olam food ingredients (ofi) predicts a greater fusion of Eastern and Western flavors in confectionery, bakery, beverages, and snacks, after combining the insights of its innovation experts in key regional markets and AI-powered research to identify the next big cocoa flavour trends.
AI to predict consumer trends
The research – which used predictive analytics to scan online recipes, restaurant menus and e-commerce sites for budding trends before they hit the mainstream – found Asian flavours like dragon fruit, sesame, yuzu, lychee and matcha are taking off in the US and Europe, while Western flavours like butterscotch, marshmallow, salted caramel and cookies & cream are becoming more popular in South Asian countries, including Indonesia and India. ofi’s ingredients innovation experts have turned these trends into adventurous cocoa pairings and dishes we could see on menus or in stores soon.
Flavour trends are crossing borders
Edward Norder, Head of EMENA Innovation, ofi, commented: “Increasing globalization means flavour trends are crossing borders faster than ever. And thanks to social media, a local craze can turn into a worldwide phenomenon overnight. This is a big opportunity for food and beverage companies to get ahead, but first they need to be able to pair the right flavours and translate emerging trends into great-tasting products in the development kitchen.
East meets West trends
That’s why ofi has created new cocoa pairings and innovative concepts inspired by this ‘East meets West’ trend. From chocolate-coated dragon fruit ice cream and a yuzu-infused chocolate panna cotta for the US, to a chipotle chili, lime and passionfruit dessert for Germany, and a black forest and cocoa flavoured frappe-style drink for Indonesia.
Choosing the right cocoa powder is a powerful tool for helping manufacturers win on taste. So, ofi hopes what they’re sharing today will inspire our customers to look again at cocoa as a pairing for fresh, on-trend flavour combinations and applications that will surprise and delight consumers around the globe. Thanks to their network of Customer Solutions Centres, we’re well placed to support customers with ingredients that can be sustainable and traceable, and to test whether these new concepts can be commercialized at scale.
The top flavour trends by geography are:
- Dragon Fruit – starting to trend in the UK in bakery. The punchy flavour pairs perfectly with deZaan’s N11N cocoa powder in pastries or N21N cocoa powder in ice cream or sorbet.
- Sesame – becoming popular in bakery in France, this flavor pairs excellently with deZaan’s D11S – a deep intense cocoa flavour – in a chocolate banana brioche.
- Chilli – emerging particularly in German confectionery, particular in a chocolate bar. It also works with deZaan’s TrueDark – a rich natural cocoa powder with notes of nuts and fruits – in a chipotle chili, lime and passionfruit dessert.
- Lychee – growing in popularity in the bakery category, it pairs well with deZaan’s D23A cocoa powder – a full chocolatey taste and creamy texture – in a rich pastry filling.
- Yuzu – also booming in the bakery space, this works excellently with deZaan’s N11N – a well-rounded cocoa powder with delicate fruity notes – in a rich pastry filling.
- Miso – emerging in confectionery, this pairs perfectly with deZaan’s D21CM, with notes of chocolate, nuts and caramel, in a miso chocolate fudge.
- Marshmallow – on the rise in confectionery in Indonesia. This flavour pairs well with deZaan’s 254DP11 – a premium cocoa powder with an intense cocoa flavour in a nougat or in a S’mores-style breakfast cereal.
- Black Forest – also growing in popularity in Indonesia beverages. This punchy flavor blends perfectly in a frappe-style drink with deZaan’s 350DP11 – with a rich and full-bodied chocolate taste.
- Cookies and Cream – an emerging trend in India in confectionery, this classic sweet flavour combination is the perfect match for deZaan’s H910N, in ice cream, confectionery and frappes.
Source and picture: ofi