Move over, mangosteen! See ya, starfruit! Later, lychee! That’s right, when it comes to fruit flavours in their sweet treats, Canadians prefer things, let’s say, a little less exotic. In fact, Canadians favour classic fruit flavours.

A recent survey conducted by the marketing team at Puratos Canada — widely recognized as a leader in the Canadian patisserie market — delved into the topic of none other than fruit flavours. Particularly, they wanted to know what flavour profiles were most likely to promote a purchase of a sweet baked good.

The results were rather surprising, to say the least.

 

“Comfort” fruits take top-billing in survey

In this era of Instagrammable food, sliced apples unpredictably managed to top the list. No, not exactly a likely candidate to break the internet, is it? And yet, 75 per cent of those polled indicated they would be interested in buying sliced apple patisserie and baked goods. Next on the list: wild blueberries with an impressive 72 per cent score.

What other flavours resonated with Canadian consumers? Strawberries, raspberries, cherries and the classic strawberry-rhubarb blend all notched positions in the top ten. Trailing closely behind were some of the more exotic fruit flavours like pineapples, mangoes and figs. Even millennials — well known for adventurous eating — opted for classic choices, including apples and strawberries.

 

Today’s consumers expect more from their food — and less!

Beyond the demand for food that tastes great, period, Canadians are also looking for fare that functions. According to a 2017 BrandSpark study, 84 per cent believe that good nutrition can help prevent illness. Further revealing the health-consciousness of consumers, a Nielsen survey from last year found that 59 per cent actively avoid artificial flavours in the provisions they buy, while 55 per cent choose to steer clear of artificial colours.

In the eternal quest for healthier eating, it’s pretty hard these days not to have fruits on your personal “most wanted list.” Not only do they taste great, but we also know they’re full of essential vitamins and nutrients. Plus, they check the requisite no boxes for artificial flavours and colours. And heck, even in a snack or treat, the presence of real fruit resonates with general consumer desire to eat better.

Natural ingredients, however, are not always easy to work with at a commercial level. High-temperature baking, freezing, thawing — all of these necessary processes conspire to rob the true texture of the fruits, as well as all the things that make it taste great.

How, then, to balance the need to deliver a consistent product that can be sold at a consumer-friendly price, with the demand for wholesome ingredients? Well, it looks like Puratos Canada has the answer…

 

New fruit filling looks to satisfy manufacturers and consumers

The research and development team at Puratos took the data from their aforementioned survey with the goal of delivering a workable fruit filling solution. One that not only looks and tastes amazing, but still manages to preserve the natural properties of the original fruits. The end result? A remarkable new creation called Topfil. Unlike many fruit fillings, Topfil avails itself of premium quality fruits. What’s more, even after the processing stages, it still boasts easily identifiable fruit pieces.

“We wanted Topfil to bridge the gap between what is available on the market today and what is needed at the bakery and patisserie level,” enthuses Andrea Rosati, Product Manager for Puratos Canada. “Consumers today want the perfect balance of healthiness, naturalness and taste, so our team took that knowledge and ran with it.”

Remarkably, Puratos was able to accomplish this ambitious initiative with minimal compromise. Topfil is free from artificial colours and flavours. There are no hydrogenated oils and no high fructose corn syrup, either. Sourcing only the best, meticulously selected fruits harvested in-season, Puratos processes absolutely everything with great care to maintain colour, texture and flavour.

No matter your end-baking application — whether it’s tarts, pies, breakfast pastries or something else entirely — Topfil provides visual appeal, palate-pleasing fruit flavours and clean(er) label cachet. It meets the needs of both the industry and the consumer, and looks poised to be a bonafide game changer for the baked goods industry.

 

Hey, if you’re not convinced, you should just go ahead and give it a try. The proof is in the filling.