Top 10 flavour trends include one of world’s hottest peppers

By Laurence Gibbons

- Last updated on GMT

Ghost peppers feature on Sensient Flavours' list of top 10 hot flavour trends for 2013
Ghost peppers feature on Sensient Flavours' list of top 10 hot flavour trends for 2013

Related tags: Scoville scale

One of the world’s hottest peppers, together with alderwood smoke, the pawpaw fruit and a classic cookie from the Netherlands will feature in the top 10 flavour trends for 2013, according to a report published by flavour company Sensient Flavours.

Officials from Guinness World Records officially certified the ghost pepper as the hottest in the world in 2007, measuring it at 1,001,304 Scoville Heat Units (SHU) – or 10,000 times hotter than Tabasco sauce. The record has since been broken by the Trinidad Scorpian ‘Butch T’, which was grown in Australia and measured at 1,463,700 SHU in 2011. 

The popularity of alderwood smoke is also set to grow. Alder is commonly used for smoking fish and is said to have a sweet and smoky flavour.

Sweet tropical flavour

Another flavour tipped for success this year is the world’s largest edible fruit: the Pawpaw. The fruit has a creamy flesh and sweet tropical flavour that is best described as a cross between a mango and a banana, said the researchers.

Teresa Olah, Sensient Flavours’ marketing manager, flavour systems, said: “The list mirrors the unpredictable nature of consumer behaviour and choice as consumers desire various flavour profiles at different times.

“The flavours predicted this year provide manufacturers with the opportunity to offer consumers new taste experiences with adventurous flavours that have authentic, regional appeal.”

Classic flavours

In addition to less well-known flavours, the top 10 contains classic flavours such as: peanut butter and jelly, French toast and speculoos − a classic cookie originating from the Netherlands and Belgium.

“We realise that new is not always better and have balanced the list with nostalgic flavours that consumers still desire,”​ said Olah. “This year’s list offers a full range of flavour possibilities, from traditional comfort flavours to new and exciting flavours of the future.”

The list of flavours was drawn from wide-ranging consumer preference trends, including comfort, connections, sensory and health and wellness, said Olah.


Sensient Flavours’ trend predictions for 2013

  • Alderwood Smoke − Provides sweet and smoky flavour during smoking
  • Blue Honeysuckle Berry − A cross between a blueberry and a blackberry, which originates in Russia
  • Cloudberry − Tart taste when eaten fresh but becomes sweet and mellow when ripe
  • Dandelion Honey – Produced from the nectar of dandelions, this honey has a full, sweet flavour
  • French Toast − classic combination of bread soaked in eggs and then fried
  • Ghost Pepper − one of the hottest peppers in the world
  • Pawpaw − tropical tasting fruit grown on pawpaw trees in the US
  • Peanut butter and jelly − Traditionally used in a sandwich
  • Speculoos − Sweet and buttery tasting cookie originally from Europe that combines cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and clove. Also available as a spread.
  • Za’tar − Middle Eastern spice and condiment is a blend of sumac, thyme, oregano, marjoram, toasted sesame seeds and salt.

Source: Sensient Flavours.

Related topics: Ingredients, Flavours and colours

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