FHA Insider is Food&HotelAsia’s digital content hub.
Gain industry insights, hear from thought leaders and join our community in discovering the latest foodservice, hospitality and F&B trends in the global marketplace.


Sophisticated Snacking

12 February 2020 by Food&HotelAsia


By: Asian Consumer Intelligence

Nostalgic childhood flavors that bring adults back into a more carefree, youthful moment (think S’mores flavored churros or PB&J ice cream) may have had their time in the sun. Recently, it seems that the trend is going the other way – with manufacturers going after more sophisticated taste profiles and presenting them in kid-friendly formats. Using data gathered from AI-driven flavor prediction service Capchavate, Asian Consumer Intelligence explores how these “grown-up” variants are appearing across a variety of formats usually associated with a younger demographic.

In Thailand in 2019, food manufacturer Lotte launched two Asian-inspired local flavors for their popular stick biscuit. “The kids are always chocolate or strawberry or banana, the basic flavors that are easy to understand. This time, the inside of our new product is not chocolate but Tom Yum and Spicy BBQ…targeting adults,” said a Lotte spokesperson at the time.

The new additions to their boxed snacks also happened to be the first in the brand’s savory stick biscuit category launched in the country. With ingredients such as fish sauce, kaffir lime, lemon grass and red chili that imparts an authentic Tom Yum experience, as well as replicating the hot, tangy and smoky taste of Spicy BBQ, these innovative variants are said to have been well-received in the market and are propelling the company to roll out more non-traditional flavors throughout the Southeast Asian region.

In the US, a familiar gelatinous confection has undergone a makeover to appeal to more mature audiences. Not Pot, a company specializing in vegan CBD-infused gummy bears, has been selling out their white-washed gummies in multi-hued hippie-inspired jars that claim to counter anxiety and stress without the psycho-active effects. Marketed as dietary supplements with healing properties, this particular product is made with organically grown hemp and natural fruits and is free of any animal-derived components or artificial flavors.

Also giving the gummy bear a modern and decidedly adult spin are the caffeine-loaded cold-brew gummies from Sugarfina. Touted as the world’s first coffee-laden candy bears, the LA company that specializes in wildly flavored gummies partnered with Hollywood-famous Alfred Coffee to create three flavors for their quite literally buzzy range. A single serving of their classic Cold-Brew, Bourbon Cold-Brew (spiked with real Bourbon for an additional alcohol jolt) and Iced Vanilla Latte pack is already loaded with a caffeine content of 60mg – equivalent to a single shot of espresso.

Moving on to a Canadian café that serves up 100% plant-based handcrafted ice cream made from coconut and cashew milk, we find a functionally-flavored frozen treat that addresses health conditions such as inflammation, elevated blood sugar and cholesterol. Virtuous Pie features ice cream flavors such as Turmeric and Black Pepper, Thai Tea and Saffron Rose Water to customers who may choose to enjoy it in a waffle cone, an ice cream cookie sandwich or a float (concocted with either a soda or Kombucha as the base).

So what? Sophisticated food flavors recreated in familiar childhood formats may not be losing its appeal anytime soon, as kid-friendly presentations often mean more convenient, on-the-go, bite-sized pieces of food that minimize the mess factor. Moreover, grown-up taste profiles that highlight exotic ingredients or novel twists can leverage on the health benefits that usually come with having a less-sweet, more adventurous palate – lending itself well to better-for-you claims and cleaner labels.

Find more similar reports on Asian Consumer Intelligence website here.