Healthier lifestyles have become a focus for today’s consumer with an increased interest in plant-based and probiotic foods and beverages. 

With instant access to information and an affinity for travel, the younger demographics continue to drive multicultural flavor innovation. In response to the consumers’ ever-changing behavior, Comax Flavors introduces the 2019 Flavor Trends divided into four unique flavor collections. 

Drink To Your Health is a collection of better-for-you beverages while Meatless Meals addresses consumers’ effort to eat less meat and incorporate more plant-based protein into their diets. A Passage To India capitalizes on the growing younger demographics’ attraction to multicultural flavors while Steeped In Culture taps into consumers’ interest in high-impact fermented and pickled flavors. 

Each Comax Flavor collection is comprised of a variety of food and beverage applications including non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages, plant-based applications, savory products, dairy and ice cream, candy, baked goods, and nutrition and performance products.

Drink To Your Health

Better-for-you beverages such as flavored water, tea and mocktails are growing in popularity as consumers gravitate towards healthier lifestyles. Beverage choices with less sugar, lower calories, more natural ingredients and functional benefits are trending. 

According to IRI data, dollar sales for the overall bottled water category were $16.4 billion for the 52 weeks ending August 12, 2018 in total U.S. multi-outlets and convenience stores. And refrigerated ready-to-drink (RTD) teas generated dollar sales of more than $1.36 billion in U.S. multi-outlets for the 52 weeks ending May 20, 2018, an 8.3% increase compared with the prior-year period. 

It has been reported that Generation Z drinks less alcohol than any generation. This is evidenced by the 160% increase in searches for “mocktails” on Pinterest in 2017. 

According to Technomic’s 2018 Beverage Consumer Trend Report, more consumers today than two years ago indicate that non-alcohol beverages are “very important” when deciding where to dine; 23% of respondents indicated this compared with 18% in 2016.

“To address consumers’ growing demand for flavorful, better-for-you beverages, Comax created the Drink to Your Health collection formulated for a variety of beverages,” states Catherine Armstrong, Comax Flavors’ vice president of corporate communications. 

This better-for-you flavor collection can be used in several cold and hot beverage applications such as still and sparkling water, RTD tea, coffee, juice and mocktails.

Flavors in this group include:

Avocado Daiquiri, Blackberry Lilac Tea Cooler, and Harvest Spritzer

Meatless Meals

Vegetarianism, veganism, rawism, flexitarianism and Paleo diets are on the rise. 

Consumers are conscientiously making an effort to eat less meat driven by a variety of reasons such as health and wellness, environmental sustainability, and animal welfare. Consumers still crave the characteristics of real meat such as texture, taste, flavor and aroma and plant-based meat alternatives are flooding the market in consumer packaged goods and quick service restaurants. 

Allied Market Research predicts that the meat alternatives market will reach $5.2 billion by 2020 and vegetable-based proteins are slated to experience a compound annual growth of 8.4% overall. According to IRI, U.S. plant-based food sales increased 40% during the last year with plant-based meat alternatives growing 24% in dollar sales to $64 million compared to 2% dollar growth of animal meat during the same time period. 

“Comax recognizes the importance of plant-based meat alternatives without sacrificing taste and texture. In response to consumers’ desire for tasty plant-based meats, Comax has created the Meatless Meals collection,” notes Armstrong.

This multi-purpose flavor collection can be used in several plant-based proteins.

Flavors in this group include:

Asian Stir Fry, Spicy Fried Chicken, and Street Taco

A Passage to India

With instant access to information and an affinity for travel, the younger generation has adventurous tastes and continues to seek authentic global flavors in their backyard. 

Indian food is slowly making inroads in the United States. According to a Washington Post report, there are about 5,000 Indian restaurants compared to roughly 40,000 Chinese and Mexican restaurants.

Furthermore, according to Mintel’s 2018 U.S. Flavor Trends report, consumers are interested in seeing more international sauces and condiments in foods. 49% said they would like to see more Indian flavors, 33% Middle Eastern flavors and 25% African flavors.

“Over the last few years, we’ve seen Indian ingredients such as cardamom, coriander, curry, and garam masala emerge. Comax thinks Indian Food is ripe for the American palate and has created the ‘Passage to India’ collection,” says Armstrong.

This multicultural collection can be used in numerous applications such as savory products, dressing, sauces, dairy, ice cream, plant-based applications, baked goods, and nutrition and performance products.

Flavors in this group include:

Indian Vegetable Curry, Mango Lassi, and Masala Spiced Donut

Steeped In Culture

Fermented and pickled foods and beverages are having a revival. This renewed interest is driven by consumers gravitating towards probiotics and friendly bacteria that support digestive health coupled with consumers’ interest in bold tastes.

According to SPINS, U.S. retail sales of refrigerated kombucha and other fermented beverages surged 37.4% to $556 million in 2017.

“Consumers are seeking bolder, high impact and more complex flavor profiles. To meet the demand, Comax Flavors created the Steeped In Culture range,” notes Armstrong. 

This versatile, bold collection can be used in numerous applications such as alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, savory products, dressing, sauces, and snacks.

Flavors in this group include:

Five Spice Kombucha, Pickled Beet & Onion, and Pickled Peach

For more information, visit Comax’s new website