Mintel has predicted new flavors and scents expected to make an appearance in the United States marketplace in 2010.
 
"As the economy recovers, we expect people to continue the trend of eating at home," Lynn Dornblaser, Mintel's leading new products expert, said. "The home cook is becoming more advanced with his or her cooking skills by trying new spices and flavors, as well as preparing everyday items in new ways."
 
Mintel has identified six key flavors and two scents that will be recognizable in 2010. Flavor predictions include:
1. Cardamom - Known to be intensely aromatic with a strong, unique taste, cardamom will find a home in more than just ethnic fare. Cosmic Chocolate recently launched a chocolate bar flavored with cardamom and oranges.
2. Sweet Potato - Candied, fried, baked or boiled, sweet potatoes are one of the most diversely prepared vegetables. Aside from being a delicious snack or side dish, they also will become known as the new functional food, as they are rich in dietary fiber, beta carotene and vitamins C and B6.
3. Hibiscus - Commonly seen in teas, the USDA has said that consuming hibiscus tea can lower blood pressure. In the future, expect to see it become a common ingredient in the beverage market. Premium Essence Water from Hint now offers Hibiscus-vanilla flavored water.
4. Cupuaçu - Cupuaçu is the next big superfruit. It contains more than 10 vitamins and antioxidants, as well as essential fatty acids and amino acids. Musselmans launched a lime and cupuaçu-flavored apple sauce showcasing this unique flavor.
5. Rose water - Rose water is no longer just a fragrance. You can look forward to finding it as a common flavor in ethnic foods or, like Ghalia Organic Desserts in Los Angeles discovered, you can add it to your brownie recipe for a subtle rose water flavor.
6. Latin - Latin spices will be heating up our palates next year. Whole Foods Market now offers a Mayan ceviche; meanwhile, Icelandic Salsa Shrimp Cocktail features a spice packet loaded with the popular Latin flavor of cilantro.
Mintel's scent predictions for 2010:
1. Simple, clean - In 2010, expect to see everything from body lotions to dish detergents to air fresheners launched with few- or single-component scents. Palmolive launched their Clean + Clear dishwashing liquid that boasts no heavy fragrances or unnecessary chemicals.
2. Scents to influence mood - During a time of high-stress lifestyles, consumers are looking for any way they can to "escape" the rigors of everyday life. A candle that smells like a piña colada might be reminiscent of a beach vacation or an air freshener that has a pumpkin spice scent could remind you of the holidays.

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