November 13, 2008

Mintel Predicts Fresh Flavor and Scent Trends for 2009

The new products of tomorrow certainly won't be bland, mild or boring. Looking ahead to 2009, Mintel forecasts that manufacturers will reach for exotic fruits and fresh, soothing flavors with a touch of spice to jazz up their new products. Nature-inspired aromas will also be a real hit. From food and drink to household and personal care, Mintel's leading new product expert, Lynn Dornblaser, is excited about new tastes and smells she expects to see hitting global markets soon:

"Today's manufacturer is constantly looking for those tastes and aromas that stand out and capture shoppers' imagination. By adding exotic fruits and unusual ingredients to everyday products, companies give people the opportunity to experiment and move out of their comfort zones without breaking the bank."

Mintel has identified seven flavors and three scents that will come into the limelight this year. These flavors and scents will spread across the globe, moving beyond their core market or country of origin, to become the heavy hitters of 2009.

Mintel's Flavor Forecasts for 2009

1. Persimmon - Viewed as a unique and exotic fruit, persimmon is poised to make a major splash in food and beverage. Mintel expects companies to blend it with more common fruits, as seen in a new Japanese yogurt that contains white peaches, persimmon and apricots.

2. Starfruit - Another unusually shaped, distinctly flavored fruit--starfruit--is catching on around the globe. Already seen in Flor De Hibiscus's Chutney with Star Fruit (Brazil), the exotic fruit will become a major global player in 2009.

3. Lavender - Mintel expects lavender to move beyond the home and personal care categories and into food and beverage next year. Already seen in products such as Lindt Chocolat Provence's Lemon-Lavender Dream chocolate (Germany), lavender can be paired with more familiar ingredients to bring a naturally soothing, aromatic quality to food and drink.

4. Cactus - Cactus is already a popular food flavor in Latin America, seen in products like Nopalia Cactus Toasts (Mexico) which contain both cactus and corn. Next year, look for manufacturers to incorporate this regional taste into new food products around the world.

5. Chimichurri - Another classic from Latin America, chimichurri is a sauce for grilled meats, recognized for its clean, clear flavor. It has already begun to win fans in the US, seen in new products like Gaucho Ranch's Original Argentinean Chimichurri Steak Sauce. But soon, it should become more popular and familiar around the world.

6. Peri-Peri - Manufacturers are always seeking the next new source of heat when it comes to food flavors. Enter peri-peri, an African hot sauce already made popular by Nando's restaurants in the UK. 2009 will be peri-peri's year to set the world alight.

7. Masala - An extension of the curry trend from several years ago, next year's Indian-inspired flavor will be masala. Lay's has already launched India's Magic Masala Crisps, but Mintel expects the flavor to become popular globally next year.

Mintel's Scent Forecasts for 2009

1. Spicy + Woody - Echoing current trends in men's fragrances, Mintel expects spicy and woody scents to infiltrate the home in 2009. As most home fragrances are sweet, floral or citrus-based, manufacturers have an opportunity to launch stronger and spicier scents. These aromas also resonate with consumers' spicy food cravings and are in line with environmental trends.

2. Savory - Though "meaty" and "salty" aren't words that spring to mind when thinking of fragrance, Mintel sees these scents as an area of opportunity for 2009. Tied to festive meals and salty snacks, savory scents in the home conjure up instant connotations of happiness and fulfillment.

3. Food Flavors - Just as pomegranate moved quickly from a food and drink flavor to a non-food fragrance, Mintel expects that tomorrow's scents will closely follow new flavor trends. From spicy, hot tastes to fruity, exotic ingredients, 2009 could see many innovative new aromas for home and personal care products.

A new GNPD for 2009

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