Sensient Flavors, an Indianapolis-based flavor company, has announced its flavor trend predictions for 2013. The list was developed using Sensient’s “Trends to Taste” program, a proprietary predictive process that filters trends from the broad, consumer macro level down to finished concepts that best demonstrate each flavor profile.

The list encompasses flavors inspired from multiple mega trends including comfort, connections, sensory and health and wellness. Sensient Flavors’ trend predictions for 2013 are as follows:

  • Alderwood smoke – Part of the birch family, alder is indigenous to the Pacific Northwest and, when used for smoking, provides a perfect balance of sweet and smoky flavor suitable for savory, sweet and cocktails.
  • Blue honeysuckle berry – Originating from Russia, blue honeysuckle berry is treasured for its interesting flavor, which is described as a cross between a blueberry and blackberry.
  • Cloudberry – Indigenous to Scandinavia, Siberia, Russia, Canada and the U.S., cloudberry has a characteristically tart taste when eaten fresh. When allowed to over-ripen, the flavor mellows and is sweet with a creamy texture.
  • Dandelion honey – Crafted from the nectar of dandelions, this refreshing varietal honey is flavorful with mild sweetness and slight astringency.
  • French toast – Borrowed from the French with recipes that can be traced back to ancient Roman times, French Toast is known and adored globally. With limitless flavor opportunities, French toast can be sweet or savory.
  • Ghost pepper – Also known as Naga Bhut Jolokia and originating from India, the ghost pepper is one of the hottest peppers in the world.
  • Pawpaw – The pawpaw tree produces the largest edible fruit indigenous to the U.S. The fruit has a creamy flesh and sweet tropical flavor that is best described as a cross between a mango and a banana.
  • Peanut butter and jelly – A lunchbox classic loved by kids and adults alike, peanut butter and jelly offers a variety of options for flavor combinations.
  • Speculoos – A classic cookie originating from the Netherlands and Belgium, the speculoos cookie has sweet, butter and spice notes including cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and clove.
  • Za’atar – A popular Middle Eastern spice blend and condiment, za’atar is most commonly a blend of sumac, thyme, oregano, marjoram, toasted sesame seeds and salt. Varieties can include the addition of other spices such as fennel seed or coriander.

“The list mirrors the unpredictable nature of consumer behavior and choice as consumers desire various flavor profiles at different times,” says marketing manager Teresa Olah. “The flavors predicted this year provide manufacturers with the opportunity to offer consumers new taste experiences with adventurous flavors that have authentic, regional appeal.

“However, we realize that new is not always better and have balanced the list with nostalgic flavors that consumers still desire. This year's list offers a full range of flavor possibilities from traditional comfort flavors to new and exciting flavors of the future.”