The N.E.X.T. Big Thing - Food and Beverage Trends

One of the primary challenges food and beverage marketers face is the conceptualization of innovative products. Whether it's the next generation of energy drinks, a new twist on a classic flavor or reinventing the candy bar as a meal replacement, Wild Flavors is always on the lookout for big product ideas and bold innovations. Where do we begin to explain the 2007 trends? How about kicking things off with the industry's most savvy experts-- WILD's N.E.X.T. Team. Here's a taste of the predictions.

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The chocolate renaissance

As if chocolate could get any better. One of the world's most popular flavors will be positioned away from indulgence and more as a healthy ingredient that everyone can make part of their diet.

Better safe than ... not

Food safety and ingredient traceability is gaining momentum as a crucial part of any food or beverage business. Keep an eye out for increased safety documentation programs and more region-ability of ingredients.

Bold & spicy gets a boost

Consumers are looking for bolder, spicier notes to be added to more traditional flavor profiles to differentiate products in a crowded marketplace.

Crossing-over gets more into the mix

Flavors will continue to blur the lines between savory and sweet. Beverages both on- and off-premise will explore infusing herb and spice flavors in order to differentiate. Food will work beverages into the mix via increased juice and tea ingredients.

Fortified + easy = fun-to-eat

Another great trend will be nutritionally fortified foods becoming more exciting and taste-tempting! Products will also be easier to consume and look better than current nutritional supplements—more appealing to kids and seniors seeking out better nutritional choices.

"Smart" food

Crossing all demographics, we'll see a desire for products that boost memory, cognitive endurance and mental energy. The focus of this trend  will be directed to tweens, college students, active adults and Baby Boomers.

Ethnic flavors become regional

Where will we travel for new, exotic flavors? Trends will migrate from specific ethnic regions and find homes on menus and in grocery stores.

Sustained energy

Riding the next wave of energy products will be food and beverages with effectiveness lasting over five hours. This will be especially important to those who crave energy but don't want to consume excess caffeine.

Recovery products

The trend today is for more-more-more. Consumers drive themselves to do more mentally and physically, quicker and faster. Food and beverages designed for recovery will become essential as this trend continues.

More veggies, please

It's well known that everyone needs more vegetables in their diets. Ingredient formulations and flavor blends containing these healthful ingredients in non-traditional vegetable formats will take the lead in helping Americans meet serving requirements.

How successful will these trends be? WILD believes that every trend worth tracking is worth exploring. Stay on top of all flavor, aroma, texture and general food-related trends by working with WILD Flavors, Inc. in 2007 and beyond!

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