Virginia Dare to focus on Hispanic fruit flavors

By Lorraine Heller in New Jersey

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Fruit

Flavor firm Virginia Dare is to introduce new products that appeal
to the Hispanic market in an effort to capitalize on the flavor
preferences of the growing Hispanic population in the US.

The New York based company, which has conducted extensive market research into the eating habits of Hispanics, said it plans to launch its new fruit flavors at the IFT show in Orlando in June.

"Being at the heart of New York we have all the available sources for market and consumer research, and we were able to use these to understand what most appeals to this group of the population,"​ said the company's marketing and communications director Paulette Kerner.

Key to Virginia Dare's new product formulations are three mango flavors, which will be presented in three different mango beverages.

"A lot of people think a mango is a mango, but it's not. There are different types, different flavors, just like with apples,"​ Kerner told

The company also plans to introduce new fruit flavors for the traditionally lime and mint alcoholic beverage mojitos. These include guava, passion fruit, peach and strawberries.

It also currently has a pastry chef working on the development of Hispanic pastries made with different fruit flavors including guava, pineapple and coconut.

"What we've realized about the Hispanic market is that the fruit flavors are consumed separately; they're always single, not mixed. And there are not a lot of citrus or a lot of berry flavors,"​ said Kerner.

Virginia Dare, whose main products include vanilla, fruit and tea and coffee flavors, this week also presented two new "trendy"​ flavors at the Supply Side East (SSE) show in Secaucus, New Jersey.

The company said its new acai and mangosteen flavors, which are suitable for use in beverages, yogurts and desert products, are the next step on from its pomegranate flavors launched a few years ago.

Indeed, the growth in popularity of exotic fruits has recently been highlighted in a number of market and consumer studies, as attention is focused on a combination of health benefits and exotic tastes.

A recent report by Innova Market Insights revealed that the increasing popularity of berries and berry flavors in recent years is now extending to other less well-known super fruits, such as pomegranate, mangosteen, acai and noni, which are all being marketed on their antioxidant content and associated health benefits.

At the SSE this week Virginia Dare presented its acai and mangosteen flavors in a variety of beverages, including soymilk.

The company recently completed the expansion of new product development laboratories at its Brooklyn, New York headquarters facility.

The 5000 square foot expansion includes new laboratories for sweet goods and beverage applications, as well as a beverage pilot plant with a UHT beverage processing installation.

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