Exclusive Q&A: Consumers Look for New and Unusual Flavors

Sensient Flavours has recently presented a new collection of ‘Trends to Taste’ flavors. The range of six flavors is based on the company’s latest insights into consumer interpretations of the past, present, and future, they explain.

To gain a deeper insight into these new combinations, WorldBakers.com reached out to James Street, marketing director at Sensient Flavours.

What flavor from your portfolio is the most popular among bakers/ confectioners?

An interesting question, as the answer can be different for each sector, with geography playing a part as well. Vanilla and chocolate are obvious stand-out category leaders within the bakery sector, but there are other opportunities to entice consumers to try new things and so affect buying behavior.  A recent survey suggested that over 50% of those aged 18+ would try new and unusual flavors, and look for them when making purchasing decisions. This gives rise to twists in flavor combinations – for example, Strawberry & Pink Pepper, Cactus & Lime, Strawberry and Yuzu.

What are the challenges of maintaining a clean label when using flavors?

The use of natural extracts and the highest grade of natural flavors. Our regulatory affairs team continues to support customers in order to assist them with desirable label claims.

How can the optimal flavor dosage be determined within the NPD process?

At Sensient, we encourage our customers to come to our application suite and work with our flavorists and application experts to determine the best flavor dosage for a particular product – this support is then replicated in factory trials to ensure optimum taste in line with the NPD brief.

How can your company help manufacturers develop new products by using specific flavors?

We find the most successful innovations come from workshop days at our site – they can be tiring and there may be many different variations initially, but this process works time and time again to achieve a finished result quickly and efficiently. Our marketing team offers appropriate advice for the customer from the early stages of any new development – including by category and geography – in order to get to the most appropriate solution to drive value for the customer.

How will the market and consumer preferences evolve in the medium- to long-run?

Consumers continue to look for new and unusual flavors in their food and drinks while focusing on other vital aspects of the product such as health, sourcing, provenance, functionality, taste, claims and even emotional connection. Consumers have ever-busier and stressful lives, and so look to food and drink for a moment of escape. As a flavor business, we aim to recognize, meet and exceed these expectations with new natural extracts, ingredient technologies and flavor twists in new formats.

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