Nature Inspired Flavors
Nature Inspired Flavors
There are many reasons to love nature-inspired flavors. They sit at the crossroads of the natural, health, and eco-friendly trends with many offering functional benefits as well as an added sense of security in knowing where a flavor came from.
While many nature-inspired flavors come directly from botanical sources, most can be recreated using synthetic flavors, which cut down on the demand for natural ingredients making them most often a more environmentally friendly option. For more on the differences between natural flavors and synthetic flavors in our article What is Natural Flavor?
Whether a nature-inspired flavor is derived from natural or synthetic sources, adding in tastes that are familiar and easily understood by consumers can add to the appeal of a product.
There are as many nature-inspired flavors as there are natural ingredients, but three of the largest and most popular categories are fruits, florals, and herbs.
Fruit flavors are extremely popular due to their versatility, familiarity, and sweetness. They can be used in beverages, desserts, snacks, savory meals, and more.
Fruity flavors can roughly be split into a handful of subgroups including berries, citrus, melons, orchard fruits, and tropical. Since there is a common sweetness throughout the flavor profiles of fruits, it's easy to create fusion pairings of multiple fruit flavors.
These types of flavors also make great choices for seasonal items as the full fruits the flavors are inspired by generally have very specific growing seasons that make a logical and relatable association between the flavor and the season.
Florals offer the opposite of fruits. Instead of familiarity, they present a unique, unusual, but still recognizable flavor to the food and beverage options they enhance.
While florals have been somewhat limited in their past applications, flavor experimentation and an ever-increasing interest in naturally inspired flavors have seen florals enter into nearly every major food category. Their subtle, wild flavor truly knows no bounds.
Lavender, rose, chamomile, jasmine, elderflower, and hibiscus are some of the most popular floral flavors, but the list of regularly used edible florals continues to grow with culinary exploration in the area.
Herbaceous flavors are such a large part of cooking that we may not even think of them as nature-inspired as they have become so commonplace in our spice cupboards.
Classic herbal flavors like garlic, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and basil are used in most heavily in savory applications, but more lifted herbaceous flavors like cilantro, lemongrass, dill, and even parsley can find their way into a broader range of foods as part of complex flavor profiles.
Whichever nature-inspired flavors you choose, you’ll be sure to draw in health-conscious, environmentally concerned, and naturally minded consumers looking for familiar ingredients in bold new combinations and product offerings.