Top flavour predictions for 2013 revealed #FlavourTrends2013

At VWA we run the UK’s only laboratory-based course focusing exclusively on savoury flavours. Tutored by internationally-renowned flavourist Dr David Baines and snack food expert Richard Seal, ‘Creating Savoury Flavours’ attracts delegates from around the globe. An essential element of the course is the emphasis on creativity and how it can be stimulated and used to give fresh impetus to the role of the flavourist. Delegates are encouraged to experiment and analyse new combinations of flavour and their delivery and application.


Lime is a key trend for 2013 in both sweet and savoury dishes according to flavour company Firmenich. It is a classic, versatile flavour which comforts and excites and has a combination of sweetness and bitterness which lends itself perfectly to savoury dishes – particularly in Thai and Indonesian foods and other dishes from Southeast Asia, which continue to be popular. Lime is also a key ingredient in Latin-themed cuisine.

According to Mintel Menu Insights Lime saw an increase of 14% in use on restaurant menus between September 2011 to 2012 and sales of lime flavour and its variations have been steadily on the increase. Some suggestions for 2013 include Key Lime vodka or ice-cream, mojito yogurt, raspberry-lime instant tea together with lime dressings, marinades and sauces.

Herb Appeal, Duets and a Smooth Finish

American company, Comax Flavors, has separated its flavour predictions for this year into three distinct categories. ‘Herb Appeal’ combines sweet and spicy to give fruit flavours a bit of a kick. Examples include Peach Basil Black Tea, Chilli Ginger Lime (there goes the Lime flavour again!) and Peppered Apple Bacon.

‘Duets’ by contrast fuses flavours form different lands and generations to give warmth and sweetness. For example: Maple Bitters and Dolce de Leche Buttered Rum. ‘Smooth Finish’ adds a ‘sweet pop and satisfying mouth feel ‘ to anything sweet, but in particular cream desserts and smooth spirits. Comax lists Pink Cherry Marshmallow, Dark Chocolate Bourbon Truffle and Pistachio Almond Cream as flavours to watch out for in the coming months.

Regional Mexican and Latin American

Consumers are demanding more complex and authentic flavours over and above the average Mexican ingredients offered for home preparation of Mexican meals according to Bell Flavors and Fragrances. Latin America is also a hotbed of culinary attraction for travellers, so expect to see more flavourings and dishes based on these themes in the next 12 months.

For sweet and dairy flavours, Bell believes that continued economic hardship has led to consumers craving stability, so therefore nostalgia is a prime influence for the future. Healthy Mediterranean cuisine and functional beverages containing spices and herbs will also see in increase.

Traditional global flavours with a twist

Flavour company McCormick’s executive chef told Perfumer and Flavourist magazine “Around the world we’re seeing a fascinating collision of tradition and innovation.  Authentic, real ingredients are still at the core – though now they’re being enjoyed in unique, updated ways that reflect a much more personalised approach to cooking and eating.” With this in mind, their key flavour forecast is called ‘Global My Way’ which takes formerly ‘ethnic’ ingredients and incorporates them into everyday eating e.g.  Mexican caramel (anise and cajeta), Japanese katsu sauce and oregano.

McCormick also mirror Bell’s healthy eating vision with their ‘Empowered Eating’ flavours which combine herbs and spices with fruit and vegetables e.g. Broccoli and Dukkah (a blend of cumin, coriander, sesame and nuts) and bring together sweet and savoury flavours, for example Smoked tomato, rosemary, chilli peppers and sweet onion.

2013 looks like an exciting time for flavours where sweet meets spicy and savoury; traditional comfort foods are given an unexpected twist; and our desire for food which gives health benefits continues to dominate. To find out more about our popular Creating Savoury Flavours course, including course content and structure, duration and rates.

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