Classic flavors dominate dairy creamers, reveals study
05 Feb 2020 --- Classic flavors continue to be popular in dairy creamers, while non-dairy creamers see a wider consumption of novel flavors. This is according to data reported by Comax Flavors, which has released primary research on US consumer behavior and attitudes toward additives in coffee. The examination of flavored syrup, flavored creamer, non-dairy flavored creamer and non-dairy flavored milk additives used with coffee also revealed that pea-based creamers overtakes soy in plant-based creamer consumption.
Industry is seeing increased interest in coffee creamers with big players such as Nestlé and Coca-Cola rolling out new launches this year. “There has been so much activity and flavor innovation in the dairy and non-dairy creamer market. Consumers have a plethora of choices, and we wanted to better understand their preferences,” states Catherine Armstrong, Vice President of Corporate Communications for Comax Flavors.
The study was fielded in February 2019 with 1,200 respondents aged 18 to 70 plus, half male, half female.
Flavored creamer findings
Classic flavors dominate in the flavored creamer category. More than half of the 306 respondents who consume flavored creamers used regular “French Vanilla/Tahitian Vanilla” (54 percent) while more than a third consume “Vanilla Caramel/Caramel Latte” (39 percent) Flavored Creamers. “Hazelnut” is also a well-liked flavor among all flavored creamer formulas: regular (45 percent), sugar-free (12 percent) and fat-free (10 percent).
The seasonal flavor, pumpkin, was only regularly consumed by a quarter of respondents, while only 10 percent consume sugar-free and 5 percent use fat-free formulas.
Creamers formulated to imitate the taste of a dessert or popular candy brand also saw about a quarter of consumers using them. For example, 22 percent of respondents enjoy regular “Cinnamon Roll” and “Vanilla Crème” flavored creamers. Nineteen percent of respondents enjoy regular “Crème Brulee” dessert flavored creamers closely followed by “Sugar Cookie” and “Butter Pecan/Honey Pecan,” which are used by 18 percent of respondents.
Shy of a quarter of respondents consume regular “Chocolate” (24 percent) and “White Chocolate Mocha” (23 percent). Meanwhile, regular “Almond Joy” (20 percent) and regular “Peanut Butter Cup” (17 percent) are the two most popular candy-flavored creamers.
Flavored non-dairy creamers
Among the 115 respondents who use “original” in all plant-based creamers, almond is the most popular, with 34 percent of respondents preferring it. Coconut took second place at 23 percent, followed by pea (17 percent), soy (16 percent), cashew (14 percent), oat (10 percent) and rice (10 percent).
The most popular flavors, as with dairy creamers, are the classic ones. Among the consumers of almond milk, 29 percent consume the “Vanilla/French Vanilla” flavor while a quarter consumes “Caramel” non-dairy creamers. Just under a quarter (23 percent) of respondents equally consume almond-based “Hazelnut,” “Sweet Crème,” and “Chocolate” non-dairy creamers.
More adventurous consumers in the non-dairy space
However consumers willing to try plant-based creamers are also interested in adventurous flavors. For example, among oat milk drinkers, 17 percent of respondents prefer “Vanilla Lemon,” making it the most popular flavor followed by “Hazelnut” and “Caramel,” which are equally consumed by 13 percent of respondents.
Sixteen percent of respondents equally enjoy soy-based “Dark Chocolate Orange” and “Pecan Caramel.” Among cashew milk drinkers, “Sweet Creme” and “Chocolate” are the most popular non-dairy creamer flavors consumed by 17 percent of respondents. Similarly, “Dark Chocolate Orange” and “Pecan Caramel” are equally used by 11 percent of respondents in pea-based non-dairy creamers. Twelve percent of respondents consume “Caramel” and “Vanilla/French Vanilla” in rice-based non-dairy creamers.
Non-dairy flavored milk
Among the 100 respondents who consume non-dairy flavored milk, a quarter (26 percent) of respondents consume almond milk “Vanilla” while less than a quarter consume “original” (22 percent). The next popular flavor was “Honey” hazelnut milk at 18 percent of respondents, while 17 percent use “Chocolate/ Dark Chocolate,” “Vanilla,” “Cappuccino,” and “Hazelnut.”
“Vanilla” and “Horchata” soy milk are equally enjoyed by 15 percent of respondents. Fifteen percent of respondents use “Chocolate Coconut” and “Hazelnut” Coconut milk and 14 percent use “Chocolate Dark/Chocolate” and “Vanilla” flavors. “Horchata” is the most popular macadamia milk flavor used by 14 percent of respondents.
Fourteen percent of respondents use hemp milk “Toasted Oats & Almond” and “Chocolate/ Dark Chocolate” flavors. “Pumpkin Spice” (13 percent) and “Honey” (12 percent) are the top two rice milk flavors. Thirteen percent of respondents equally consume “Chocolate/Dark Chocolate” and “Hazelnut” walnut milk. “Choc-a-Maca” (13 percent) and “Maca-Nilla” (12 percent) are the most popular pea milk flavors consumed by respondents.
Eleven percent of respondents use “Chocolate Coconut,” “Toasted Coconut,” and “Honey” cashew milk, making them the three most popular flavors. Flax milk “Pumpkin Spice” and “Chocolate Peppermint” are equally liked by 11 percent of respondents. Eleven percent of respondents consume oat milk “Honey,” which is the number one flavor.
By Missy Green
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