Happy Hour Inspiration

Posted by Rebekah Wicke on 7/31/18

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At the beginning of the year, when we were looking at what flavors were going to be trending in 2018, we noticed that cocktail inspired flavors were picking up steam in foodservice and retail. Everyone loves a good, refreshing beverage after all, and popular cocktail flavors translate well into a number of food items. Snacks and menu items inspired by happy hour beverages allow consumers to enjoy the flavors of their favorite adult-beverages, but minus the alcohol. For consumers, these products are a guilty pleasure without the guilt. 

While lately we’ve been seeing more and more cocktail inspired desserts, this trend works in a wide variety of formats: beer, whiskey and bourbon flavored barbeques, wine-flavored gummy bears, and cocktail flavored ice cream. Alcohol-infused barbeques have long been popular, and allow for numerous regional and local variations. Wine-flavored gummies and candies have been gracing Millennials’ Instagram pages for the past couple of years, but have quickly gained steam as rosé and flavored champagnes have risen in demand.

BloodyMary4But the possibilities with happy hour inspired flavors don’t stop there. While alcohol flavored barbeques work well on chicken and pork, cocktail flavors, like Mojito and Bloody Mary pair well with seafood. Tequila based beverages tend to translate on chicken and wing products. Popcorn products, which about half of consumers see as an indulgence and half see as a healthy snack, are typically targeted at Millennial females, who cocktail inspired flavors appeal to the most. Choose just about any cocktail, and its flavor will translate well on popcorn. Other snacks, like chips and nuts, make excellent bases for some of these flavors as well.

AdobeStock 104620226Alcoholic beverage inspired flavors will be making a home in the dairy aisle. Think Appletini dip, chocolate malted stout cream cheese, Sangria yogurt, and strawberry daiquiri ice cream. Millennial-friendly ice cream shops and fine dining restaurants alike have been introducing more beverage inspired ice creams and sundaes, and eventually those flavors will make their way into ice cream products at the grocery store.

Dark19Need your own Happy Hour inspiration? Check out our new limited edition Shaken & Stirred Collections, which offer cocktail and beer inspired flavors for snacks and proteins. Contact us to request a sample.

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Tags: Snack Seasonings, Custom Seasonings, Flavor trends, Cocktail Inspired Seasonings, Wine Flavors, Beer Flavors, Meat Seasonings