Our next stop was at the booth of Chicago-based Sensient Flavors, where we met with savory flavors director of technology & innovation Dr Yawen Wu; marketing director, beverage flavors, Theresa Olah; and beverages R&D director Bill Smith. Here's what we learned:
Hispanic-inspired flavors are in: Think strawberry guava, ginger lime, chili mango, horchata, pineapple tamarind, lemon cherimoya, hibiscus, and tangerine.
And so are 'unexpected twists': Checkout these unexpectedly awesome flavor pairings in water (mango & guasacaca), and ice cream (molasses, pineapple, & jalapeño).
Stevia is still hard work: Despite what a lot of stevia suppliers were saying on the show floor, many F&B manufacturers are still seeking additional help from flavor houses to mask bitter and licorice notes that stubbornly refuses to go away...
Protein doesn't always taste so great: The current obsession with adding "unheard of" levels of protein to everything has created new opportunities for flavor companies.
K-Cups & craft beer: The explosion of innovation in K-Cups, craft beer, and ready-to-drink tea and coffee arena is providing significant new growth opportunities.
Trick your senses: Flavors can deliver body and mouthfeel - without any physical bulk.
Finally, here are the firm's top trends to taste flavors for 2014: