Flavor blends, the largest segment, are expected to achieve healthy gains during this period. Essential oils and natural extracts, a smaller segment, are expected to post the fastest growth. Additionally, trends toward more complex and exotic flavors and scents will boost demand for new flavor and fragrance blends. Advances in flavor blends will be propelled by continued growth in the popularity of nutritionally supplemented functional foods, as well as reduced-sodium foods and reduced-sugar beverages, which require higher flavor loadings to improve taste. Along with growing demand for healthier foods, consumers are also showing greater interest in natural foods, so the use of natural flavors—which tend to be more expensive than their artificial counterparts—will become more widespread, boosting value gains.
From 2002 to 2012, consumer interest in natural items—including food, beverages, cosmetics and toiletries, and even cleaning products —rose relatively quickly and demand for essential oils and natural extracts continue to will benefit as more markets offer naturally flavored or scented versions of their retail items. Going forward, demand growth in oils and extracts for flavor and fragrance applications will outpace that in flavor and fragrance blends, though from a smaller base. Demand growth in aroma chemicals for use in the flavor and fragrance industry has lagged that of other products and will continue to do so. However, advances in natural aroma chemicals will remain above average through 2017.