And it struck me how this year’s flavour of choice seems to be salted caramel – a flavour that but five years ago seemed so exotic that I carried a precious cargo of 25 (very expensive) salted caramels home to Wales in a cool bag for my Father’s August birthday, as the sort of offering one can only get from, “that there London.”
These days you can get them in Lidl.
Make no mistake, this is a good thing and it isn’t confined to confectionery, people are demonstrating a willingness to experiment with flavours across the board.
Research suggests that this is particularly true of the younger generation (those ‘discoverers’ Heineken are targeting with the launch of Old Mout cider), 23% of whom say they regularly seek out different tastes and flavours.
In the drinks industry this is manifesting itself in a slew of hybrid drinks.
From the so-called speers (spirit beers) and spiders (spirit ciders), to vodka & sparkling wine ( Absolut Tune, Nuvo ), and coconut liqueur & tequila (Malibu Red). The radler category, the refreshing mix of lemon juice and lager, is estimated to be a £600m opportunity in the UK.
Compare this, though, to the offer you see in most pubs. The rows of dusty liqueurs, a choice of four standard lagers, three ales that all taste the same, several similarly-priced red and white wines, some cola, some lemonade and a bog-standard tonic.
Where’s the adventure in that?