The "Flavors of the Year"—according to Beck Flavors—are yuzu, cherry blossom, dill pickle, and honeycomb toffee.

As we inch closer to 2021, people can almost taste the new year and what it might bring. In the spirit of tastes of the new year, Beck Flavors has announced four flavors that —according to their research, insights, and popular vote — will play a big role in the food and beverage industry in 2021.

Beck Flavors identified four key flavor categories — Fruit, Botanical, Innovative, and People’s Choice — that helped provide a framework for their research and 2021 projections.

In the Fruit category, they chose Yuzu, a tart flavor that tastes like the combination of a grapefruit and a mandarin orange. Cat Neville of tasteMAKERS, the webinar that announced the Flavors of the Year — said, “Not only does it have a fun and crowd-pleasing taste, it provides an innovative twist to multiple applications like cocktails, sparkling water, energy drinks, and more.” Yuzu can also be paired with other fruits like strawberry or pear, or it can stand on its own.

Cherry Blossom was chosen as the winner in the Botanical category. With a light sweetness that represents springtime and renewal, this flavor can be used in anything from tea to desserts. Restaurateur Leslie Newsam also recommends pairing it with gin in an aromatic cocktail.

In the Innovative category, Dill Pickle was the selected winner. This flavor has recently become popular in everything from beer to popcorn, but Beck Flavors believes it still has room to grow on the national stage. It is a distinct flavor profile that has some unique benefits, including relieving cramping during physical activity. Adam Berge from the Beck Flavors lab team explains, “It can be used in a wide range of applications including cocktails, beer, chocolate, coffee, candy, ice cream, chips, popcorn, and more.”

Lastly, Honeycomb Toffee won the “People’s Choice” category, and was determined by tallied online votes from people across the United StatesPaul Tripi, Vice President and Partner of Beck Flavors stated, “both of these flavors—honeycomb and toffee—are popular by themselves, but the combination is where the innovation happens.”

How the Winners Were Chosen

Choosing Flavor of the Year winners and projecting popularity can be a challenging exercise. According to Messina Truttman, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Beck Flavors, “First, the marketing team researched flavors utilizing our research partners like Innova Market Insights. The Beck lab and marketing teams then reviewed the list and brainstormed additional flavors to consider by category.”

After they narrowed down the flavors, the lab and marketing teams consulted with other industry experts to determine the top flavor in each category. The selections signal a recent upward trend in popularity as well as an expected continued growth into the new year.

What’s The Next Popular Flavor?

Projecting popular flavors is not an exact science, but it can reveal a lot about consumer preferences and marketing opportunities. As Truttman explains, “We are always asked what the next pumpkin spice will be—and you can’t always see that in the trends. We have to look into the future and forecast what will be next.”

If these predictions are any indication, you can expect to see these flavors on store shelves and menus more and more in the coming year.

To learn more about Beck Flavors and their Flavors of the Year, visit their website at https://beckflavors.com/.