- Exotic fruits — including feijoa, lucuma and cloudberry — dominated many of the flavor predictions of the "Novel" and "Up & Coming" categories in FONA International's 2017 Flavor Radar, which FONA developed using restaurant menus, new product introductions and print media data.
- "Mainstream" flavor predictions include praline, apricot, ginger, yellow and green curry, grapefruit, poblano and ancho chiles and lavender.
- FONA predicts "Everyday "flavor trends this year to include honey, tangerine, blackberry, blue cheese, maple, dill and barbecue.
The fact that exotic fruits dominated many of the "Novel" and "Up & Coming" flavor predictions isn't entirely surprising when considering the state of consumers' adventurous palettes and health-related demands today. When manufacturers have to reduce or eliminate added sugar in their products, one option is to use ingredients like fruits, which naturally contain sugars.
Manufacturers should be mindful of the sugar level and glycemic index of these rarer fruits. Even if the company doesn't add more sugar to the product's formulation, some fruits can be so high in sugar that they have a similar impact in terms of spiking blood sugar levels and causing inflammation — key health concerns regarding sugar and sweetener consumption in general.
As for the "Mainstream" and "Everyday" flavors, many of these profiles are finding their way into the snacks aisle, prepared foods section and even frozen desserts. Some of these flavors also intersect with consumers' health demands, such as ginger, grapefruit or honey. That also enables manufacturers to use simpler, more natural ingredients while achieving distinct flavor profiles and combinations.