Flavourings and colourings experts give their views on what’s in vogue in British bakery

Natalie Drake, bakery category manager, Synergy Flavours: “We continue to see more botanical-type flavours. Traditionally popular in the Middle East and Asia, the delicate tastes of florals, such as lavender and rose, are being used in European products, due to their associations with nature and their clean taste. We are already seeing florals appearing in macarons, buttercreams and cakes in top London bakeries.”

Jacqui Passmore, marketing manager, Dawn Foods UK and Ireland: “Natural flavours and colours have never been more important, and the market is moving towards new flavour combinations with a fresh, clean and natural taste. We’re featuring named origin fruits such as Jonagold Apples and Senga Sengana strawberries, reflecting consumer interest in food provenance.”

Mike Bagshaw, MD, International Taste Solutions: “Ginger is a major flavour trend. Our research shows that 30% of consumers regularly enjoy spicy food, and the number of ginger-flavoured product launches in bakery has increased by 50% both in the US and the UK in the past five years. This, added to the move of the market towards natural, puts ginger in a privileged position."

Clive Mathews, R&D director/chairman, House of Flavours: “Floral flavours are set to grow in popularity. We have started to deconstruct florals, enabling us to take the best tastes and aromas of a particular flower, and leave out what might make it unpalatable – for example, taking the sweetness of geranium but leaving behind the strong aroma.”

Danny Kite, senior flavourist, TasteTech: “Consumers are ready for unusual flavours and combinations that take inspiration from around the world, such as cola donuts or maple syrup & bacon pastries. Modern consumers already enjoy flavours in sweet bakery products that would have been unthinkable just five years ago.”

Gouri Kubair, managing director, Spice Drops: “Saffron and turmeric are two flavours for which demand is rising, and we have also seen a rise in the demand for ingredients used for baking exotic and ‘spicy’ cakes, such as cardamom, rose and chai spices.”

Mark Tilling, head of Squires Kitchen International School: “Savoury flavours are becoming a lot more popular. For example, herbs such as rosemary and basil enhance certain flavour notes in chocolate. And flavours like bacon, soy sauce and chilli give an interesting twist to traditionally sweet creations.”

Susan Haskell, bakery lecturer, Brooklands College, Woking: “For wedding cakes, traditional flavours are always the mainstays: vanilla, chocolate and lemon. Red velvet and carrot cake are still popular too. The more unusual wedding cake flavour trends include Oreo cookie, caramel, toffee and rose petal.”

Tarek Malouf, MD, The Hummingbird Bakery: “Seasonal flavours are something we hope will be of increasing importance in baking as this makes the most of foods that are plentiful and at their best, such as rhubarb in the spring, strawberries in the summer and pumpkin in the autumn.”

Steve Love, principal research chef, McCormick UK: “For years the big ‘heat’ trend was all about chilli. Now we’re getting heat from black pepper, with cumin, chillies and cinnamon – it builds the heat, it’s multi-layered. Combos such as pepper and date syrup are coming through, and pepper twinned with tropical fruits, delivering the perfect sweet heat combination.”

Colour me beautiful

Mark Tilling, Squires Kitchen International School: “Tropical brights such as yellow, orange, red and green seem to be increasingly popular in patisserie and on wedding cakes. Metallic dusts are extremely effective when used on chocolate to give real impact, with rose gold set to be a trend in bakery.”

Tarek Malouf, The Hummingbird Bakery: “In cake design we like to see effects like marbling, ombre and luxurious touches like edible gold leaf and lustres. Flowers and nature motifs, both in sugar-crafting and hand-painting, will likely continue their popularity into 2018 and beyond.”

Jacqui Passmore, Dawn Foods: “Bakery is now brighter and bolder, with rainbow, piñata and polka dot cakes, as well as loaded cupcakes and cookie sandwiches all featuring colours with real ‘pick-up appeal’.”

Anthony Barnes, shop manager, Slattery Patissier & Chocolatier, Manchester: “We are doing a lot of marbled or sequinned-effect cakes. We have also started to make a few more ‘old-fashioned’ style traditional cakes with royal icing decoration. Colourwise, greys, rose gold and pastels are popular.”

Susan Haskell, Brooklands College: “Metallic finishes are very on-trend, as are marbled cakes (like polished slices of quartz with gold/silver additions) and crystals (usually made from isomalt).”


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