National News

November 2020

National News

November 2020

Flavors in 2021

How to Connect with Your Customers

Finding the flavors that will engage your current customers and attract new ones is an ongoing challenge. The National Flavors team often fields questions about flavor trends and our predictions about the next top-selling tastes. For us, creating flavors that connect with your customers starts with understanding the ‘why’ of your innovation activities.

Linking Flavor to Your 2021 Innovation Goals

As you outline plans for reaching your sales and growth objectives in 2021, you have various business strategies available to drive product development. Examples of goals for your innovation efforts are:

9

Generating incremental sales

9

Differentiating your brand

9

Delivering value

Each option takes you down a unique flavor path.

9

Entering a new market

9

Building customer loyalty

Flavors that Generate Incremental Sales

Creativity with flavors can help sell additional items. Flavorful tactics for generating incremental revenue include:

9

Seasonal or limited time offers

9

Category crossovers

9

New forms (like minis) of favorite tastes

We monitor launch data from Mintel and other industry sources to inform our recommendations
about flavors that inspire incremental purchases.

Trends to watch in 2021:

9

Warm, sweet brown flavors such as maple, coffee, and butterscotch.

9

Category crossovers that bring:

  • desserts such as sugar cookie or toasted marshmallows into dairy
  • beverage flavors like pink lemonade into confections
  • confections flavors like spiced pecan into alcoholic beverages

Differentiating Your Brand with Flavor

Distinctive flavors can set your food or beverage products apart from competitors. Your flavor line-up
becomes the reason consumers choose to purchase your brand or visit your restaurant.

Tactics for distinguishing your brand in 2021 include:

9

Incorporating ingredients such as a Michigan Blueberry variegate for provenance.

9

Wrapping a story around your flavor, either through regional association like extracts from pure
Michigan cherries or with a fun tie-in like Wizard’s Brew, a butterscotch/cream soda flavor
borrowed from the world of Harry Potter.

9

Combining an emerging flavor, like hibiscus, with a more familiar taste such as ginger for an
approachable flavor adventure.

9

Highlighting intriguing flavors like blood orange or dragon fruit to connect with flavor collectors
who seek out novel tastes.

Delivering Value

Flavors can help you deliver cost savings or increase the profitability of your brand.

Solutions to explore in 2021:

9

Using flavors instead of juice in alcoholic beverages create consistent, high impact taste profiles while reducing challenges with transport, storage, handling and price volatility.

9

Natural WONFs represent an option for delivering an affordable, on-trend, clean label product
that tastes delicious.

9

When you include sustainably produced, clean-label, or certified organic flavors, industry surveys show consumers are willing to pay more for your food and beverage products.

Entering a New Market

If you’re extending your brand into a growing sector, or starting up your business, flavors can quickly
connect with your audience:

Flavor strategies for launching into a new market in 2021:

9

You can reduce barriers to trial when entering a new market by starting with recognizable tastes like chocolate or strawberry.

9

Familiar or fun flavors like fudge brownie or coconut rum are especially compelling to elevate the taste of functional foods like protein bars or probiotic beverages.

9

You’ll also meet taste expectations when you pair flavors that align with your product.

  • Succeeding in the dairy-free frozen dessert sector means finding flavors that complement your non-dairy base. You could add a simple sweet cream flavor to oat milk
    or choose an indulgent caramel apple flavor to enhance coconut milk.

Building Customer Loyalty

The right flavor can ensure customers choose and continue to buy your brand over time. While new flavors create excitement, a new twist on the familiar or a reminder of favorite tastes will also attract attention.

Emerging flavor themes for boosting loyalty in 2021:

9

Warming up vanilla.

Launches featuring vanilla increased +9% in the last year, but additions like cinnamon, cherry, or chili transformed a core flavor into a craveable experience.

9

Family-friendly

More than 70% of consumers agree they enjoy flavor experiences that remind them of the past and their childhood. And sharing favorite flavors with their children gives your customers another opportunity to connect. Consider fun cake or dessert flavors or regional tastes like Blue Moon.

9

Affordable indulgence

Sweet, decadent, and delicious flavor combinations give your customers an inexpensive way to treat (and comfort) themselves. Raspberry cheesecake, chocolate + sweet fruits, and lemon blueberry are a few examples of flavor mashups growing in popularity.

But loyalty has evolved from being solely linked to a quality product. Now, maintaining your customer base involves meeting a complex set of expectations about your foods or beverages. In addition to delivering delicious tastes, customers want:

9

Natural or clean-label options

9

Emotional connections to your product

9

Assurances that you follow safe, sustainable production practices

9

Outstanding customer service

When you partner with National Flavors, you’ll have an ally helping you keep customers connected to
your brand.

Let’s discover the flavors that will fit with your 2021 or 2022 innovation plans. Contact our team to get
started!

Finding Your 2021 (or 2022) Flavors

Flavorush, the sampling platform in National Flavors’ customer portal, gives you access to hundreds of flavors tested in a variety of applications. Log in or open your free account today to get samples of the flavors highlighted in our feature article.

And if you’re looking for a custom creation, reach out to our team!

For tips about finding your flavors, check out this short video.

Inside National

The National Flavors team is creating resources to help you keep pace with marketplace and consumer trends that affect your business.

9

We recently launched a blog with in-depth insights about flavors, labeling, and innovation. Subscribe today to get the latest post delivered to your inbox.

9

Coming soon! Gwen Buffinga, our Regulatory Coordinator, shares news about changes in the regulatory landscape for flavors in organic foods and beverages.

As the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday approaches, we wanted to extend our gratitude to you. Thank you for
connecting with us – whether through the newsletter, as a vendor partner, or collaborating to deliver
joy through flavor to your customers. From our team to yours, we wish you a safe, healthy, and flavor-
filled Thanksgiving!

Coming up in next month’s National News:

A Day in the Life of a New Flavor:

A Virtual Innovation Session at National Flavors

For weekly flavor news, connect with us through LinkedIn.

Ready to create a flavor experience?