Acai superfruit tops sweet flavour projection for 2009

By Lindsey Partos

- Last updated on GMT

Acai superfruit tops sweet flavour projection for 2009
Superfruits top the bill for sweet flavour predictions in 2009, suggesting confectionery formulators mindful of innovation in a testing climate should increasingly consider exotic flavours in their new product designs.

In its roll-call for top sweet flavours this year, US flavour firm Bell Flavors projects acai, an exotic berry that packs a powerful antioxidant punch, will lead the top ten list.

The popularity of acai, a small, round, black-purple fruit long consumed by native Indians in the Amazon region of Brazil, gained momentum in 2008 as consumers increasingly turned to its juice for a gulp of nutrients and antioxidants.

Further, acai slots neatly into the growing area of 'superfruits', a term coined by the food and beverage industry to refer to a fruit or extract – frequently sold at a premium – which combines strong nutrient richness and antioxidant quality with an appealing taste.

The top ten

Further exotic fruits were pin-pointed by Bell in its sweet flavour rundown for 2009 such as yuzu, a citrus fruit originating in East Asia, which the flavour firm slots into second position after acai. Guavasteen – or pineapple guava – a juicy fruit with a sweet, aromatic flavour, took the number three slot.

The remaining sweet flavours predicted by Bell in descending order are: red or black currants; acerola, a tropical fruit cultivated for its high vitamin C content; lychee; camu camu, an acidic Amazonian fruit bursting with vitamin C; marula, a traditional food plant in Africa that may have the potential to improve nutrition; persimmon, one species of which is known more commonly as 'kaki'; and finally, figs.

Prediction methodology

According to the Illinois-based firm, its top ten list reflects “in depth analysis of three specific markets categories”​, tabulated through three methods.

The first method is to track samples that have been requested over a 12 month period, and the second method is ‘Trend Scouting’ the flavours, as performed by the company's marketing & R&D departments and drawing from four continents.

For the third method Bell compiled flavour trends from "our external resources and suppliers, Mintel, media, and other credible sources."

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