Sensient looks to past, present and future for flavour inspiration

By Katy Askew

- Last updated on GMT

©GettyImages-Alex Raths
©GettyImages-Alex Raths
Sensient Flavors is releasing a swathe of new flavours that it says are informed by its trends forecasting research.

Flavours house Sensient Flavors is launching a new range of six ‘state-of-the-art’ flavours that it said are based on insights it has gathered into consumer interpretations of the past, present and future.

Announcing the move, the company said the flavours give applications an ‘aromatic kick’ and can help inspire innovation that ‘narrows the gap’ between a brand and its consumers.

“Our latest ‘Trends to Taste’ collection is designed to offer an understanding of emerging consumer trends, and their translation into actionable insights,”​ said Ranbir Kooner, Marketing Manager EMEA.

“Thanks to our forecast system, we have identified the consumer perspectives that influence their current decision-making and will guide food and beverage landscapes in the years ahead. Understanding the ever-changing trends helps developers to create more attractive products, and support their positioning for maximum effect.”

Approaching the innovation process, Sensient suggests food developers should consider where the story of their product belongs – in the past present or future. “By addressing this question, Sensient Flavors is offering food and drink manufacturers the latest insights into consumer attitudes,”​ the supplier claimed.

Sensient elaborated that its team of flavourists has examined current consumer perception of past, present and future times. For each dimension, they identified both positive and negative feelings, which are strong drivers of consumer behaviour.

Turning these insights into a flavour collection, the company created flavours that mirror specific consumer attitudes to each time dimension.

Engaging the past

While some of us associate the past with positive feelings of nostalgia, stability and comfort, others use yesteryear to make changes to their future, Sensient noted.

To reflect the emotions of the former, Sensient Flavors has developed a new variation of Poudre Douce – a ‘warm and comforting’ medieval spice blend for use in various foods, from roasted meats to bakery items.

In contrast, Romeu e Julieta is a flavour combination of traditional tropical fruity guava paste and subtly sweet cheese. Sensient said it was designed to create a ‘new sensory experience’ while acknowledging the feelings of consumers looking to make positive changes for the future.

Controlling the present

People increasingly consider the modern world to be immersive - an ‘interactive experience to be explored’, Sensient suggested.

Sensient_Flavors_ Chocolate Toadstool - deep earthy umami notes pair subtly with decadent chocolate - 201979948_CMYK
Chocolate Toadstool - deep earthy umami notes pair with decadent chocolate

For these shoppers, the flavour expert presents the aroma of Timut Peppercorn – a Himalayan plant known for its versatile properties. The new ingredient delivers peppery notes in combination with ‘zesty’ fruit aromas.

However, Sensient noted a more negative side to consumer feelings about the here and now. There are also a number of people who are ‘overwhelmed’ by today’s multi-sensorial stimulation, Sensient’s consumer research suggested.

For this group, Sensient created Chocolate Toadstool with ‘deep earthy umami’ and ‘decadent’ chocolate notes.

Imagining the future

According to Sensient, the ‘future’ conjures up visions of a ‘near-perfect society’ that also sit alongside dystopian predictions that necessitate a return to a simpler existence, and regionally focused eating.

Addressing the utopian idea, Sensient Flavors embraced the ancient description of a land of milk and honey, where honey means the sweetness of dates. It has developed Silan – a flavour that combines brown dates with a slight bitter edge tempered with creaminess.

Acknowledging the dystopian vision, the flavour company presented Fermented Yaupon, reminiscent of roasted tea enhanced with floral notes. Yaupon delivers a natural caffeine buzz and, thanks to fermentation, the flavour also has a slightly sour edge.

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