Holiday flavors complement the cooling weather, the excitement of swanky friend and family gatherings, and the richness of bountiful feasts and gratitude. They’re warm, spiced, indulgent, playful, and, at times, elegant. Bring the holiday narrative you want into your products. Whether you run a brewery or a candy factory, your business can benefit from incorporating classic holiday flavors into your products. If you run a more adventurous company, you might want to create something new to add to the holiday repertoire. Either way, our flavor experts at Northwest Naturals have you covered.
Read on to learn everything about incorporating holiday flavors into your products!
Holiday Flavors: The Basics
For starters, what are holiday flavors? The classics are:
- Apple (Cider, Spiced Cider, Pie, Apple Cinnamon)
- Pineapple (Great for beverages like wassail or glaze for ham!)
- Pumpkin / Pumpkin Spice
- Spices – Ginger, Cinnamon, Allspice, Clove, Nutmeg, Anise, Star Anise
- Herbs – Rosemary, Mint
Mix and match these together to create dynamic, full, satiating flavors. Combining apples and pears in pies and in a cider is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Orange with clove or star anise is another combination versatile enough for icings and baked ham. Try cranberries with the other listed fruits for a fragrant tartness that will pair well with showstopping sweets.
In the market for something more adventurous? Dare to utilize combinations like cranberry-orange-rosemary, pineapple-mint, apple-rosemary, cranberry-yuzu, blood orange with cinnamon, clove, star anise, and pomegranate-cherry-chili-pepper. They will leave your customers with a delectable impression they won’t forget.
Tips for Creating Unique Holiday Flavors
For unique applications, we recommend blending classics with the unexpected. Examples can be pineapple-passion fruit, pomegranate-lychee, or cranberry-yuzu. Ales, cookies, salad dressings, candies, ice cream, cocktails, and more are apt canvases for experimentation.
Popular flavors like peppermint and gingerbread are tempting to incorporate. Keep balance in mind and develop an understanding of complementary flavors. When you do, you can create something great.
For example, peppermint can give off a toothpaste-like flavor. But use Natural Flavors to provide a mild, floral, herby mint flavor instead of a robust and cooling peppermint profile. You can also add fruits like pineapple and citrus. For gingerbread, combine it with pineapple, stone fruit, and orange. Your product will feel instantly elevated!
The holidays are coming, and businesses are already incorporating these flavors into their products. If you are looking for inspiration, here are a few existing and memorable items that have caught our eye.
Beverages like ready-to-drink cocktails or mocktails, spiced cider, wassail, mulled fruit wine and sangria, and cocktail mixers are perfect for a holiday glow-up. For example, Pumpkin Jack is a pumpkin apple wine that is as autumn as it gets, and the Vin Glogg winter sangria is a fun holiday twist on a poolside favorite. It is a blend of wine mixed together with spices of cinnamon, cardamom, and orange peel. Both are guaranteed to have customers give a double-take when scanning a menu.
For savory applications, glazes are fun for experimentation. For example, Crosse & Blackwell has a ham glaze made with pineapple, Montmorency Cherries, and cloves that give a unique, full-bodied, and memorable flavor. You can also try using other fruits like oranges and apricots for glazes.
Sweets and desserts are rife with possibilities! Use holiday combinations for jellies on charcuterie boards and holiday spreads. From spiced cranberry sauce to pomegranate cherry jelly to orange apricot, there is a flavor for everyone at any age at a holiday party.
Ice cream bases, cookie fillings, frosting, inclusions, and glazes for cakes and pastries, jelly fillings, French macarons, pie fillings, and dessert sauces, the possibilities are endless! Any business in the food and beverage industry can take advantage of the variety of holiday flavors! Now is the time to get creative and make something magical to be ready in time for the next holiday season.
Ready to Craft Your Holiday Flavor?
Browse our product list to see if we already carry your desired flavor. If not, our Product Development team will be happy to help create that unique, holiday-specific blend that perfectly fits your application.
Contact us to get started!