Apple is being hailed as a front runner in flavors for the coming year. That is according to esarom, an Austrian producer of flavors and compounds, who believes apple could be key for 2020. esarom, which has created an extensive apple portfolio that goes far beyond the actual fruit itself, says “it is astonishing how diverse in taste an everyday product, such as apples, can be.”
On the one hand, there are delicate apple blossom flavors, and on the other hand, the harvested and already-processed apple can take shape in the form of cider, apple spirits, apple pie or baked apple, which will also be popular this year, notes the company.
There are flavors where the character of individual apple varieties such as Gala, Golden Delicious, or Granny Smith is in the foreground. Still, esarom customers can also enquire for profiles that are juicy-sweet, crispy-fresh, or sour-tangy.
“Gala, Braeburn, Golden Delicious and Granny Smith are popular and well-known apple varieties – so it makes sense to play with those types of flavors. However, if you want something more extraordinary, we recommend Fuji apples,” Susanne Winter, Head of Marketing at esarom tells FoodIngredientsFirst.
Originating from real fruit and apple juice of different apple varieties, nature-identical flavors have been created orientating on those taste profiles. The flavor profile depends entirely on the wishes of the beverage or food producer and also includes natural flavors which are suitable for organic products, says esarom.
Apple flavor combinations
Looking ahead to next year, Winter says that we can expect to see more apple and botanical blends, featuring roots, herbs, blossoms and blooms.
“Apple can be paired well with other fruits, herbs and spices,” Winter notes. “In general, apple-ginger and apple-hop flavors are popular.” In Germany and Poland, apple-cherry is one to watch. Internationally, apple-pear and apple-raspberry flavors are also trendy, she adds. And in the winter season, apple-cinnamon is a favorite.
“Different types of apples give different flavor profiles: sweet, smooth and mild, acidic, tart, sweet-tart, juicy, fresh and peely, for example,” Winter explains.
“With apple flavors, you have much more possibilities – the taste could be like apple cake, like apple cider, like baked apple, like apple strudel, apple puree – tastes more than just apple,” she adds.
The apple is a staple fruit product at homes in over 100 countries. The apple has been “a cosmopolitan among fruits,” says esarom, and at the same time, it is a local fruit almost anywhere in the world. Thus, the taste of the apple fits into concepts that focus on local fruits.
Moreover, children and families are familiar with the saying “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away,” which reflects its healthful image.
Apple features as a trendy and healthy ingredient
Products that focus on health and wellbeing can often feature the taste of apple. Apple has been a timeless flavor that has always been there and still is a top taste.
According to data from Innova Market Insights, the top three flavors as a percentage of food and beverage launches tracked with apple flavors are as follows: Red Apple (71 percent), Green Apple (21 percent) and Apple Cinnamon (6 percent) (Global, 2018).
Meanwhile, the top three categories as a percentage of food and beverage launches tracked with apple flavors are Soft Drinks (31 percent), Baby & Toddlers (30 percent) and Cereals (7 percent) (Global, 2018).
According to the market researcher, curious consumers like to try out new things. The market researcher hailed the “Adventurous Consumer,” as the top trend for 2019, which highlights a desire and interest in combining familiar and popular concepts that are enriched by unexpected flavor notes.
“The apple is a sociable fruit and goes well with many other fruits and botanicals,” says esarom. This results in classical products with a trendy twist which have potential that they are liked by many – consumers and producers alike.
The esarom apple portfolio provides a diversity of seasonal products for an entire year. For example, in spring, an energy drink with apple blossoms can awaken the spirit; a water-based apple drink can serve as a thirst quencher in the hot summer months. Meanwhile, fall is the season for cider – there are cider notes from sweet to tangy, and even alcohol-free concepts. When winter begins, “hygge”, the Danish and Norwegian word for a mood of coziness and feelings of wellness and contentment, is a motto often heard and baked apple is “the taste of the season,” esarom highlights.