Fall has arrived. The marketplace is crowded and brands continue to look for ways to engage consumers. Spicy flavored nuts, Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) beer collaborations, and unusual S’mores flavored applications are 3 fall food and beverage trends to watch.
1) Flavored Nuts Heat Up
According to IRI, the Snack Nuts category accounted for $5.173 billion with a 1.2% increase in sales for the 52 weeks ending on April 17, 2022. There’s a resurgence of flavored nuts with an emphasis on spicy flavors. To tap into the “swicy” (sweet and spicy) flavor trend, Planters debuted Sweet & Spicy Peanuts. The dry-roasted peanuts contain sweet honey, sugar, salt, and spicy dried red chili peppers. Setton Farms added Buffalo Wing Seasoned Pistachio Kernels to its portfolio. The shelled pistachios are seasoned with a blend of spicy cayenne pepper, paprika, and a dash of vinegar. The Pioneer Woman launched three Snack Mixes: Knock You Naked, Pecan Sticky Buns, and Spicy Cowgirl. The Spicy Cowgirl variety combines almonds, cashews, and pecans coated in a blend of cocoa powder, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper with mocha-filled dark chocolate mini cups and white confectionary mini cups. Grille Room Mix-Santa Fe Spiced is one of four new Arnold Palmer Snacks. It is a blend of peanuts, chili lemon corn sticks, sesame sticks, chili crescents, toasted corn, and pumpkin kernels topped with a spicy hot seasoning. Daily Crunch dropped the Nashville Hot Sprouted Almonds made with sprouted almonds, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, chili powder, and monk fruit sweetener. The vegan snack is keto, gluten-free, and non-GMO Project Verified and uses a patent-pending sprout and dehydration process. Blue Diamond added Elote Mexican Style Street Corn Almonds and Korean BBQ Almonds to its collection. The Elote Mexican Style Street Corn Almonds showcase the flavors of grilled sweet corn topped with chili pepper, cheese, and lime and the Korean BBQ features smoky, sweet, and spicy almonds with soy, garlic, and Gochujang. UK-based Real Handful launched Air Nuts, which blends peanuts with rice flour and seasoning before baking and aerating them through a patented process. According to the brand, the honeycomb texture is 60% lighter than regular nuts and has under 115 calories per 20 g serving. The Air Nuts are available in Cheese & Onion, Hot Chilli, Salt & Black Pepper, and Sea Salted flavors.
2) Fall Into Flavored Beer Collaborations
QSR beer collaborations are en vogue for the fall. Brands are using their signature ingredients to create unique beer flavors and textures. For the fifth year in a row, Dunkin’ and Harpoon Brewery have teamed up on Harpoon x Dunkin’ beers. Harpoon Dunkin’ Pumpkin Spiced Latte Ale returns while Harpoon Dunkin’ Cold Brew Coffee Porter, Harpoon Dunkin’ Hazelnut Blonde Stout, and Harpoon Dunkin’ Coffee Roll Cream Ale join the mix. The Harpoon Dunkin’ Coffee Roll Cream Ale is brewed with Dunkin’ Coffee Rolls and Dunkin’ coffee while Harpoon Dunkin’ Cold Brew Coffee Porter features Dunkin’ Cold Brew with “some lactose to capture a little of the creamy sweetness.” In celebration of National Biscuit Month, Hardee’s partnered with Southern Grist Brewing Co. to create a Strawberry Biscuit Ale. The Strawberry Biscuit Ale is “a full-bodied cream ale infused with 200 pounds of Hardee’s Made from Scratch Biscuits and features hints of strawberry jam and buttermilk.” Inspired by Oktoberfest, Auntie Anne’s has joined forces with Evil Genius Beer Company on Is Butter A Carb? beer. The beer is brewed with imported German hops and malts as well as fresh-baked Auntie Anne’s pretzels. The flavor is described as “a rich malt backbone balanced by a delicate hop character and a prominent toasty flavor that is rounded out with pleasant salinity.” To celebrate National Milkshake Month, Johnny Rockets and Santa Monica Brew Works collaborated on two milkshake-inspired porter beers: Chocolate Peanut Butter Milkshake Porter and Strawberry Milkshake Porter. The Strawberry Milkshake Porter “has a ripe and juicy strawberry profile with Madagascar Vanilla” while the Chocolate Peanut Butter Milkshake Porter “offers a sweet, nutty taste with a silky-smooth finish.”
3) S’mores Aren’t Just For Summer
Although National S’mores Day is celebrated annually on August 10, S’mores flavors are popping up this fall in unusual and limited edition applications such as beverages and snacks. Pepsi debuted the limited edition S’mores collection that features three distinct flavors: Chocolate, Graham Cracker, and Toasty Marshmallow. Consumers are encouraged to mix and match the three beverages to create the right flavor combination. The Chocolate soda features notes of cocoa with a hint of vanilla and the Graham Cracker soda is infused with honey and cinnamon notes. The Toasty Marshmallow flavor highlights marshmallow with a toasted fireside flavor. Baileys partnered with Los Angeles-based S’moreology to curate a Baileys S’mores Skillet Kit. Baileys limited S’mores flavor “blends the nostalgic flavors of toasted marshmallows and sweet graham crackers with a chocolate finish for the whole s’mores taste experience.” The kit includes a mini cast iron skillet, non-alcoholic Baileys-infused marshmallows, chocolate bars, graham crackers, marshmallow skewers, and two mugs. Ocean Spray introduced S’mores Cranberry Bites, which include milk chocolate and marshmallow flavored Greek yogurt covered and sweetened dried cranberries with graham cracker pieces.
New spicy flavored nuts, QSR beer collaborations, and unusual S’mores flavored applications will continue to launch. Be on the lookout for how these 3 fall trends evolve.