2016 Feature Flavors Development On Schedule

Jim Nolte
Technology Manager

Every year at SensoryEffects, we create several new frozen dessert flavors for our Annual Feature Flavors program. Currently, we've in the throes of developing the 2016 flavor concepts. Through the Feature Flavor program, we provide our customers trend research, innovation and final frozen dessert concepts that have been tested in a production environment. We believe this allows our customers to try new flavors they may not otherwise have the resources to develop.

Research and Brainstorming

Our marketing team kicks off the process with ideation sessions to research flavor trends throughout the food industry, with an emphasis on desserts and consumer preferences. After gaining a good understanding of the current market trends, the marketing and product development teams meet to discuss and brainstorm new and innovative flavor ideas to create.

These ideas come from not only the trends, but also from hybrids of past success stories, locally sourced flavors, regional food favorites, and any other innovative concepts that sound appealing. Other hybrid ideas can include cross-category concepts from bakery and beverage that work in frozen desserts applications.


The development team begins experimenting and creating by defining the pieces (background flavor, inclusions, solid packs and variegates) that make up each flavor idea. If necessary, the team also looks at how to modify parts of the flavor concepts to find economical alternative concepts. Several rounds of tasting take place to optimize the flavor profiles, and to determine the best application in which to display the new flavor, whether it makes sense in a gelato, frozen yogurt or an ice cream or novelty.

The once large concept list is then pared down. For example, if one or more of the ingredients used in a particular flavor idea may not be easily procured, it doesn't make sense to incorporate that ingredient. Another big factor of the final concept is the price point. If we cannot make the concept at an attractive price point, the customer wouldnӴ be able to make a profit, and thus the concept does not make the final cut.

Once the final flavor concepts are chosen, the frozen dessert team travels off-site to commercially produce the flavor systems in an actual ice cream manufacturing plant. By testing our ingredient combinations in the flavor concepts under real world conditions, we can see firsthand any problems occur that our customers might face in their production.

Ready for Customer Demos

When trial runs are taking place, it's time to work on marketing the concepts. All SensoryEffects employees are invited to participate in a feature flavors naming contest, which the marketing team uses to create logos for each concept. The marketing team also puts together a flavor and trend presentation for our sales teams.

So what do we get out of the feature flavors?

Not only are our customers pleased with having all the leg work already done for them, SensoryEffects also gets a chance to how of our best products and capabilities. We use these feature flavor concepts to highlight not only our creativity, but also our best ingredients, such as textured variegates, inclusions and solid packs.


Do you have a question about our feature flavors program? Contact the experts!

Steve McGowan
Senior Food Technician
Joyce McCarthy
Product Manager
Jim Nolte
Technology Manager


Check out the most recent history of feature flavors concepts >>