Holiday Food Ingredient Trends

You Can Taste (and Smell) the Holidays

Nothing tells you it’s the holiday season better than your own sense of smell. Even in the middle of July, if you get a whiff of peppermint, you—even if only for a moment—think it’s November or December.

And now, as we’re at the height of holiday season, those familiar scents will be permeating the air anywhere you can find an oven.

We’ve compiled a few ingredients, based on consumer trends, to give you an idea of what consumers are looking for. What types of recipes are you manufacturing and baking to cater to your customers at this time of year?

Classic Holiday Ingredients

Ginger will forever be associated with the holidays, taking the lead in gingerbread cookies, ginger crisps and any number of creative twists on the old standbys.

Peppermint plays the starring role in bars, cookies and other desserts to adorn the holiday season (after all, this was the chosen flavor for candy canes).

Two more classic holiday ingredients, vanilla and nutmeg, find their ways into dishes throughout the year, but are especially noticeable during the holidays. While essential on their own, become more powerful when combined, along with rum, to create the classic holiday drink, egg nog. As Clark W. Griswold would say, “It’s good.”

Lesser-Known Holiday Ingredients

Many ingredients are extremely popular in certain parts of the world or in certain families, but are unknown or even disliked in others. Still, we looked at what consumers want this year, and found an increasing demand for versatile (and polarizing) allspice, cardamom, saffron and star anise.

What are you seeing from your customers? Is there a particular spice to which they tend to gravitate?