December 1, 2023
As the year draws to a close and the days get shorter, we enter into the wonder of the holidays!
Decorations and lights brightening the nights, families traveling many miles for holiday feasts, and of course, shopping, cooking, and celebrating to make memories of a lifetime! 92% of Americans plan on celebrating this holiday season according to the National Retail Federation’s polling. From Thanksgiving to Channakuk to Christmas (and every holiday between), families will be buying treats for each other and eating special holiday foods around the clock.
NRF research also shows that sales on food items and holiday confections will be up another 3% to the tune of about
this holiday season, making around a quarter of the $966.6 billion of holiday spending.
As always, the must-have flavors of this holiday season are a mix of classic tastes done in both conventional and innovative ways. Memory and nostalgia play a huge part this time of year, with holiday treats that have been shared for generations. So this top 5 list will feature some well known flavors that flavor companies can't afford to miss. Without further ado, let’s get into it:
The Top 5 Holiday flavors of 2023!
Always a crowd pleaser and on every holiday dessert menu, gingerbread is poised for success this year, trending up by at least 75% for the season. Embodying all the holiday spices, it captures those holiday memories and allows for experimentation. From gingerbread houses to cookies, from lattes to cocktails, gingerbread is a flavor that is impossible to ignore!
The classic holiday beverage for both fans of alcoholic beverages and teetotalers alike. Eggnog has the rich, creamy flavors that satisfy and warm during the cold winter nights. On top of its traditional uses, eggnog flavors can be added to all kinds of desserts, such as cookies, cakes, pies, and ice cream. Also, Eggnog is perfect for a variety or ready to drink beverages. From November into December eggnog trends up 84%! A well-loved flavor that is very versatile and a memorable one for holiday parties!
Made famous for most modern audiences with the phrase “sugar plum fairies” from the classic “Night before Christmas” poem, this Victorian flavor is having a renaissance. Despite the name, classically no plums were used in these simple, sweet, sugared ball desserts. Over the years however, fruit and spices have been added, giving a wider range of flavors to the treat. Now a literal take on the sugared plum is a great way to kick up a holiday cocktail or even a coffee ready to drink beverage.
White chocolate is popular year-round, but rises to a new level during the holidays increasing around 45% for the winter months. It is a favorite for peppermint bark, lattes, and hundreds of holiday desserts. White chocolate is so versatile that it can be added to nearly any holiday treat to make something brand new and delicious.
As we learned in our last blog post, cranberry is king of the holiday table, no matter in what form. From canned to fresh to liquid, cranberry cannot be left out of any feast, starting from Thanksgiving and continuing throughout the winter season. Great for drinks, confections, and even with savory plate mates like turkey and stuffing!
These top 5 flavors have been time-tested and are indispensable for the holiday menu! Of course there are a few honorable mentions such as peppermint, cinnamon, dark and milk chocolate and others, all of which can mix with the top 5 rather well.
The holidays remain a time of traditions and rituals; favorite flavors that come back each year to create new memories and awaken old ones. The top 5 trends this year will do that and more! This year’s top 5 exists at the intersection of tradition and innovation with countless potential pairings that flavor companies won’t want to miss. For the 92% of America that celebrates the holidays, these fabulous flavors are an essential part of every party and celebration, and no holiday season would be complete without them.
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