Firmenich proclaims fig “Flavour of the Year” for 2018

11 Dec 2017

Firmenich has declared fig as “Flavour of the Year” for 2018 based on what it says is the growing appeal for this healthy and fruity flavour worldwide.

Firmenich proclaims fig  “Flavour of the Year” for 2018

Firmenich has declared fig as “Flavour of the Year” for 2018 based on what it says is the growing appeal for this healthy and fruity flavour worldwide.

“A true feel-good flavour, fig is becoming increasingly popular with consumers, with fig flavoured products growing by more than 80% between 2012 and 2016,” said Chris Millington, President of Firmenich, Flavors. “With its numerous health benefits and sweet and satisfying flavor profile, fig offers endless opportunities to inspire our customers and delight their consumers across a wide range of food categories.”

Long touted for its culinary uses as well as its numerous health benefits – including its high fibre content and a variety of essential minerals such as magnesium, manganese, calcium and potassium – fig has surged in popularity in recent years. Firmenich says its trend insights show that fig resonates with consumers who perceive it to represent health and authenticity, two trends that topped Euromonitor’s outlook for 2017, and believes these trends will continue into 2018. In addition, Firmenich believes that, as consumers look to replace processed sugar with alternative sweeteners, fig has become a common go-to substitute.

Already used in jams and cereal, fig has increasingly been making its way into other categories including yogurt, tea, energy drinks, and even chewing gum. In savoury dishes, fig provides a robust sweetness that pairs wonderfully with the salt-forward flavour of cured meats – and menu items such as bacon wrapped-figs, and prosciutto and fig pizza have become ubiquitous.

The fig is a study in contradictions. It is naturally sweet, yet extremely complex. It is meaty and gritty, but can also melt in your mouth.

“Figs are lusciously sugary with a texture that combines the chewiness of their flesh, the smoothness of their skin, and the crunchiness of their seeds,” said Matthew Walter, Head of Culinary at Firmenich. “Raw figs are tart but make a tasty addition to spicy curries. One of my favourite dishes is anjeer murg (chicken and figs).”

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