ITS defines eight trends for the coming year

23 Mar 2017

Research from ITS (International Taste Solutions) aimed at defining the main flavour trends that will lead the market in the near future has revealed what it believes are the main trends that will emerge during 2017/18.

ITS defines eight trends for the coming year

ITS (International Taste Solutions) says its team of experts has developed on-going, intensive research aimed at defining the main flavour trends that will lead the market in the near future, and has announced what it believes are the main trends that will emerge during 2017/18:

The definitive move to natural

Green smoothies, bread made with ancient grains, cereal bars with seeds, clean label snacks, plant milks… The food market has been moving to natural for the last two years and in 2017/18 it is expected to become very firmly established. Consumers will expect to find fewer but recognisable ingredients in each product, non GMO, and as natural as they can be.

Sports Nutrition goes mainstream

More and more consumers are now looking for products high in protein or delivering energy, hydration, recovery and caffeine. Sports nutrition products previously targeted elite athletes and body builders but now they have expanded into the mass markets. The product range is extensive but the two favourites are protein bars and protein shakes, with chocolate being the best-selling flavour, followed by vanilla and strawberry. Nevertheless, research shows that new consumers are beginning to demand innovative flavour profiles.

All day snacking

Snackification was a strong trend in 2016, but not a temporary one; it is here to stay. Fast paced people, the lack of time and “eating anytime, everywhere” are a reality which have helped the consumption of snacks to increase. If we add this trend to the evident move to more natural products, it results in a huge increase in the launch and consumption of healthy snacks. Clean label snacks containing fruits and vegetables or protein are definitely on trend!

Fruit & veg everywhere

Consumers are looking for innovative ways to increase the daily intake amount of fruits and vegetables. This has led to many brands reinventing products, so we will soon get used to seeing fruit and vegetables in milkshakes, baked products, cereal bars, and snacks. Following this trend, ITS offers an exclusive way to enhance flavour and texture in snacks and bakes while adding fruit which consists of natural flavoured oats and dried fruits such as orange infused cranberries or cola infused sultanas, which are attracting much interest from its customers.

Sugar reduction goes further

As the debate continues on the actions needed to reduce sugar consumption, pressure is mounting for manufacturers to produce healthier options for consumers across every sector. Flavour and taste specialist ITS has developed SweetLITE™, an innovative solution proven to achieve 20%-40% sugar reduction in flapjacks, granolas, clusters, cookies and cereal with no detrimental effect on flavour or function.

Floral flavours flourish

Following the food industry’s move towards natural, floral flavours are expected to flourish in 2017/18. Lavender, orange blossom, elderflower, and violet are some examples of the broad range of flavours, suitable for both savoury and sweet applications such as sponges, milkshakes, icings and fillings, biscuits or snacks.

World food

With more people travelling to far and exotic places, world cuisine has become more popular, and this can be seen in the flavour influences of each culture’s cuisine. This year it is expected that Mexican, Indian, and Thai cuisine are in the first places of the podium. Also Moroccan spices, and tropical flavours will be used by both eating-in restaurants and food trucks (aka street food), which will influence new products.

“Free-from” is the way forward

Gluten free baked goods or dairy free drinks are just two examples of free-from foods which have become highly popular, not only seen as better options for the gut health, but becoming lifestyle changes too. In consequence, many new free-from products are being launched now using plant milks and every time more and more gluten free grains and flours are being used by mainstream brands to satisfy this trend. Anything can be found in this category: snacks of all types, ice-creams, yoghurts, baked goods, milkshakes…and its consumption is expected to keep growing!