Givaudan has launched FlavourVision, an initiative designed to consolidate information from a number of internal research programmes.
FlavourVision is expected to be available to customers early next month, said the firm.
The new tool aims to act as an "umbrella program" , integrating the company's global information resources into a central pool of reference. This will be divided into three "mega trend" platforms, which will each provide examples of flavours and product types expected to take off during the year.
"This is a way for us to take a lot of really good knowledge and turn it into relevant trend information that will help food and beverage manufacturers understand flavour trend directions," said Givaudan's Jeff Peppet.
"It will contain a huge amount of cross-regional information that will get deeply into the major categories identified.
The three categories within FlavorVision are termed Wonderland, Pleasure Principles and Body & Soul, and each deals with major consumer concerns and how these translate into food and flavour.
Wonderland focuses on the desire for new experiences, including ethnic and exotic, as well as a multisensoral eating experience, said the firm. According to the FlavorVision 2007 forecast, this category includes flavors such as guava, mangosteen, acai berry and smoked paprika.
Pleasure Principals encompasses different levels of indulgence, from simple pleasures such as texture, through to a more complex, upscale indulgence seen in extravagant, adult tastes. Flavours in this category for the year ahead include caramel, coffee, vintage spirits and bitter chocolate.
Body & Soul focuses on the consumer concern for health and wellness, and includes flavours associated with a perception of a healthy mind and body. Flavours include those from foods with a high water content, such as cucumber or watermelon; nutrient dense foods, such as almonds; antioxidant berries and fruits, such as pomegranate; as well as flavours associated with healthy regional diets, for example the Mediterranean diet's focus on olives.
Although the programme provides a general global database, the firm said it is easy to customize to individual regions.
"Every region around the world has a different way of looking at the market and interpreting it, but the trends are essentially the same. What is different is the way these are manifested in different markets," said Givaudan's global marketing manager Jennifer Weyand.
"We have set up a framework for each trend, as well as a database that can be customized for each company, market or product. It's a broad way to pool our knowledge and make it relevant to our customers," she told FoodNavigator-USA.com.