Thanksgiving Day flavor tips: Cookie dough and snickerdoodle among US classics with global NPD appeal


22 Nov 2018 --- North American holidays such as Halloween and Thanksgiving Day (which is celebrated today) are becoming increasingly popular worldwide, affecting seasonal product releases and carrying flavors from the New World further. Using Thanksgiving as a starting point, we take a look at popular American flavors and their applications in markets around the globe. With the rise of what Innova Market Insights terms The Adventurous Consumer (Top Trend for 2019), who is on a constant flavor discovery mission, the vast US landscape is filled with flavor ideas that can be taken elsewhere. 

New data from the market researcher demonstrates that from 2013 to 2017 classic American flavors have seen steady growth in global markets. By region, new releases of American flavors in Asia enjoyed a CAGR of 7 percent. In West Europe, a CAGR of 12 percent was reported, while in East Europe it was up 7 percent over this period. Interestingly, we see great growth in American flavored product launches in Australasia with a CAGR of 20 percent over this period. Latin America showed the highest growth for classic US fare, with 36 percent CAGR in NPD from 2013 to 2017. 

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Last year, Pringles launched the Pringles Thanksgiving Dinner
with eight new innovative, Thanksgiving-inspired flavors.
This year, Pringles presents favorites from last year’s
lineup: Turkey, Stuffing, and Pumpkin Pie.

Using Thanksgiving Day flavors as a starting point, we take a look at some classic, but trending, American flavors and their applications in markets around the globe. 

Thanksgiving Day seasonal launches
Traditional Thanksgiving flavors like cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, gravy and, of course, stuffed roasted turkey, continue to inspire seasonal launches. Last year, for example, Kellogg’s released a limited edition Pringles Thanksgiving Dinner set (containing packs of mixed seasonal favorites). The endeavor’s success motivated Kellogg’s to re-release the consumer favorites of Turkey, Stuffing and Pumpkin Pie flavors. 

Regional preferences on sides
According to a new survey released by FiveThirtyEight, the Thanksgiving Day dinner table varies slightly from US region to region, with different dishes serving as regional favorites. The Southeast prefers canned cranberry sauce, where consumers are 50 percent more likely to pick that over the homemade variety. The Mid-Atlantic states have cauliflower as a side (17 percent in the region, versus 9 percent nationwide), while Texas and the central Southern states favor cornbread. Here 40 percent of respondents from those regions having it at dinner, compared with only 28 percent of the nation. The survey goes on to mention that the Southeast prefers their carbs in the form of the classic mac & cheese. Thirty-five percent of Southeast respondents choose the dish versus 20 percent of the country overall. Finally, New England consumers favor squash, with 56 percent putting it on their menu, compared to only 18 percent of the nation in total.

The US flavor influence overseas
But the role for US flavors goes far beyond seasonality. Besides the ultra-popular tastes of barbecue, bacon and peanut butter, which have been widely used in food applications – and even cosmetics – a wide range of flavors with traditional US appeal have seen a rise in markets worldwide. 

According to new Innova Market Insights CAGR data (2013-2017 ), the flavors of peanut butter (22 percent), bacon (11 percent) and barbecue (16 percent) remain as popular as ever in global launches. More American flavors are sharing the spotlight globally, however. Here we look at a few examples of indulgent and creative American flavors that are rising in popularity, according to Innova Market Insights new product CAGR data (2013-2017).

Trending American indulgent flavors
• Cookie dough is the uncooked dough in preparation of cookies. Minus the eggs for safer consumption, it is so popular that there are stores that exclusively sell cookie dough in different flavors. We see it featuring in ice cream flavors such as Ben & Jerry’s Cookie Dough, which has also been launched in various ice cream applications around the globe, protein bars from Quest and even appearing spreads. With a global CAGR of 65 percent, cookie dough is the fastest growing classic American flavor that we looked at.

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Ben & Jerry's Chocolate
Cookie Dough (Finland)

• Snickerdoodle cookies are probably German in origin and the name is a corruption of the German word Schneckennudel. They are made with butter or oil, sugar, and flour, and rolled in cinnamon sugar. A popular flavor for desserts, sweets and drinks, the flavor is also becoming increasingly prevalent in product applications across the board. Some common product applications of it are in ice cream, donuts, drinks and even coffee creamers. Boasting global CAGR of 13 percent, snickerdoodle remains a popular flavor.

• Applewood smoked products have a delicious smoked flavor with a subtly sweet, fruity undertone. Smoking is a process used to flavor, cook or preserve food by exposing it to burning wood, in this case, applewood. Chicken, ham and of course bacon are popular smoked meats. Applewood smoked bacon especially serves as a treat that has inspired many product launches like crisps, barbecue sauce and mixed nuts. There is applewood smoked salt available as well, which can add a rich full flavor to food. Applewood smoked is a flavor rising fast in popularity with 13 percent CAGR reported.

Smores are a campfire favorite. The classic consists of a sweet sandwich made of two butter cookies (substituting bread), a piece of chocolate and a toasted, gooey marshmallow in the middle. The unique flavor of smores has made them so popular in the US that there is a National S’mores Day celebrated on August 10 each year. This indulgent treat is a flavor that has seen a global CAGR of 15 percent, settling it among the top American trending flavors.

Up for a piece of pie?

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Waitrose Bright & Zesty
Key Lime Pie Dairy Ice Cream (UK)

• Apple pie was actually brought to the colonies by the British, Dutch and Swedes during the 17th and 18th centuries. Despite this fact, apple pie has become synonymous with being American with popular phrases like “as American as apple pie.” It is commonly considered to be the national dessert. Yogurts, cookies, cereal, protein bars, and even Tic Tacs have been launched in apple pie flavor. Apple pie flavors enjoyed a global 4 percent global CAGR, illustrating that this staple American flavor has continuing global appeal. 

• Key lime pie, on the other hand, does originate from the US. It is made of Key lime juice, egg yolks, and sweetened condensed milk in a pie crust. The dish is named after the small Key limes (Citrus aurantifolia “Swingle”) that grow throughout the Florida Keys. As a flavor, it has been applied in cookies, ice cream, yogurts, cereal bars and protein powder. Key lime pie has seen a global CAGR of 17 percent, making it one of the top trending American classic flavors. 

Pumpkin pie is inherently American. Pumpkins were first cultivated in Central America around 5,500BC and were one of the earliest foods that the first European explorers brought back from the New World. Pumpkin pie is a dessert pie with a spiced, pumpkin-based custard filling. Pumpkin pie and pumpkin spice (used to make the pie) are both such popular flavors that can be seen in repeated limited edition product applications, like Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte, for example. Kit Kats, M&Ms, Cheerios and Pringles have all launched Pumpkin pie flavored products in the past. Pumpkin pie as a flavor has enjoyed a global CAGR of 7 percent. 

A flavor melting pot
The US is a melting pot of cultures and flavors. Influencing the rest of the world in more ways than one, it is not surprising that American flavors are yet another American “exported product” with growing global NPD appeal.

By Kristiana Lalou

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