The holiday season is upon us once again, and for many, that means turkey, pumpkin pie, and cranberry flavors.
On top of all the merry-making and shopping, cooking and family gatherings quickly take center stage for most American families. American cranberries have had a place at the Thanksgiving table since the first celebrations, and for many, it just isn’t Thanksgiving without them. Despite being an old standby, cranberries are coming into their own with new life and vigor. No longer just a thoughtless side, cranberries are making moves to be front and center in all kinds of holiday foods and drinks.
With a 25% rise in shopping and interest in cranberries during the holiday season, you don’t want to miss out on the cranberry resurgence.
The Old, The New, and The Now
Even without the growing menu of cranberry options, the tried-and-true cranberry sauce and cranberry juices are enough to be worthy of investment. Over the next 7 years, cranberry juice sales are expected to grow steadily year over year, with an outcome of nearly a 5x increase by 2030!Cranberry sauces also see a huge bump every year between October and December, increasing by around 25% of their normal consumption.
American cranberries are healthy and packed with antioxidants, making them a favorite for vegans and vegetarians, as well as those with diverse dietary preferences. They’ve been with us from the beginning of the country and are truly one of the few native, commercially grown fruits. Embedded in the fabric of the American diet, their future is promising.
We love innovations and anything new and different! In fact, one of the main food trends for the entire year of 2023 has been pointed out as adventure and new takes on old classics. Cranberries are no exception for the discriminating American palate, and we are seeing them pop up in new and exciting ways.
Over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season, we typically see about 20% of the yearly crop of cranberries consumed, but with new outlets and appetites, this is beginning to creep up a few percentage points every year.
This year, the biggest growth opportunities for cranberries and cranberry flavors are in cakes, coffee, cookies, turkey, and apples. Holiday desserts and Christmas treats are a natural fit for the cranberry takeover. Additionally, the beverage market is witnessing a surge in demand for cranberry-infused options, spanning both alcoholic cocktails and non-alcoholic mocktails.
Cakes, cookies, and other Christmas holiday treats are a natural opportunity for cranberry flavors. The tart, bright bite of cranberry mixes so well with chocolate, cinnamon, coconut, and vanilla. Cranberries are popping up in all sorts of pies and cakes, sometimes paired with familiar favorites like pumpkin or exotic Asian ingredients as well.
Flavored coffees offer another market that is ripe for holiday-loving consumers. Adding a festive flavor helps create seasonal memories, which cultivates brand loyalty as the treat will become part of their yearly traditions. Cranberry is becoming a highly desired flavor for fall and winter coffee and for many party cocktails.
Lastly, we are seeing cranberry flavors paired with various turkey preparations, both as an accompaniment for the main Thanksgiving dish and in restaurants, featuring in sandwiches, relishes, and sauces. Cranberry and apple are breaking in the breakfast market for oatmeal and cereal, as well as delicious breakfast muffins.
Cranberry is truly an amazing and versatile fruit whose flavors work in anything from savory meats to sweet after-dinner treats and any delicious drinks. Cranberry always steals the show at this time of year, and with so much interest and growth in the cranberry market, it is a natural flavor to experiment with and add to seasonal holiday offerings. From cakes to coffee to beers and wine, cranberries are an essential part of the holiday season for Americans and show no sign of slowing down.