KANSAS CITY — While plain flour and corn make up the bulk of tortilla category sales, flavors such as herb, chipotle, sun-dried tomato and spicy jalapeño are trending, noted Melissa Altobelli, principal in client insights for dairy and bakery, Circana, formerly IRI and The NPD Group.

Products like Old El Paso Tortilla Pockets from General Mills allow consumers to eat tacos with one hand. The portable, soft flour tortillas don’t need to be rolled or folded and have a sealed bottom “for easy filling and less mess,” according to the company.

From a manufacturing standpoint, however, it’s easier to produce different flavors of tortillas than switching shapes.

“The problem with these different shapes is that they require a fair amount of retooling of the equipment to make the tortillas, and there hasn’t been sufficient demand for those variations of tortillas to make that retooling cost effective,” said Jim Kabbani, chief executive officer, Tortilla Industry Association, in the April issue of Baking & Snack.

Enrique Botello, senior marketing director, Olé Mexican Foods, Norcross, Ga., sees greater tortilla demand from younger families with children.

“When you add tortillas into the mix, everyone can customize their meal,” he observed. “If you have kids in the family, you put the fillings in the middle of the table, and everyone can make their own. They can customize it, and it’s fun for kids to make their own tacos and it’s easy for the parents as well.

 Simple, fun and flavorful experiences provide the keys to prospering in this dynamic category.