2022 Winter Flavor Application Trends: Sweet, Spicy, and Fruity

With the winter months quickly approaching—bringing with them colder temperatures and cozier atmospheres—warm, spicy, and sweet beverages become everybody’s best friend. When it comes to flavors, common questions around wintertime beverages and eats include “Is spicy a flavor?” and, “What sweet flavor is most popular during these months?” 

At Flavor Insights, it’s important to us that we share top seasonal flavor trends with you. From deep, rich notes to light and fruity ones, our winter of 2022 recommendations derive from years of expertise and deep research. Today we’re dishing our favorite sweet, fruity, and spicy flavor trends. These flavors make fantastic LTO’s (Limited Time Offerings) and are sure to be a hit among consumers.

Sweet

Chocolate

It should come as no surprise that at the very top of our sweet list is chocolate—the world’s favorite sweet treat. Chocolate is recognized in almost every part of the world and dates back to ancient civilizations before 1400 BC. Today, chocolate is the most highly consumed candy, consumed on a multi-billion kilo scale annually.

Praline

This popular southern US sweet treat consists of caramelized sugar and pecans. Classic and traditional elements like cinnamon, sugar, pumpkin spice, and caramel complement praline flavored beverages and help create the full-bodied “bringing people home for the holidays” flavor that everyone is after.

Sugar 

Looking to sweeten up (no pun intended) your 2022 winter holiday lineup of LTO’s? You can’t go wrong with sugar. Alternatively, if you’re looking to intensify the sweetness factor of a pre-planned product without adding any other additional flavors, a dash of sugar is a great option. 

Hazelnut

Notes of nuttiness and earthiness give any hazelnut-flavored product a beautifully rich, toasted aroma. Hazelnuts have found their way on our Winter 2022 top-flavors list for a good reason—it pairs beautifully with classic winter flavors like chocolate, mocha, and even coffee. 

Mocha

What do you get when you combine the delicious and electrifying power players of chocolate and coffee? Mocha, of course! Two peas in a pod, luxurious and smooth mocha flavored products have been topping wintertime flavor lists for years, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

Spicy/Herb

Cinnamon

This classic, tried and true spice has been traded as a precious commodity for centuries, dating as far back as 2800 BC. Because of its holistic properties and buildable flavor profile, cinnamon is perfect for both savory and sweet applications. Rounding out many flavor profiles, cinnamon adds that classic holiday feel that consumers know and love. 

Peppermint

Another precious and essential flavor during the winter holidays is peppermint. From peppermint-flavored coffee beverages to making (and eating) delicious peppermint bark on a cold winter’s day, it’s hard to imagine Christmastime without nostalgic minty peppermint flavors. 

Ginger

Gingerbread, a classic and traditional flavor that has become a holiday staple in many homes, is a fantastic winter-themed addition to cocktail menus and desserts galore. Ginger is a fun element to experiment with and try something new, blending effortlessly with other flavor profiles. Are the holidays even the holidays without ginger-spiced something?

Clove

Cloves are another fantastic spicy, earthy, herbaceous fall and winter palate pleaser that helps amplify the other ingredients. Dating as far back as the Han dynasty in China, cloves are a long-standing beacon of the fall and winter seasons. Cloves have a warming element that spice up many holiday-themed products but often are overlooked as they do a great job enhancing all flavors and ingredients of a food or beverage product. 

Nutmeg

An intense and sweet-flavored spice, nutmeg offers consumers an earthy and almost pepper-like flavor that plays well to both savory and sweet dishes or drinks. A simple grating of this valuable spice on top of spiked eggnog or folded into a dessert batter aids anything it comes in contact with to become something even more delicious.

Fruity

Blood orange

Don’t let the name fool you. Blood orange is a lively winter citrus that exudes energy and excitement into anything it’s added to. With dark orangey-red flesh, blood oranges offer beautiful color and brighten up many dishes. Blood orange pairs beautifully with berries and spices. You can often find these flavors dancing together in a cozy mulled wine.

Grapefruit

Aiding itself to both sweet and savory products, grapefruit flavor can be paired with many different flavor elements, crossing boundaries and hitting sweet, bitter, and salty notes, depending on the type of grapefruit you go with

Cranberry

A quintessential component of the fall and winter seasons, cranberry-flavored food and drink pair perfectly with the frosty undertones of time of year. Tart berries are fantastic on their own. However, their praises are sung even higher when paired with orange, other berries, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. 

Meyer Lemon

A lemon of its standard, Meyer lemons stand out among other lemons because of their intense sweetness, making them highly sought after. Meyer lemons are the perfect addition to any drink menu. For instance, a Meyer lemon lemonade is easily discernible simply for the added sweetness and stronger citrus notes.

Pomegranate

Though perfectly delicious on its own, packed full of nutritious antioxidants and vitamins, pomegranate is even more lip-smacking when paired with other citrusy flavors, like orange and berry. Since the pomegranate season runs from October through January, they’ve always been a holiday favorite, sweetening the palate of winter. 


This year’s winter flavor application trends run the gamut between sweet, spicy, and fruity. If you’re not sure where to begin, don’t worry, you’re not alone. We’re here to help you throughout your entire flavor journey, from the early brainstorming and formulation stages through to the finish line. If you are looking for help developing your product line, our team of flavorists is here for you. Contact us today to see how we can get your ideal product to market!

Flavor Insights believes this information to be correct. No warranty, guarantee, or representation is given or made in respect to the information provided. Flavor Insights is not in a position to validate the actual production or labeling of products. Flavor Insights recommends that all finished product labeling be reviewed by legal counsel, and finished product and label claim testing be confirmed to ensure product label accuracy.