Market Trends – Flavored Cheese Pt. 2, Flavor Trends

Introduction 

With health being a top concern amongst Americans, cheese is presented with both an opportunity and challenge when it comes to sales. Cheese has historically been viewed as a high-fat/unhealthy food in the past. However, recent shifts in attitudes towards dieting such as low-carb and high-protein have left modern consumers revisiting their relationships with cheeses, especially those that have well-rounded nutritional data. Additionally, recent years have seen a growth in “flexitarianism”, with consumers looking to reduce their meat intake. Cheese has the opportunity to flourish as tasty alternative protein source. Although health is high on the list of concerns amongst consumers, taste remains to be a key driver. Consumers are looking to be inspired and entertained, therefore, staying on top of flavor trends is vital to satisfying consumer demand.  

This flavor trend piece highlights specific flavor data across the cheese industry. As Part 1 discussed, essential household staples like cheese are prioritized during recessionary times. Now is a strategic time to invest in your cheese formulations, both old and new. As always, please contact us or request a sample through our website! 

Read Chris Milligan’s Ask the Expert – How to Add Natural Flavors to Cheese

Popular Varieties of Cheese

It is no secret that cheese comes in many shapes and sizes. When it comes to consumer favorites, the big three are cheddar, mozzarella, and parmesan.

Consumption of Cheese Varieties
“What varieties of natural cheese have you eaten in the past three months? Please select all that apply.”

Different varieties of cheese allow for a plethora of flavor experiences. While Bacon and Cheddar may be a match made in heaven, the same may not apply to a cheese like feta where Oregano may be a better choice. Cheese producers not only have to choose the right flavoring, they have to choose the right flavoring for their cheese base.  

Cheese Type Consumption
“Which of the following cheeses have you eaten in the past three months? Please select all that apply.”

Data-Backed Flavor Info

The following two charts examine growth trends in terms of top flavors profiles and ingredients used to flavor cheese.  

US: Percent of Cheese Products, by Flavor, 2017-2019

According to the global research firm, Mintel, the top flavors in terms in growth are a mix of classic and innovative flavors. Chive & Onion, Truffle, and Dill & Garlic are the flavors that experienced the most growth between 2017-2019. This phenomenon was touched upon in Pt. 1 of this blog where we discussed that creating a balance between the traditional and the innovation is crucial, especially for brands during and post-COVID.

US: Percent of Flavored Cheese Products, by Herb/Spices and Flavoring Ingredients, 2017-2019

 

Ingredient wise, the trend sticks, with a mix of both the innovative and traditional.  

In addition to compounded flavors for cheese, Trilogy is also a one-stop-shop for ingredients. Our dedicated production rooms for oleoresins, emulsions, dry blends, and extracts allows us to develop flavor delivery systems for many formats of finished products.  

Our Cheese Flavors

Our robust R&D team prides itself on the ability to quickly develop flavors for cheese thanks to our dedicated dairy lab. The list below is a just of taste of what’s available. As the cheese industry continues to evolve during the current global pandemic, Trilogy offers the expertise, supply, and customer service needed to quickly, and successfully launch your next flavor.  

Trilogy Essential Ingredients, Inc. has expertise in sourcing the highest quality ingredients that are used in cheese flavors. Our library contains a mix of traditional and innovative flavor profiles based on current and projected market trends. Depending on the flavor, our leading-edge cheese profiles are oil-soluble or water-dispersible for use in hard and soft cheeses.

Source: Mintel Food and Drink Platform

Emily Oursler

Emily is a Marketing and Business Development Associate at Trilogy where she works on marketing and China-related projects. Prior to joining Trilogy in 2019, Emily worked in management consulting in Shanghai, China for three years. Her interest in the food and beverage industry began after developing a North America market-entry plan for a large Chinese hot pot chain. Emily graduated from the University of Maryland in 2016 with a degree in Chinese and a concentration in Economics. She is fluent in Chinese and speaks basic Vietnamese and French. In her free time, Emily enjoys playing the electric guitar, scuba diving, skiing, and sailing.

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