Looking toward the year ahead, influential flavor trends are important to know so that bakeries can keep pace with customer demand. Using on-trend flavors in your cakes and cupcakes can help you increase sales and gain repeat customers.

Comfort flavors like caramel, varietal citrus, coconut, butter, ginger, cinnamon and pumpkin are expected to gain notoriety in 2019, according to Suzy Badaracco, president of consultancy Culinary Tides Inc.

Although the U.S. economy is strong, she says, recent unrest in the country has produced what economists and behavioralists call a “stall” — a condition in which consumers are less willing to take risks because of uncertainty in their lives.

When it comes to bakery and foods, Badaracco says, that means people are leaning toward old favorites. They still want to try new flavors, but the trick is not to overdo it. 

“Now is not the time for extreme experimentation,” she says. “Classics are the sweet spot. If you do want to be more trend-forward, pair an experimental, fringe idea with a classic background.”