We all remember that first-holiday treat. We look forward to the delicious taste of a freshly baked cookie dipped in hot chocolate or the sweet aroma of pie enticing us to the kitchen table. Winter flavors evoke the same sense of wonder as a glimpse of the first few snowflakes. The holidays might look different this year, but consumers can always count on nostalgic flavors to bring them back home.

How Winter Flavors Affect Mood

In general, comfort foods act as a warm welcome, but especially during the cold winter months. From a scientific standpoint, the "warm welcome" triggered by foods or flavors unleashes two hormones: dopamine and serotonin. The neurotransmitters act as "happiness chemicals," which can boost our moods when the temperature drops and the days shorten.

Individuals who prefer to stay indoors longer during the winter tend to crave goodies rich in carbohydrates and sugar. Surprisingly, a little overindulgence can add a boost of positivity! Studies find that intuitive eating, where people respond to physical cues about food, has benefits. People are happier with their body image when they do not deprive themselves of comfort food.

Embrace sweater weather this year and help your customers cozy up to seasonal favorites. The National Flavors team carefully chose delicious (and trending) flavors that you can wrap in foods and beverages for them to enjoy.

Gifts that Keep on Giving

If you’re looking for a limited time flavor for baked goods, confections, or frozen desserts, our winter sample kit features familiar and exciting flavors to add warm tastes.

  • Cocoa – nutty, chocolatey notes and a scent of vanilla make cocoa a multi-sensory flavor experience. New food launches featuring cocoa flavor grew +5% in the last year.
  • Praline – creamy, sweet, buttery tastes combined with pecan flavor bring back memories of favorite desserts.  Intros with praline flavor bumped +8% during the fall and winter months vs. a year ago.
  • Spiced Pecan – a little bit of cinnamon-y heat with nutty sweetness make spiced pecan flavor a must-try addition to your assortment.  Spiced pecan flavored snack and dessert launches had a slight uptick last year.
  • Coffee – a well-rounded, roasted flavor with a hint of sweetness, coffee's popularity as a flavor in foods continues to grow. Launches with coffee flavor increased +11% during the second half of last year.

Make winter a little warmer and sweeter for your customers with this memory-making assortment. 

Making Spirits Bright

The National Flavors team created a sample kit with some of our most popular winter TTB-approved flavors for craft beer, spirits, or hard seltzer.

Smooth or creamy beverages can rekindle warm memories with favorite flavors or elevate the overall customer taste experience with spicier options.

Deliciously familiar tastes and those gaining popularity include:

  • Spiced Pecan – a dash of warm cinnamon with nutty sweetness makes spiced pecan a great taste to savor with friends around an open fire.  Pecan-focused beverages jumped +58% in the last year.
  • Mint – provides a sweet, cooling sensation on the palate, like a breath of fresh air. Mint's little kick is a refreshing choice for cocktails and flavored spirits. Launches featuring mint were up 40% vs. last year.
  • Pomegranate – delivers a delicate dance between sour and tart. Beverage launches featuring pomegranate stayed steady in the past year.
  • Coffee – a fine roast of flavor with a subtle sweetness. According to Mintel, coffee cocktails continue to wake consumers with launches of +25% vs. a year ago.

It’s time to help your customers prepare for the big chill with heart-and-belly-warming flavors.

Looking for More Winter Flavor Ideas?

Our winter flavors sample kits contain tastes that are sure to delight, but if you want to explore and brainstorm other ideas, contact our team.

Or, if you’re ready to embrace the holiday spirit, skate on over to our online portal, Flavorush, to order your next sample.

Jeremy Hernandez-Hermann

Written by Jeremy Hernandez-Hermann

Jeremy Hernandez-Hermann, Marketing Specialist at FlavorSum, comes from a background rooted in the nonprofit sector, with extensive brand and campaign experience. He graduated Western Michigan University with a bachelor’s in Public Relations and Brand Management and minored in Writing Emphasis. His work in nonprofit has allowed him to understand the needs of the surrounding community and how companies can play a key role in helping others. Jeremy’s knowledge of brand voice and creativity has contributed to his work in content creation, campaign marketing, and organizational networking.