Finding “Sweet Success” With LTOs & Adjacent Flavors

“What’s new?”

In recent years, this has become much more than just what you say to a friend you haven’t seen in a while.

This same question is now constantly on consumers’ minds, and food and beverage companies are left scrambling to find an answer.

Looking to satisfy this hunger and thirst for novelty, CPGs and food service providers alike are turning to the power of LTOs (limited time offers).

And for good reason.

According to a report from Circana, 91% of consumers say they’re more likely to visit a chain if they provide new items or LTOs.


A similar pattern emerges when we look at retail, with 74% of consumers, including 84% of millennials and 81% of Gen Z, stating that they would try a new snack flavor as soon as it came out.

Whether you are looking at a plant-based snack or a ready-to-mix functional beverage, there’s no faster way to differentiate your product in the market than with unique flavor profiles.

While we are all familiar with seasonal LTOs (I’m looking at you, pumpkin spice), staying relevant now requires year-round innovation.

Yet, while LTOs may be the best way to innovate and respond to trends quickly, simply slapping a new flavor onto your product could be a recipe to start trending for all the wrong reasons.

With shelf space already at a premium, this is something developers of any size can’t afford.

This is especially true for growing categories like plant-based and functional foods and beverages, where there are already enough challenges to overcome.


So, how do you create LTOs that are so good that 55% of consumers would be willing to stand in line if they left and came back?

Adjacent flavors just might be the answer you’re looking for.

Leveraging Adjacent Flavors

For over a century, Edlong has been known as an experienced leader and innovator in the dairy flavor space. Our team is able to build some of the most versatile and authentic dairy and dairy-type profiles in the world tailored to the specific challenges of your product.

What does this have to do with LTOs? Everything.

Having the understanding of how to provide the authentic taste of dairy while working with your base allows us to leverage our adjacent flavors for diverse, unique, and authentic LTO offerings.

What’s an Adjacent Flavor?

Dairy is a key ingredient in so many foods, but it is also the perfect partner for countless others.

Adjacent flavors are profiles that can build off dairy, like caramel, Irish cream, cookies, and cream, butterscotch, etc., or work with a commonly associated flavor, such as vanilla, birthday cake, chocolate, and more.


Why Adjacent Flavors?

These flavors work together seamlessly to create a holistic flavor solution, a solution optimized for your base, which not only can streamline future innovations but also nail the nuanced flavor needed to help you stand out.

Finding the Right Adjacent Flavors

With trends coming and going faster than ever, how do get ahead of the curve? Afterall, the last thing you want is to jump on a flavor trend that’s on its way out before you even make it into stores.

That’s why our marketing team works to leverage trend insights and chef concepts to catch and even predict emerging flavor trends from the start. This allows you to not only get fantastic tasting adjacent flavors but can also give you a head start in getting to market.

Naming a Flavor is Simple, Nailing it is Complex

What one person means when they say “Cheddar” might not be the same as the next.

The same goes for Birthday Cake or even Vanilla.

We get that.

Are you looking for something with more cake notes or a frosting-forward finish? Is it a French Vanilla or more along the lines of a vanilla creme? 

Whether it’s cookies and cream, cafe latte, or dulce de leche, anyone can put a profile name on the label, but will shoppers (literally and figuratively) buy it?

That’s why it’s crucial to find the right balance for your application and to meet the expectations of shoppers who are new to and already loyal to your brand.


The Pulse of Your Consumer: Staying on Trend and on Brand

As the number of trends coming and going increases, so must the speed of the innovation cycle.

However, while an LTO might be around for just a short time, the goal is to keep each new consumer around for the long haul.

Building this loyalty requires you to not only stay on trend but to release LTOs with great-tasting authentic profiles that resonate with your brand’s audience.

Luckily, with our adjacent flavors and rapid iteration program, it doesn’t have to be an either-or decision.

For this reason, we have opened doors for your R&D team and Brand managers alike to come and develop, iterate, and reiterate until you have the exact profile your consumers crave.

The best part?

Our dedication to the sweet success of your LTO product isn’t a limited-time offer. It’s all we do.

Learn more about how our Flavors can lead to Sweet Success for your next LTO.

About the Author: Lauren Hopkins, Sr. Director of Business Development – Americas

I’m a Sr. Director of Business Development – Americas at Edlong with a passion for helping product designers and executives launch the next innovative food products. I have an unwavering belief in my team, their ability, and our products that is backed by a track record of customers who have saved time and resources by working with us. Your next great product is on the horizon, and I’ll help you bring it to as many shelves, tables, and hearts as possible.

Topics: Dairy flavorsDairy-freeInnovation
Resource Type: Article
Resource Region: US


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