The Flavors of 2020

As per various market research sources, flavor themes for 2020 will focus on nostalgic sweet, sour and fermented flavors with a healthy halo. Consumers today are ever more curious and willing to embracing a broader range of flavors, engaging themselves with more active and healthy lifestyles while some consumers begin moving towards a flexitarian / vegetarian diet.

In order to align with these new emerging consumer demands and trends, FSL – Aromatech, armed with all the essential research and market intelligence, has developed a portfolio of new flavor solutions which would align our customers in the direction of these trends within the Middle East Industry.

These are the top three flavor projects on our plate for 2020:

1. Sugar Replacement

Each year during the holy month of Ramadan, it has been a tradition for FSL Flavors to release a new flavor range. This year, we have created classic Ramadan drinks with a twist which can support our customers in both the recipe and flavors aspect. These drinks contain 1020%- juice content such as apple concentrate, lemon concentrate or red grape concentrate and no-added sugar.

FSL Flavors has developed a healthier alternative using date syrup instead of sugar. Date Syrup has less calories than sugar and is rich in phenolic compounds which are responsible for the rich color and antioxidant activity. Recent studies have also shown that date syrup has antimicrobial properties which help ward off Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli – making this sugar replacement solution a thirst quencher and immune booster.

We are also in the process of developing a sugar-free range of flavors for the retail and bakery sector which we will provide more information on in our next newsletter.

2. Plant-Based Meat Flavor Innovation

The rise of the flexitarian diet trend across the globe has been driven by consumer demand for healthy, sustainable and ethical substitutes for meat. The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to fuel this trend further as consumer skepticism surrounding the safety of meat consumption grows and they search for cleaner alternatives.

The immense success of companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods has drawn a great deal of attention to the plant-based meat category which saw growth rates of 17% and was valued at approximately $3.7 billion in the USA. In comparison, total U.S. retail food sales grew just 2% during the same period in 2018. Research indicates that the growth of alternative meat products will continue to accelerate in 2020 but the direction will go well beyond plant-based burgers.

FSL-Aromatech has extensive experience masking the off-notes of plant-based proteins and replacing them with the delicious meat flavors consumers crave. In collaboration with our Meat Ingredients unit, we have developed a range of burgers, chicken tikka nuggets and bacon suitable to vegetarians and all religious beliefs.

We have also developed an innovative and delicious assortment of Arabian plant-based meat analogues such as Shish Taouk, Cello Kebab and Shawarma strips with a soy and pea-protein base. These products are the first of their kind in the Middle East and we are now developing them further for customers who wish to pioneer in this field and grab a share of the fast-growing plant-based meat market.

3. Kombucha

Is a fermented tea beverage which has been consumed in the Far East for centuries. However, over the past decade these products have become increasingly popular in Europe and North America for their health benefits, low sugar profile and unique taste profile. This drink is commonly referred to as the “drink of immortality” for its ability to treat a variety of diseases and stomach ailments.

Today bottles of Kombucha beverages are offered in a wide variety of flavors and take up space on shelves where sugary juices used to once be. Kombucha is created from black or green tea and Scoby (a symbiotic colony of cultures and yeast). The culture consumes most of the sugar leaving less than 5g of sugar per 200ml serving making this a healthy and sugar-reduced option for health-conscious consumers with a curiosity for new tastes.