built-in fragrance atomizer in four custom colognes – Freeside Mood (light citrus),Nightlife Mood (spice, oud), Downtown Mood (floral, musk), and Sports Mood (green, citrus). Although not scented, an interesting limited edition product is Nescafé’s Alarm Cap, which features a built-in alarm clock that wakes consumers with seven different sounds synchronized to lights. To turn the alarm off, one must open the lid.
Vending is Trending: Vending machines are not new. In fact, the first US vending machine was built in 1888. However, technology has advanced and now there are a slew of new vending machines with a focus on food. The much anticipated Sprinkles Cupcake ATM, which launched in Chicago in 2012, is now in NYC on the Upper East Side. Located in CA, Burritobox is a new vending machine that delivers five different types of burritos on demand while Let’s Pizza kneads dough, mixes fresh ingredients and adds select toppings in three minutes. For a piece of luxury, Los Angeles Beverly Hills Caviar has three vending machines that offer high-end food such as caviar, escargots and truffles. For the health conscious, Chicago-based Farmer’s Fridge is self described as a “veggie machine” that prepares daily salads made from local farm produce. Any leftovers from the previous day are donated to a foodbank.
Food is Fashionable: Fashion and food are being paired and the newest trend is the opening of restaurants inside department stores as a part of the shopping experience. Guerlain Le 68 restaurant inside the Champs-Elysées flagship store highlights Michelin-star French chef Guy Martin who uses Guerlain perfumes as an inspiration for the menu. For example he offers dishes like foie gras with Madagascar vanilla in puff pastry, or pearly cod in “little black dress” licorice, and macarons from the garden of Shalimar. Both Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue have recently launched restaurants inside their stores – Stella 34 Trattoria in Macy’s NYC and Sophie’s in Chicago’s Michigan Avenue Saks. This summer, Brooks Brothers will launch Makers and Merchants, a steakhouse. A new one to watch is Bouley Botanical from Chef David Bouley. It’s an “indoor farm” and restaurant that has 24 growing boxes, which use organic soil and feature 70 plants and herbs. The space hosts yoga classes and wellness events.
Let Trendincite custom-design or curate a sensational trend excursion to engage your five senses and stimulate new product ideas. So what are you waiting for?
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You’ve got to love NYC because it’s truly a melting pot. According to the latest 2012 Census figures, the Hispanic population in the US grew to 53 million and is expected to more than double to 128.8 million by 2060.
With this is mind, if you’d like to visit Mexico, Spain, Brazil, or Chile and you don’t have a passport or a plane ticket, you can visit 5 specialty shops* without leaving NYC.
Las Palomas Mexican Grocery Store & Deli is a tiny grocery that features a variety of Mexican goods such as espazote, dried chilies, spices and fresh-made tamales on weekends.
219 West 100th Street (Amsterdam & Broadway)
New York, NY 10025
Zaragoza Mexican Deli & Grocery is a bodega stocked with authentic Mexican ingredients and a Mexican restaurant, which serves tacos along side a wide selection of imported beer.
215 Avenue A (13th & 14th Street)
New York, NY 10009
Despaña SoHo is part market and part tapas café with an endless array of Spanish specialty items including Iberico and Serrano ham and 50+ specialty cheeses.
408 Broome Street (Centre & Lafayette)
New York, NY 10013
Buzios Boutique sells an eclectic range of Brazilian products from groceries and drinks to souvenirs and beauty products.
20 West 46th Street (Fifth & Sixth Avenue) New York, NY 10036
Puro Chile features a variety of Chilean products including handicrafts, jewelry and gourmet products with a sister wine store next door.
221 Centre Street (near Grand)
New York, NY 10013
So what are you waiting for? Go on, take a trip to Latin America by way of NYC. Know of any other Hispanic specialty shops? Please share.
*Trendincite LLC has no affiliation with any of these shops.
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.
When I was planning my family weekend trip to Baltimore from New York City to attend the Digital Family Summit (an interactive conference for young digital media creators and their parents) in early October, I was asked if I’d like to test drive a Chevrolet Equinox. I’m a big fan of experiences and trying something new. I would not describe myself as a car person, but thought, sure why not?
My business’ tagline is “Inspiration For Creation” and the core values are to capture inspiration from unexpected places and enjoy the creative process. To facilitate creativity, I often tell my clients that you need to be in tune with your senses at all times. My most acute sense is smell, which is fueled by my work in the fragrance and flavor industry for the last 20 years. Fragrance is such an integral part of my daily experiences, but I think for many its overlooked or an afterthought. Everything I do is a sensory journey, whether it’s a trip to the grocery store or weekend getaway. I approached my Baltimore visit as a fragrant sensory experience, while I assume many of techies and professional bloggers who attended the conference had an analytical and logical perspective.
I was excited and curious to explore the Chevrolet Equinox car that was dropped off on Friday morning before we headed to Baltimore. The first thing I did was open the car door and was delighted to get a whiff of the “new car” smell, which had a masculine, leather like scent. I expected it and would have been disappointed had the smell not been there. For those marketers and brands out there, don’t underestimate the power of scent. After I futzed with the navigation system and pressed some buttons, I was done exploring. The car would meet my immediate needs for the weekend.
In our typical fashion we hit the road an hour and a half later than planned and spent five hours in traffic driving to Baltimore. The weather was chilly, foggy, humid and misty that evening – it rained on and off. While driving with the windows rolled down after it had rained, the air smelled a bit dirty, it was wet with damp, earthy nuances. My daughter liked the scent and thought it was reminiscent of East Hampton after it rains, where we spend our summers.
Being a native New Yorker, without fail whenever I drive on the New Jersey turnpike by exit 13, this industrial, putrid metallic smell of factory waste permeates the car. Visually the landscape of the factories spewing dark clouds of waste looks like a page right out of Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax book best described by my late father as “robot vomit.” The rest of the ride was scentless except for a quick stop for gas (I happen to like the smell of gasoline).
We finally arrived at the Hilton Baltimore at 10:30pm. My kids were particularly fascinated with the large and wide revolving door, which they circled multiple times. Besides, observing a few guests clumsily bump into the glass revolving door because it was awkwardly designed and not intuitive, I was intrigued by the scent of the lobby. At first, it smelled citrusy and reminded me of bug spray, which lead me to think it was a hotel guest wearing Jessica McClintock perfume. However, it was an ambient scent that lingered. There’s a trend for public spaces such as hotels, casinos and retailers to scent the air to create positive experiences for their guests. In hindsight, I realized that the Hilton is known for its “olfactive branding” program and I’m guessing the fragrance I smelled, which was fresh, citrus and green tea-like was the “Eau de Hilton.”
Knowing we had a busy day ahead we went to bed. Although exhausted on Saturday morning, I felt compelled to wake up motivated by the loud and cheerful applause I heard outside. Blurry eyed and a bit confused, I looked down from 16 floors. To my delight I saw a sea of brightly colored fluorescent shirts, which belonged to the marathon runners gearing up for the Baltimore marathon. Go runners! I wondered if the air smelled like sweat yet and giggled to myself remembering the scene in The Lonely Guy movie when Steve Martin jogs into a dinner party wearing fake spray-on sweat to pretend he had just worked out.
Slowly making my way to the bathroom, my senses were enlivened by the diffusive scent of Peter Thomas Roth’s Mega-Rich Shampoo (exclusive to Hilton Hotels) that my daughter was lathering in her hair. The aroma was also fresh, citrusy and green. Keeping up with the citrus theme, I showered and then spritzed myself with my new favorite fragrance Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine, which is a bright and juicy scent. It smells just like a fresh-squeezed orange – pithy and rindy.
We made our way to the 2nd floor to attend the Digital Family Summit. I joined my eight year old daughter for a Food Blogging, Styling & Photography workshop with Laura (Lolli) Franklin of Better in Bulk and Robin Zachary of Prop Closet. This class was as aesthetically appealing as it was sensorially stimulating.
Fresh-baked unfrosted chocolate and vanilla cupcakes were the foundation for our hands-on session. I expected the room to smell like the cupcakes had just come out of the oven, like the vanilla-like baking scent that is pumped into NYC’s Crumbs bakeries, but because we were in a hotel conference room and not a kitchen, they had been prepared earlier and the room was missing the aroma. However, the brown and yellow cupcakes were neatly placed on a tray in rows by flavor waiting to be iced, decorated, photographed and eaten. Single colored sprinkles of red, pink, orange, green, blue, yellow and white were individually cupped and lined up monochromatically next to the unfrosted cupcakes. After a brief lesson about the do’s and don’ts of food blogging, styling and photography we broke up into small groups. Using a simple recipe, each group got to craft their own colored frosting using food dye. My daughter’s group created a muted lavender colored icing while other groups created slate blue, Kelly green, turquoise and hot pink colors. The smell of the freshly whipped icing was palpable. It tasted even sweeter than it smelled – sugary sweet, cavity inducing sweet. The kids unleashed their inner designers and decorated their cupcakes with sprinkles, flags, confetti, and polka dotted candles. Using props such as solid-colored napkins, cupcake stands, baking utensils and backdrops cleverly made of patterned wrapping paper glued to foam core boards, they styled their cupcake creations for a fabulous, fashionable and flavorful photo shoot. Practically salivating, the kids could finally reap the rewards of their hard work and taste the long anticipated, tantalizing and tempting results of their masterpieces. Proud, ecstatic and sugar-buzzed, the creative kids and parents left the session on a super, satisfying sugar high.
On Sunday we had a little downtime and opted for a little R&R by visiting the hotel pool. The minute I stepped off of the elevator my nostrils tingled from the pool smell. As I approached the entrance to the pool area, the smell intensified and my nose was assaulted by the overpowering Chlorine odor. I wonder if a fragrance house can create an odor neutralizer to combat Chlorine or fragrance it to create a better scent. My acute reaction to the scent didn’t stop me or my family from enjoying splashing and playing in the pool.
I typically like to visit off the beaten path restaurants and sites when traveling in another city. But when attending a conference, it doesn’t matter where you visit; you rarely get to experience anything but the inside of the hotel. I knew that my family would spend most of our time at the Hilton Baltimore. However, before we left I wanted at least one meal that was representative of Baltimore. Baltimore is known for crabs, which I enjoy eating, but rarely order because they require too much work and the payoff isn’t worth it. Mo’s Crab & Pasta Factory in Little Italy was close by and recommended. As a grand finale to our trip ten of us went there for dinner. We feasted on Crab Cakes, Crab Imperial and Crab Dip in addition to other local dishes. The two things that struck me when we entered the restaurant were the old fashioned cigarette machine with the pull handles and the alluring and distinct aroma of fresh crabs seasoned with Old Bay Seasoning. Since savory scents are kitsch and on trend such as Pizza Hut’s “Eau de Pizza,” White Castle’s Original Slider scented candle and most recently Yankee Candle’s Turkey and Stuffing candle, Old Bay Seasoning should consider creating a signature scent.
We had a great, educational and interactive experience in Baltimore during the Digital Family Summit. Luckily our drive home was smooth and only took three hours with no rain and no traffic. Our visit to Baltimore was brief, but intense. I definitely would like to go back to explore the local flavor and discover unique restaurants and shops adding new scented, colorful and flavorful memories to my sensory journey.