Through its Flavor Radar methodology, FONA identifies flavor trends that fall into four categories: Novel, Up & Coming, Mainstream and Everyday. The company says these categories are driven by an analysis of restaurant menus, new product introductions and print media data.
In the Everyday category,
Lavender, Hibiscus, Key Lime, Plum, Rosé Wine, and on the savory side, Roasted Garlic.
Lavender has been on the market for awhile, but even in 2019, Markham & Fitz’s Ooh La La Lavender Bar won a Good Food Award, and the Lemon Lavender White Chocolate Bar by Maverick Chocolate earned six nods from the International Chocolate Salon.
As for Hibiscus, I’ve started seeing LaCroix’s Hi-Biscuss sparkling water in stores — a product that capitalizes on the floral trend and the sparkling water boom. In the confections realm, Delysia Chocolatier’s Green Tea Blueberry Hibiscus Chocolate Bar received three stars from the International Chocolate Salon in 2019.
Rosé has also been popular for a few years, and candy lovers can look no further than Sugarfina’s array of rosé gummies. The specialty retailer offers Rosé All Day Gummy Bears, Sparkling Rosé Gummy Bears and Rosé Gummy Roses, among others.
In the Mainstream category,
Matcha, Elderflower, Rose, White Peach, Jasmine, and Harissa, a galicky chili paste from North Africa.
Matcha has been on the confectionery scene at least since I started with Candy Industry in 2016, but I’m interested to see if the Elderflower trend takes off in the United States. A quick internet search revealed a couple Elderflower chocolate bars from chocolatiers in the United Kingdom: The Elderflower & Lemon Dark Chocolate Bar by Creighton’s Chocolaterie and Fortnum & Mason’s Dark Chocolate Elderflower Bar.
Same goes for Rose, which can be a difficult flavor to balance. Nonetheless, there are a few rose chocolate bars out there, including Ethereal Confections’ Dark Chocolate Strawberries + Rose Petals and + Pink Peppercorns Bar and Fossa Chocolate’s Lychee Rose Bar.
In Up & Coming category,
Baharat (a Middle Eastern spice blend), Orange blossom and Marionberry, a hybrid between two varieties of blackberries created in Oregon. Exclusively grown there, the berries have a complex flavor that is sweet and tart. Naturally, Oregon confectioners offer Marionberry sweets.
The Novel category
Jackfruit, Tiger Nut and Wattle Seed, a roasted grain high in protein. Australia-based Haigh’s Chocolates, which created a milk chocolate truffle featuring wattle seeds.
Will these trend projections play out this year? Only time will tell. But if I see a chocolate bar with plum or a lollipop flavored with white peach out there, I’ll be the first in line to try it.