Comax Flavors has introduced four new flavor collections to address consumer food and beverage taste trends in 2016.

Responding to consumer interest in less processed, better-for-you products, Comax Flavors created its 2016 “Green Goodness” and “Cup of Tea” flavor collections. Meanwhile, the company’s new “Cuban Culture” and “Chef’s Table” collections address the younger demographics, multicultural consumers and consumers craving authentic culinary experiences.

Each Comax Flavor collection is comprised of a variety of food and beverage applications such as ready-to-drink beverages, alcohol, dairy, ice cream, baked goods, confections, sauces, marinades and seasonings.

Green Goodness

As part of the health and wellness lifestyle trend, consumers are looking for natural, less processed, better-for-you products. Naturally, consumers are gravitating toward green vegetables and fruits, putting them in the limelight.

Preparations range from raw and cold-pressed to cooked and grilled. Supported by the waste management and sustainability trend, stem-to-root cooking is gaining momentum, which is also contributing to the growth of green produce.

“There’s been a gradual increase in green-themed products and to tap into this trend and meet the demand for green vegetables and fruits, we created a unique green range,” states Catherine Armstrong, Comax vice president of corporate communications.

Flavors in this group include:

• Avocado Pear
• Broccoflower
• Green Jackfruit
• Jalapeño Honey

Cup of Tea

According to Mintel, US retail sales of tea and ready-to-drink (RTD) tea grew 19.8% to $7.3 billion between 2009 and 2014. The Tea Association of the USA cited that 85% of tea consumed in America is iced tea, and loose leaf iced tea is gaining in popularity.

The popularity of tea has lead to a focus on specialty tea, namely Matcha. According to the Sage Group, US retail sales of Matcha green tea powder reached about 55% in 2014. This tea trend is further evidenced by The National Restaurant Association’s annual “What’s Hot 2015 Culinary Forecast,” which revealed specialty ice tea such as flavored tea and matcha as trending in non-alcoholic beverages.

“To address consumers’ affinity for tea with healthful benefits, we developed a variety of emerging tea profiles,” says Armstrong.

Flavors in this group include:

• Cascara Tea
• Dandelion Tea
• Matcha Rose
• Turmeric Orange Ginger

Cuban Culture

The recent lift of the US Cuban embargo is creating new opportunities for Americans and propelling Cuba into the public eye. Research by the International Monetary Fund estimates that Cuba is bracing for as many as 10 million American tourists per year versus the 700,000 US tourists it received last year.

Air lines, cruise ships and businesses are gearing up for Cuba’s expansion. Cuban culture with a focus on cuisine will be influential in the culinary scene.

“As we know, multicultural consumers and the younger generation are driving new flavor profiles. We see Cuba as a natural extension for the next ethnic food inspiration and wanted to offer authentic flavors,” says Armstrong.

Flavors in this group include:

• Café Cubano
• Cuban Sofrito
• Mamey Mojito
• Toasted Coconut Flan

Chef’s Table

‘Customer experience’ is a hot buzzword as brands and services try to capture and engage consumers. Driven by technology, consumers are getting accustomed to sensory experiences; and their desire to actively participate in a myriad of experiences is growing. Consumers seek social, interactive and authentic culinary experiences and chef’s tables are meeting this need.

This trend is evidenced by Netflix’s 2015 docu-series Chef’s Table, which profiles renowned international chefs. From the preparation of the ingredients to the plating of their meal, consumers get to go behind the scenes and see chefs in action.

“Flavor and texture are key factors in consumers’ culinary experiences. How food and beverages are prepared, such as fermenting, pickling and smoking, is becoming significant. We created an array of flavors based on specific preparations to appeal to a wide audience,” notes Armstrong.

Flavors in this group include:

• Coconut Vinegar
• Pickled Artichoke
• Roasted Strawberry
• Smoked Avocado

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