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Hottest F&B trends for 2019

Source:Food Bev Asia

Date Published:1/15/2019 04:01:59 PM

Scentium Flavours names the big products and flavours that will hit the F&B world in 2019.  

HEADQUARTERED in Spain, Scentium Flavours has been operating worldwide in more than 120 countries for over 30 years. The company handles the flavours line of Iberchem Corporation, which counts fragrances as another main business. Its presence in Southeast Asia (SEA) includes Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

With an international presence, Scentium can spot local preferences and the flavour and F&B product trends around the world, according to marketing manager Paloma Iturmendi during her presentation of the megatrends for 2019 at Fi Asia in Jakarta. Scentium's partners and customers are able to develop products knowing these trends.

The company has flavour portfolios for confectionery, ice cream, dairies and bakery; soft drinks, energy drinks, juices, and flavoured water; and savoury offerings for products like soups and noodles, stocks cubes, snacks, ready meals, and processed meat and fish.

There is growing interest in Asian flavours such as Kimchi (in photo), Tonkatsu, Miso, and Tom Yum. (Photo © Creative Commons Zero I

The megatrends

Given consumers’ growing preoccupation with feeling good, Scentium lists health and wellness as the top of 5 megatrends in product development. “This is a concern that consumers have all over the world: ‘What can I do to feel better?’ We all eat and drink, and we expect our food and drink to give us something extra. Here consumers can expect to see more fortified products.”

Experiences is another trend the manufacturers follow in creating products. “Nowadays consumers are connected. We are constantly reading the news and getting information, which make us want to travel and to be exposed to new experiences, new feelings and new sensations. Such megatrend has an effect in product development because consumers are looking for new formats, new textures and new flavours,” Ms Iturmendi said.

Of similar importance are consumers’ expectations for greater stewardship of the environment. Ms. Iturmendi explained: “This is not just the natural environment but also the social environment. Companies have to be very aware of this concern. We have a growing population in the world, and consumers don’t just want nice-tasting products. They also want companies to take care of their recycling problems for the packaging and to take care of their own communities.”

Scentium sees evolution, or the way we live, as a major driver for product development. “This is about how society is evolving and its influences on how products are developed. In Europe where there is an increasing number of single households or very small families, people want more individualised products—products tailor-made for yourself, on-the-go products or single serve. In many countries in Southeast Asia and in Africa, mothers or grandmothers cook at home This also affects the way products are made in those regions.”

Consumers can also expect products to be more egocentric in 2019.  “This is the effect that social media has in the development of products,” explained Ms. Iturmendi. “We are becoming more and more individualistic. There is an increasing penetration of mobile phone access even in places where people don’t have enough means to buy a laptop, so information travels faster. Self-image is also more important. Even products are subjected to be designed a certain way, and this very much influences packaging. You want your products to be Instagram-, Pinterest-, or Facebook-worthy. It’s basically the influence of social media on each individual person.”

Flavours bringing back consumers to their past are peanut butter and salted caramel which are increasingly used in bakery, flavoured milks, ice cream, and bakery products. (Photo © Creative Commons Zero I

Four flavours to hit the charts

As to flavours expected to excite palates in 2019, Scentium breaks these down into four main groups namely Culinary, Greenbelt, Heatwave and Retroroom.

The company describes Culinary as a trend mainly influenced by TV shows such as Master Chef and Celebrity Chef, which are constantly bringing in new taste sensations that the mass market would not normally have access to. “When we talk about culinary, we refer to cooking. Hence the reference to Master Chef. We are talking about actual dishes being transformed into flavours such as Tonkatsu and Miso from Japan, Tom Yum from Thailand, Kimchi and other Korean flavours,” Ms. Iturmendi said. She added that in 2019 all over the world, these flavours will be found in soups, sauces and in snacks. Consumers in Western countries, especially in Europe, are becoming more and more attracted to Asian cuisines which they experience from Thai, Vietnamese and Korean restaurants.

“The interest is there, and anything related to them would be important,” she said.

TV exposure that is also given to sophisticated European flavours, which aren’t usually part of home menus including truffles and olives, is giving this category a boost. “Of course, there’s the world’s love affair with Italian food especially tomato-based flavours, such as Neapolitan and Bolognese. This is normal because tomato has a certain amount of umami, so it has greater acceptance everywhere. That’s going to carry on in the coming year,” Ms. Iturmendi assured.

Also seen to romp off demand in 2019 are flavours from the Greenbelt, or what Scentium describes as being very true to their botanical form. “It is not to say they have to be all-natural flavours, but the taste profile is very true. In the past, confectionery flavours were more fantasy flavours, such as raspberry fantasy and cherry fantasy, but now they have to be more like the fruits. This is true for confectionery, for beverages, and for different flavours. Of course, natural flavours are on the rise because of this and because of the health and wellness concerns that we earlier mentioned. They are perceived to be more natural, healthier and friendlier to the environment. Coconut made a debut and became the flavour of the year in 2017. It will continue to grow especially in the sports drink category, where it is perceived to be a more natural product.”

Ready-to-drink (RTD) teas and coffees will remain strong contenders as well. According to Ms. Iturmendi, RTD tea entered the European market many years ago but didn’t last very long. In fact, it almost disappeared until this year when it all of a sudden became ubiquitous. She does not see business letting up in that region nor in SEA, where RTD teas enjoy a bigger following. Heavy influence of giant coffee chains, meanwhile, will continue to spur sales of RTD coffees even in markets where they weren’t popular before.

Scentium anticipates citrus flavours to be extended not just in beverages or confectionery, but also in savoury applications including snacks. The company also expects floral flavours retaining their strong standing as they have very natural connotation. “It will very much depend of the region as to what kind or which floral flavour to use. For instance, orange blossom is very much accepted all throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Rose flavours is very typical for Central Asia, but this is spreading all around the world, and is usually mixed with a fruit.”

Another trend that Scentium identified is the Heatwave.  “Anything that is spicy hot will also be a big bet for next year,” forecasts Ms. Iturmendi.  “The focus is on the chilies. The preference for hot and spicy has a physiological explanation, and that capsaicin promotes the production of endorphin, the hormone that makes you feel good.”  She notes that chilies have been acquiring a name for themselves these past years. Before products would only state that they contain chili but not indicate the variety. These days, consumers are aware whether they are jalapenos, Thai chilies, gochujang, habanero, chipotle or another chili type. “Chilies now have a name, and we don’t just find them in savoury applications but also in typically sweet ones. We also have wasabi, which is not a chili but is very, very hot. Its presence going forward will be mainly in snacks.”  

Retroroom is a trend influenced by flavours that take consumers back to their youth. While these will obviously vary in the regions, Scentium says there are a good number of flavours that go across the globe. “These flavours bring you to a nostalgic time that is usually associated with products that have a craftier or artisan image.” Examples of these are classic cocktails made of coconut and pineapple, such as piñacolada, and mojito mint, which is strengthening its presence, according to Ms. Iturmendi.

“Caramel and anything related to it including toffees and salted caramel concepts for ice cream, bakery and even for coffees are certainly here to stay. So is peanut butter that is mainly used for sweet applications such as bakery products, biscuit filling, ice creams, flavoured milks, and flavoured coffees. These products are responding to the needs of consumers for a more fulfilling experience, which at the end of the day we, as a flavour house, are trying to achieve with our products,” Ms Iturmendi shared.



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