The fruits of spring and summer weren’t just relegated to hotter months in 2020, as consumers looked for an escape to the tropics more than ever before. Bakers were inspired by exotic, citrus flavors this year, and the global influence was apparent in desserts on bakery shelves.
In the spring, Bake Magazine shared Datassential’s Sweet Spot Keynote Report, and at that time it found two in five consumers were interested in globally-inspired flavors in desserts.
“Exotic tastes provide unique twists on some of the staple baked goods,” the report noted. “Asia and Eastern Europe are having an especially strong effect on menus in recent years.” And, Puratos’ Taste of Tomorrow report showed that 56% of North Americans “enjoy unusual and exotic tastes from other parts of the world.”
Natural ingredients that fit the international craze include vanilla, citrus and black sesame, among many others. Reasons include a need for nutritious offerings and clean labels combined with indulgent desserts, but perhaps more importantly in 2020 — a need to be connected throughout the world and to have a literal taste since travel hasn’t been an option. Bringing flavors and ingredients to the United States is a way for us all to feel a sense of belonging no matter where we are.
Paula Labine, Marketing Director at ADM, told Bake Mag that she foresaw “greater acceptance and growth of tropical and exotic citrus flavors.” Mango, passionfruit, yuzu, calamansi, mandarin, clementine, and bergamot, as well as hibiscus, basil, lavender, basil, thyme and rose were also on her list as predicted standalone offerings, or even better paired with other well-known baking flavors.
In 2020 consumers were not disappointed. Bakers flourished with creativity, adding new twists that combined the predicted familiar favorites of desserts and pastries with new global fare. Inspiration came from Asia and the Middle East, as well as Eastern Europe and Africa. One such example from Bake Magazine was halva, a Middle Eastern sweet dessert that includes ingredients like pistachio, lemon and chocolate swirl, “making it prime for usage in items such as snack bars, sweet spreads, and frozen desserts.” As seen at Los Angeles’ Hebel & Co., its halva is the perfect recipe for the holiday season in the form of cakes, pops or cookies.
Are you globally inspired from this 2020 trend? Head into 2021 with even more international desserts with your trusty LloydPans guiding the way.