Flavor inspiration from the bar

by Joanie Spencer
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Molly & Drew The Beer Bread Co. recently introduced beer cake mixes in such varieties as toffee chocolate latte, dark and strawberry, butter, amaretto, lemon, egg nog, pumpkin and coconut.

When courting inspiration, many bakers and snack makers increasingly think outside the bakery box. Often, they look to other food and beverage industries. One area gaining ground is the craft beer movement. Consumers are seeking authenticity in their beer choices.

“They are searching out new lagers, not the beers their parents drink,” said Jared Koerten, Euromonitor senior analyst. “They want something more local, more artisanal, and this is translating into the snack market in a big way.”

It’s not so much about applying beer flavors to baked and snack foods, but more about applying the concepts.

“What we’re seeing is a relative level of artisanal styles in flavorings of snacks,” Mr. Koerten said.

“Fermentation and sour flavors relate to multiple macro trends, including authenticity and health and wellness,” added Devon Edmonson, marketing coordinator, Mother Murphy’s Laboratories.

Barrel-aging and smoke-finishing are techniques borrowed from the beer industry, as well as fermentation, that inspire flavors — and marketing images — that add a healthy halo to more and more foods.
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