Restaurateurs, manufacturers and home cooks alike have come to an agreement in 2015 on one golden ingredient—honey. This beloved sweetener, which was named Flavor of the Year by Firmenich, is being recognized for its unique flavor and its versatility as an ingredient, elevating its status beyond an everyday sweetener. In honor of National Honey Month, the National Honey Board (NHB) continues to bear the good news and raise awareness about honey and its many culinary uses.
Firmenich chose honey for this award because they believe it has the potential of becoming a "classic" flavor. Honey may be well on its way to joining the likes of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry in this prestigious category and consumers seem to agree. According to a recent Consumer Sweetener Usage & Attitudes Study Report fielded by the NHB, 6 out of 10 consumers agreed that foods sweetened with honey taste better than foods made with other sweeteners. In addition, 46 percent of total consumers say they have used honey in the past month3 adding to the continued growth and demand of honey on menus and in households.
"We are thrilled to be named Flavor of the Year for 2015. We have seen honey grow exponentially in its use with chefs, manufacturers and consumers over the last few years, especially with yogurt, craft beers and baked goods," explained Catherine Barry, NHB director of marketing. "With consumers preferences leaning towards artisanal, natural and clean-label ingredients; we believe consumers are realizing the potential of honey as a premier ingredient in foods and beverages."
Product developers and chefs have discovered how versatile honey is and have included it in combinations with many different flavor profiles. From craft beers and cocktails, functional beverages to baked goods and snack bars, among others, Firmenich took notice that honey is becoming a sought-after flavor option.
"Product developers are realizing what a fantastic and versatile flavor honey is in regards to combining it with other tonalities, making honey an easy choice for Flavor of the Year," says Patrick Salord, senior flavorist at Firmenich.