Salty, Spicy & Sweet
Salt in sweet confections remains popular – ask almost any bakery owner that offers savoury items, in addition to sweet, and they’ll tell you that savoury can outpace sweet bakery sales. One reason why is that consumers, particularly younger ones, are looking to the bakery as a place to enjoy delicious foods to go, and snacking has replaced mealtime occasions
Smoked and spicy profiles are also growing in popularity. As the Western palate develops and causes greater consumer experimentation, spices such as Cardamom, Turmeric, Ginger, Lemongrass and Cloves are making their way into sweet products.
Consumers want their treats to be luxurious and premium, which requires a strong visual impact. Glossy/ shiny coatings and glazes focus the exterior visual appeal, while Provenance and origin of products and ingredients are in the spotlight for interior impact.The trend of colourful and shiny glazes as the final finish for cakes and pastries will be prevalent, with many chefs homing in on glazing techniques that allow them to be shinier and less sweet.
Floral, Tropical & Botanical
Delicate floral flavours paired with fruity notes are rising in popularity across multiple applications – from beverage, to confectionery, to savoury dishes. There has been a surge in edible flowers decorating dishes in restaurants, cafes, delis and bakeries, adding an air of sophistication and splash of colour to any meal.
Tropical fruits are also making their way more and more into everyday products. Flavours such as Coconut, Meyer Lemon, Single Estate Vanilla, and Kumquat are on the rise within desserts – with profiles ranging from sweet and subtle, to fruity and juicy, there is something to suit every palate. Tropical fruits also pair very well with floral flavours, both giving naturally bold and bright colours to products.
Botanicals are also proving to go hand in hand with the sweetness of the tropical fruit trend. With their highly varied flavours, aromas, histories and health properties, savoury herbs are appearing in adventurous combinations in both foods and beverages. Botanicals are being included for flavour, discovery and functional benefits. From a traditional health and wellness perspective, consumers see botanicals as known ingredients, offering a “back to nature” approach to promoting a range of wellness states ranging from digestion to detox. As artificial flavours and colours continue to decline in popularity, consumers are increasingly open to the novel, fresh, seasonal and bright flavours of botanicals as a flavour agent.
In place of standard white flour, ‘interesting grains’ such as quinoa, paleo grains and ancient grains will be used. Granolas and seeded blends will continue to be present as consumers look for distinctly hearty flavour and textures.
“Going mini” is very popular nowadays – not just for saving calories, but also for incorporating greater variety of flavours and textures. Since people are looking for more styles and diversity, a trend like this provides more room for creativity and unique pairing of components. This also pairs with the grab and go trend, as smaller bites are easier to handle when on the go.