FONA International has revealed its 2021 Flavor Watch List.

Developed with FONA’s Flavor Radar, a flavor mapping methodology, the list classifies flavors from novel ideas to everyday pantry staple. The methodology includes a mix of data points from industry-renowned databases and in-depth analysis on how a flavor trend is affecting the food industry.

Flavor Radar divides trends into four categories: Novel, Up & Coming, Mainstream and Everyday. These categories are driven by FONA’s expert analysis of restaurant menus, new product introductions and print and social media data.

Here are the flavors FONA expects to trend in 2021:


Barley Grass: Often combined with other greens, it has an earthy taste and is similar to fresh spinach.
Coconut Blossom: Rich in vitamins and minerals, coconut tree flowers have a fruity and caramellic flavor.
Osmanthus Flower: Featuring a unique flavor that is slightly bitter and mildly sweet, these tiny flowers are good for cooking, teas and wines.


Up & Coming

Chamoy: A Mexican fruit salsa usually made with apricot, mango or plum plus chiles, salt and citrus juice or vinegar.
Dandelion: The leaves have a slightly bitter and tangy flavor that can be used similarly to spinach. The flowers are also edible and can be used to infuse honey, make vinegars. syrups, ice cream and jellies.
Ube/Purple Yam: Ube has a slightly sweet, almost nutty taste that works in cakes, cupcakes, ice cream and more.



Elderberry: Known for boosting the immune system, this tart purple fruit can be used in pie, james and wine.
Tulsi/Holy Basil: An adaptogenic herb with an astringent, bitter flavor that can also have floral and pepper notes.
Huckleberry: Wild, blue-black berries that resemble blueberries but have a less sweet, more astringent flavor.
White Tea: One of the most delicate tea varieties, its flavor ranges between mild, herbal and floral.
Yerba Mate: The flavor of this South American herb is often described as an acquired taste due
to its astringency.



Chili Pepper: With a range of flavors and heat levels, they pair well with lime, garlic and cheese. 
Maple: The sweetness of maple syrup makes it suitable for a variety of applications, including breakfast items, desserts, appetizers, beer and other drinks.
Mesquite: Beyond smoking, the pods and beans of the mesquite tree smell similar to cream, coconut and chocolate.
Za’atar: A spice blend originating in the Middle East, za’atar is most commonly made up of thyme, oregano, sumac, marjoram, and toasted sesame seeds.