Savory Flavors Inspire New Products
Consumer packaged goods are turning to savory dishes for new product inspiration. Snacks, pizza, and beer as well as holiday foods are the latest stimuli. Savory flavors and scents are appearing in unexpected new applications such as candles, beverages, and ice cream.
Smells Good Enough To Eat – Savory Food-Scented Candles
Food and beverages act as a muse for candle scents. Current activity is being driven by an assortment of new savory scented candles. Inspired by the grocery store’s favorite award-winning products, ALDI introduced the Fan Favorites Collection of Candles! The collection includes Belle Vie Passionfruit Sparkling Water, Clancy’s Mesquite Barbecue Kettle Chips, Friendly Farms Oatmilk, and Mama Cozzi’s Take & Bake Pizza. These candles were part of a social media campaign and fans had to join ALDI’s FB Page with the chance to win. Literie candle launched a Pizza From a Guy Named Joe candle with notes of tomato and basil. Earlier in the year, Miller Lite released the limited-edition Bar Smells candle line in three scents: Beer Garden, Dive Bar, and Game Day. The Beer Garden candle features “scents of green moss and sunscreen that mix with warm pretzels and the old, cracked wood picnic tables” while the Dive Bar blends “aromatic tobacco mixed with a yeasty brew and finishes off with hints of musk and pine.” Game Day “combines the aromas of two go-to game-time snacks, peanuts and jalapeno, combined with the comforting scent of worn, cracked leather.”
With Thanksgiving and the holidays approaching, brands are turning to holiday foods for inspiration. For example, DW Home Candles offers several savory scents. The Mashed Potatoes candle is described as smelling like “freshly whipped potatoes gently mashed with golden butter morsels and savory sea salt.” Mac and Cheese is “the nostalgic and familiar scent of macaroni pasta layered with a cheddar, gruyère, and parmesan cheese sauce.” The Dinner Roll candle is said to be “freshly baked bread with warm, salted butter, soft nuances of cane sugar, and fresh, creamy milk.” Ace hardware wanted in on the action and introduced a limited-edition 5-Course Thanksgrilling candle. According to the press release, the layered candle “begins with Smoked Spatchcock Turkey, followed by Cranberry Sauce, Sweet Potato Casserole, Sage and Sausage Stuffing, and ends with Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake.”
Savory Food-Infused Beverages
To create one-of-a-kind beverages, many beverage brands collaborate with unexpected food brands to use unique ingredients in their formulas. Savory snacks seem to be the en vogue ingredient and are appearing in both non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages. According to Grand View Research, the North American savory snacks market reached $36.89 billion in 2020 with a CAGR of 6.1% between 2021 to 2028. PepsiCo unveiled a limited-edition Mtn Dew Flamin’ Hot beverage inspired by its sibling brand Cheetos, which “combines the sweet, citrus flavor of Dew with the spicy, kicked up flavor of Flamin’ Hot for the most extreme taste experience yet.” Like its Peeps partnership, Pepsi dropped the limited-edition Pepsi x Cracker Jack flavor, which “celebrates two iconic brands, combining the refreshing taste of Pepsi cola with the nostalgic blend of caramel, popcorn, and peanut flavors.” For Oktoberfest, Snyder’s of Hanover and Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. partnered on the launch of the SnyderBier, the first-ever Snyder’s of Hanover pretzel beer collection in two flavors: Pretzel Märzen and Pretzel Frücht. Pretzel Märzen is “a Märzen style lager that blends a classic malty taste with elevated notes of slow-baked Snyder’s of Hanover Mini pretzels.” The Pretzel Frücht is “a sweet and savory balance, gose style ale brewed with Snyder’s of Hanover pretzels, passion fruit, and guava.” Arby’s introduced Curly Fry Vodka and Crinkle Fry Vodka as two limited-run vodkas inspired by the quick-service restaurant’s French fries. Arby’s uses the same potatoes in its fries as it does in its 80-proof, potato-based spirits. As per the press release, the Curly Fry Vodka is “distilled using cayenne, paprika, onion and garlic, a tribute to the mastery of crisp, spiced, curled potato,” while the Crinkle Fry Vodka is “produced with kosher salt and sugar, honoring the rich tradition of salted potato shapes.”
In its usual over-the-top style, for the holidays, Hidden Valley Ranch is offering a Limited-Edition Holiday RanchNog Kit created in partnership with mixologists Whiskey and Rosemary. It is self-described as “marrying the creamy, slightly sweet elements of eggnog with the savory, cool and herby flavors of ranch.” In honor of the Jones Soda company’s 25th anniversary and as part of the company’s Special Release program, the brand relaunched its limited-edition Turkey & Gravy Soda. Diageo has released a limited-edition Guinness Chocolate Mint Stout aged in Kentucky Bourbon Barrels as part of its Open Gate Brewery’s barrel-aged beer project.
Savory Ice Cream
Ice cream is a neutral base and savory flavor innovation abounds. Van Leeuwen garnered a lot of attention for its co-branded limited-edition creation of Kraft’s signature Macaroni and Cheese flavor ice cream. Similarly, Marble Slab Creamery has received a lot of press for its Cheetos Flamin’ Hot Ice Cream, which combines sweet cream ice cream with crushed Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. This summer, the Heritage Restaurant and Caviar Bar, added a Cheddar and Sour Cream Potato Chip ice cream with an optional topping of Polanco Siberian caviar.
West Coast ice cream brand Salt & Straw is known for its unusual flavors. This year, the brand rolled out Friendsgiving 2021, a Thanksgiving-themed ice cream line in five flavors. The two most unusual flavors are the Caramelized Turkey & Cranberry Sauce and Parker House Rolls with Salted Buttercream. The Caramelized Turkey & Cranberry Sauce highlights roast turkey bacon from Diestel Farms with a savory, buttery brittle with thyme, freshly ground cubeb pepper, and homemade cranberry sauce. The other three flavors are sweet and include Candied Walnut Cheesecake, Pumpkin & Gingersnap Pie (vegan), and Sweet Potato Pie with Double Baked Almond Streusel. Des Moines-based Black Cat Ice Cream was also inspired by Thanksgiving. The artisanal ice cream shop created the Herb-Roasted Turkey and Stuffing ice cream made with turkey stock, fresh herbs, and chunks of buttery stuffing.
Consumers continue to crave unique products and experiences and savory flavors are fueling product innovations. Expect to see more unexpected savory applications and collaborations appear in candles, beverages, and ice cream.