Snacking is such a varied category in and of itself,” said Julie Laughter, market manager at Fona International, Geneva, Ill. “You go from meat snacks to granola bites to plant-based jerky to puffed chickpeas. Pretty much snacking has been defined as whatever you view as a snack. And the flavor trends that go with that are just as varied.”
Ms. Laughter discussed emerging flavor trends during a presentation at the Sweets & Snacks Expo, held May 21-23 in Chicago. Broadly speaking, tropical fruit, regional barbecue, botanical and fermented flavors are capturing consumer interest and Instagram feeds.
Even the classics aren’t just the classics anymore. Because consumers, instead of plain vanilla; want Tahitian vanilla. And instead of chocolate, you’ll see Belgian chocolate, Dutch chocolate or hazelnut chocolate. Something a little different.
Fruit flavors continue to reign across multiple snacking categories, and tropical varietals add a premium twist.
What’s really cool about fruit is it’s almost like a never-ending roller coaster of innovation. That’s because there’s always a new fruit coming into the U.S. from around the world.
For instance, Yuzu, a Japanese citrus fruit, has seen significant growth on U.S. menus in the past year.
What was once exotic is now very much mainstream, and that time is shortening. It was only a few years ago that mango was pretty exotic, and now you can go through a drive-thru anywhere and get a mango drink.