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Consumers not as adventurous as developers think, says flavor firm

By Caroline Scott-Thomas , 09-Mar-2011

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Consumers are not as adventurous when it comes to flavors as most food product developers would like to think, according to Kim Holman, director of marketing at Wixon.

Speaking at the Research Chefs Association conference at the weekend, she told FoodNavigator-USA that the most successful flavor profiles have remained pretty constant over the years, with vanilla, chocolate and strawberry leading the pack.

Meanwhile, food product developers continue to get excited about new flavors coming from Latin America and Asia, for example, and look to how they can be incorporated in American foods.

Holman said that researchers and food manufacturers need to ‘do a check’ on their flavor strategy, and ensure they really understand what consumers want. This does not necessarily mean rejecting new flavor profiles, just taking time to consider how to interest consumers.

She cited consumer research that shows most people find out about new flavors through those closest to them, and suggested that social media could have a strong role to play in piquing consumer interest in more unusual flavors.

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