Looking ahead to fall, retailers will need to keep a close on a seasonal favorite that may be due for a reexamination, said Mike Kostyo, Menu Matters’ vice president.

“We have definitely seen pumpkin spice peaking, and now operators are looking for other unique flavors to differentiate themselves. Pumpkin spice will still have a place for years, but look for fruit flavors and compound flavors to keep the seasonal menu exciting.”

Apple pie spice is a good candidate to challenge pumpkin pie spice in 2024, said Suzy Badaracco, president of Culinary Tides Inc.

On the fruit side, new flavors that enter the market via new branded varieties will continue to be big in 2024, Kostyo said.

“You see consumers asking friends and family if they’ve tried that new apple variety or that sweet grape variety that they just tried for the first time. It’s keeping the category exciting.”

The use of tropical fruit flavors has also been growing, particularly in foodservice, with flavors like passionfruit, tamarind and dragon fruit showing up in more recipes.

“Supermarkets should be prepared to act on that,” Kostyo said.

Pickle-flavored foods have been hot for a while, and don’t expect that to change in 2024, said Amy Marks-McGee, president of Trendincite LLC. Get ready, she said, for some new twists on the theme that few, if any, saw coming.

“Although not new, pickle-flavored products never go out of style. From collaborations and condiments to snacks and ice cream, in 2024, I anticipate more unexpected applications featuring pickle flavors.”

This article is an excerpt from the January 2024 issue of Supermarket Perimeter. You can read the entire Flavor Trends feature and more in the digital edition here.