National News

March 2020

The Inspiration for Flavor Innovation

Fact: Most people like to try new flavors.

67% of us agree that “we love to discover new flavors.” We rank taste as the #1 driver of choice for foods and beverages, according to a study from Innova.

More than 70% of people will visit a food & drink establishment that offers new flavors, says Technomic’s research, with two-thirds agreeing they’ll pay more for innovative tastes.

Fact: Successful flavor innovation is challenging.

The value of flavor puts pressure on food and beverage manufacturers to dedicate resources to innovation and to create a process that finds the next ‘it’ taste.

What makes the process challenging?

Finding useful sources of inspiration for new flavors.

And determining the sweet spot between creative experimentation (which can seem like a painter throwing dots on canvas) and competent discipline that moves ideas to market.

Finding Flavor Inspiration

One or more of the following resources can help you create a canvas of new flavor ideas:

Market Sweeps

 Gather a range of recently introduced flavors in your category or across adjacent categories to see what’s trending. Are any ‘themes’ like sweet-spice or flavor tactics like ‘mystery flavors’ emerging that you want to follow?

Your Teams

Since your sales, marketing, and product development staff are consumers, talk with them to find out which new flavors they’ve tried and liked across any category. Ask them what they’ve explored during restaurant visits and on recent vacations. Are there any flavors that could crossover to your product line?

Your Customers and Supplier Partners

Multiple inquiries from customers about a new flavor can lead you to fast-track an idea. And do suppliers have new products available that you haven’t tapped into yet?

Selecting the Strongest Flavor Ideas

You can narrow your list of new flavor options using a rigorous approach to evaluation:

Establish Criteria

Set clear criteria to help you decide to go forward, modify, or reject a flavor.

Conduct Test

Perform a small test to share potential ideas with internal staff, a few retail partners, or key customers.

Gather Feedback

Collect feedback to learn which flavor ideas:

have taste appeal

people would not only try but buy again

have any limitations that require a change to the go-to-market strategy, like becoming a seasonal or limited-time-offer instead of a year-round addition to your line-up.

Partnering to Develop New Flavors

When you’ve identified winning flavor concepts, you’ll need to address essential questions with your flavor development partner. The team of talented flavor scientists at National Flavors will ask you for the following information:

What are your label restrictions? N&A, Natural, GMO-free, etc.

What are your cost restrictions?

What is the potential/estimated annual volume?

What is the type of application/finished product?

Are there any thermal processes, functional ingredients, or sweetener systems which may negatively impact flavor?

These insights will help us deliver the right flavor for your products.

Contact our team to get started!

Innovate with Flavorush

Research from Mintel and Euromonitor highlights several consumer behaviors that are affecting flavors in 2020:

Behavior Theme





Uniquely Personal

Balanced Well-Being

Flavor Trend

Fun, celebratory flavors

Nostalgic and classic flavors

Simple, familiar flavors

Global flavors

Fusion/mash-up flavors

Functional flavors

Flavorush Natural Flavor Solutions

#9075 Birthday Cake; #14075 Sugar Cookie

#12008 Cotton Candy; #11168 Butterscotch

#14105 Brown Sugar; #12245 Watermelon

#10785 Mango; #13562 Sweet Rice Milk

#13656 Caramelized Citrus Peel; #13327 Berry Lemonade

#4250 Ginger; #38 Cinnamon

Log in to Flavorush or Sign Up

Log in or open a free account to get samples of these flavors shipped to you in 24 hours. With hundreds of flavors available, Flavorush can help you find inspiration.

Regulatory Update

FDA Nutrition Awareness Campaign

In May 2016, the FDA issued its final rules for the implementation of changes to the nutritional labeling and serving size regulations.  For manufacturers with more than ten million dollars of annual sales, the deadline for compliance was January 1 of this year.  Manufacturers with less than ten million in sales, have until January 2021 to comply. 

Earlier this month, the FDA launched its “The New Nutrition Facts Label: What’s in it for you?” campaign. Its goal is to raise more awareness among consumers about the new labeling changes and to show them how to use the new label format to make healthier daily dietary choices.  The campaign, part of the FDA’s Nutrition Innovation Strategy, includes a multi-media outreach through social media, videos, and downloadable educational materials. Efforts also include large advertising venues such as billboards and sponsorship boards to help prevent death and disease that many Americans experience as a result of poor nutrition. 

This new campaign provides a great interactive tool for you or your customers to better understand the reasons for the changes to nutritional labels that are now readily seen in the marketplace.

The regulatory team at National Flavors is always here to assist with questions you may have about labeling or the nutritional content of our products. Reach out to us.

Access the materials for this campaign

Inside National

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, National Flavors teams are following the guidelines outlined by health authorities. Steps we’ve taken include the following:

We have built additional sanitization schedules into our facility cleaning processes.

Our sales team isn’t traveling, and we’re limiting visitors at our production facility and headquarters.

Several non-production staff members are working remotely.

We’ve staggered our production schedule to continue supporting our customers while ensuring the safety of our team.

If you have any questions or concerns please email us.

Coming up in next month’s National News:

How Flavors Can Boost Mood and State of Mind

For weekly flavor news, connect with us through LinkedIn.

Ready to create a flavor experience?