Fall Flavors Move Beyond Pumpkin SpiceOctober 21, 2020 - by Taylor Getler
Pumpkin spice has reigned supreme as one of the top seasonal fall flavors for years, with Starbucks being a major driver of the trend with their limited-edition drinks. Recently, however, there seems to be a feeling that we might be reaching an oversaturation point with the flavor. This idea really took off on social media after Kraft Heinz announced a controversial new campaign that revolved around pumpkin spice macaroni and cheese. It forced consumers and brand leaders alike to ask themselves the question: do we really want everything to be pumpkin spice once the weather starts to get colder?
Of course, there is still strong consumer demand for seasonal flavors, and many food and beverage brands are expanding their offerings with more innovative and imaginative flavors that spark traditional fall memories.
Brands Put Their Own Spin on Caramel
Caramel is a great flavor to introduce in the fall, and brands are taking it one step further by pairing it with other complementary ingredients. Caramel macchiato, for example, brings in the spicy coffee flavor that fans already love to get from pumpkin spice. Meanwhile, caramel and cinnamon apple come together and make something innovative and new with flavors that are still rustic and classic.
Maple Isn’t Just for Breakfast
Maple is a flavor that reminds consumers of hearty breakfasts on chilly autumn mornings. Recently, however, maple has really come into its own outside of breakfast as a fun addition to seasonal snacks.
Brands Introduce International Flavors
According to McCormick’s® flavor trend forecast, international flavors are poised to play a big role this fall. From Food Business News: “Demand for global flavors will spark the third trend. Stuck at home and facing travel restrictions that are unpredictable, people will seek both global dishes in traditional form and more approachable fusions of flavor.”
Dinnertime Sees Harvest Produce
Seasonal items are often relegated to sweet products, especially within the snacking category. Recently, however, we are seeing a shift towards introducing harvest produce into limited-edition savory products. This trend allows brands to make up a bigger part of consumers’ shopping carts by expanding into lunch and dinner.
Pumpkin spice probably isn’t going anywhere any time soon, but shoppers who are looking to mix things up this season will have no shortage of options when it comes to innovative flavor solutions. Consumers may be stuck indoors, but creative limited-edition products will help them enjoy the spirit of the season that they may feel like they’re missing.