Cucumber named 2017 ‘flavour of the year’

Food flavour trends in 2017 are being led by the ‘refreshing’ cucumber

Cucumber is expected to be ‘flavour of the year’ in 2017, based on growing demand for refreshing, clean and healthy food and beverages, a Swiss fragrance and flavour company has claimed.

Consumers are moving towards lighter, refreshing ‘green’ flavours, and as a result cucumber has become a “go-to” flavour for product developers, Firmenich claimed.

“Vegetables in general are becoming more accepted as flavours and ingredients, sometimes even replacing fruit in traditionally sweet categories such as ice cream and cereal,” said Chris Millington, president of Firmenich’s Flavour Division.

A big-hitting new favourite

“This is why we predict that 2017 will really see the mild cucumber become a big-hitting new favourite.”

Almost twice as many launches contained cucumber in 2015 compared with 2012, according to Innova Market Insights.

More launches of cucumber-containing products were reported in the first 10 months of 2016 than in the whole of 2015.

Other flavour trends to watch out for in 2017 included continued desire for ‘bold’ flavours, Millington said.

Alcoholic beverages in Japan

The trend started in alcoholic beverages in Japan around three years ago, with adding spices to alcohol, he explained.

“This whole concept of boldness, whether it is jalapeño or much more traditional spices is not just being driven in savoury – it’s across all categories,” Millington said.

“In fact, we see a fusion, with both savoury and sweet flavours coming together. You see that in areas such as nutritional bars, where this is a growing trend.”

Green tea powder matcha was a further growing trend, especially in tea and tea-based beverages, Millington added.

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