When the weather gets colder, consumers start craving comfort foods to enjoy while they cosy up and keep warm in their homes. People gravitate more towards cookies, cakes and other sweets in wintertime, especially during the holiday season.
Tradition & nostalgia reigns
In our Taste Tomorrow consumer research, we saw that 75% of consumers globally prefer traditional flavours and taste experiences. A preference we saw across all age demographics, from those under 25 (71%) to those over 50 (79%). This yearning for traditional and nostalgic flavours is especially strong around the holidays, when the mind is drawn to comfort and warmth.
Tap into this phenomenon by using one of these four festive winter flavours:
1. Bold and tart cranberries
The season for fresh cranberries starts late September, so the tart, brightly-coloured berries are right in time for the winter months. Fresh, the fruits can be turned into a tangy sweet filling for a cheesecake, while chewy, dried cranberries are common in cookies.
Consumers very much gravitate towards permissible indulgence nowadays - treats they can enjoy guilt-free. This trend picked up when the pandemic hit, in 2020 plant-based sweets even became the second most discussed patisserie topic online. Baked goods featuring wintery fruits such as cranberries, but also citrus fruits, apples, berries and pears, are thus in high demand.
2. Sweet and warm cinnamon
If we could pick one flavour that's expected by consumers this winter season, it would have to be cinnamon. This warm and sweet spice is included in almost any holiday spice mix - from pumpkin spice to ginger bread - and it combines well with most wintery fruits, such as clementines, pears or cranberries.
Cinnamon comes in handy too when you’re developing treats that fit in the permissible indulgence trend. Because of its sweet flavour, the use of cinnamon makes it possible to lower the sugar content of your baked goods.
3. Creamy and rich eggnog
Eggnog is a traditional drink that is mostly consumed in wintertime, especially in Northern-America and Australia. It is made with milk, cream, sugar, whipped egg whites, and egg yolks. Eggnog flavour gives a decadent element to desserts, cakes and patisserie, as it is creamy and rich with a spicy overtone.
Eggnog can be used for a wide array of baked goods, ranging from bundt cakes to donuts. And it is very easy to make a seasonal variation on an existing product with eggnog; it can be used as a direct substitute for buttermilk or milk in pastry and patisserie recipes.
4. Spicy gingerbread
Highly decorated gingerbread houses and gingerbread men have become a major symbol for the holiday season. But besides their looks, their taste has become synonymous with the cold winter months as well. The warming spice mixture always contains ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and cloves, but can also contain cardamom, coriander, star anise and black pepper.
Because it is so distinctly tied to decorating cookies and building cookie houses, gingerbread especially taps into the nostalgic experience. This flavour brings people straight back to their childhood, so it scores highly with people leaning towards traditional flavours.
Keen on exploring more warming flavour profiles for your patisserie, chocolate or baked goods? Then these trendy coffee flavour profiles are just the thing for you.