Over the last year, “salted caramel” has had 8,443 social media mentions, 61 percent of which were from females.
That’s according to a new report from the ingredient company FONA International, which conducted a social listening analysis on salted caramel for the last 12 months.
“A wonderful combination of sweet and salty, salted caramel elevates a traditional confectionery mainstay and takes it to a whole new level,” FONA said. “Salted caramel has gained consumer popularity in the past 10 years — with only 51 salted caramel new products introduced in 2011, salted caramel is showing significant growth. From 2015-2020, salted caramel grew 105 percent globally.”
The flavor also has been spotted in new products beyond confectionery, FONA said.
“It is a tried-and-true flavor in the desserts and ice cream category around the globe. Let’s dive into salted caramel and see where it is appearing on the menu, in new products and social media,” the report said.
FONA cited Datassential’s Flavor Tool, showing that salted caramel is growing in popularity with consumers and is in the 85th percentile among all food and flavors, meaning that consumers love salted caramel more than 85 percent of all other items.
- 59 percent love or like it
- 89 percent know it
- 73 percent have tried it
And it’s most popular with Gen X consumers.
Globally, between 2015-2020, there have been 3,118 salted caramel flavored new product introductions.
Europe is the top global region for salted caramel flavored new product introductions.
Desserts and Ice Cream is the top product category globally for salted caramel flavored new products.
Specifically, of the new salted caramel products launched globally between 2015-2020:
- Dairy-based ice creams and frozen yogurt: 17 percent
- Sweet biscuits/cookies: 9 percent
- Non-individually wrapped chocolate pieces: 8 percent
- Snack/cereal/energy bars: 8 percent
- Chocolate tablets: 7 percent
- Cakes, pastries and sweet goods: 6 percent
Chocolate is the top flavor paired with salted caramel.
In North America, between 2015-2020, there have been 708 salted caramel flavored new product introductions.
North America accounts for 16 percent of the salted caramel flavored new product introductions. And just like globally, chocolate is the top flavor paired with salted caramel in North America.
Desserts and Ice Cream also is the top product category for salted caramel flavored new products in North America.
Specifically, of the new salted caramel products launched in North America between 2015-2020:
- Desserts and ice cream: 21 percent
- Bakery: 19 percent
- Snacks: 18 percent
- Chocolate confectionery: 16 percent
- Hot beverages: 7 percent
One of the new products launched in North America was the WildRoots Salted Caramel Chocolate Banana Trail Mix.
Naturally flavored and made with non-GMO ingredients, it contains almonds, banana chips, salted caramel rice clusters, milk chocolate chunks and pretzel balls. And 47 percent of consumers responded that they likely or definitely would buy this product, outperforming its subcategory.
On Foodnetwork.com, 314 total recipes appear when searching for salted caramel. The recipes include mostly desserts from salted caramel milkshakes, salted caramel cheesecake squares, salted caramel chocolate chip cookies and salted caramel cupcakes.
With so much data showing salted caramel’s popularity, FONA says there’s really just one question: Is salted caramel on your Flavor Radar?
To download the full report, which includes additional analysis about the restaurant industry, visit the FONA website.