Keep an eye out for new flavors to surprise and delight recipients in the new year. Here are three trends to watch.

Promo products that engage the senses provide a great way to create an emotional experience and build positive and lasting memories.

The pandemic sparked a boom in food gifting as a practical and comforting way to connect from a distance. For example, companies sent happy hour kits and other treats that employees could enjoy together during video conferences for a shared experience.

Food gifts can be a powerful promotional tool because they involve taste and smell, as well as texture. Because smell and memory are particularly entwined in the human brain, it’s no wonder that edible items can be especially memorable.

Salty and sweet snacks are go-to promo gifts, but what’s new on the table to help you stand out from the pumpkin-spiced crowd? Here are three flavor trends sure to make a tasty (and lasting) impression:

Swicy = Sweet + Spicy

People love gummies, chocolates and other sweets, but consumers are beginning to demand more balanced flavors. Think chili chocolate bars or spicy honey.

Consumer interest in spicy honey has grown steadily over the past two years (by 26% in 2022 alone), according to Miriam Aniel of Tastewise, a food data firm. “By combining two taste profiles in one accessible format, spicy honey offers new interest to a stagnant category,” she writes.

In the kitchen, spicy honey is most often used as a dressing or sauce ingredient for chicken dishes, she adds, with thousands of online recipes calling for the condiment. A branded bottle of spicy honey accompanied by a recipe card or link is a great way to help the recipient create a memory they can savor.

The Bushwick Kitchen Bees Knees Honey Trio Gift Set includes salted, spicy and Meyer lemon honey that will enhance the flavors in fruits, meats, vegetables, breads and cheeses for a memorable gift. The kit includes a brandable tote in black or natural (shown), a dish towel and a QR code with Bushwick Kitchen recipes. Gluten-free and Paleo-friendly.

Gemline / PPAI 113948, S11 /

Global Gastronomy

“Kitchen travel” – or sampling the world’s flavors from the comfort of your own home – became a way for people to satisfy their craving for variety during the pandemic. “Kitchen travel taps into consumer motivations like authenticity and adventure, both of which are rising in popularity beyond the confines of the pandemic,” writes Aniel.

Tastewise data shows a recent surge in consumer interest in Latin American flavors, especially condiments and beverages like aguas frescas (tropical fruit juices) and horchata, a Mexican rice milk drink flavored with vanilla and cinnamon.

Custom kits that include interesting condiments or beverage elements can be a great way to introduce new flavors for a more memorable experience.

Delight recipients with the horchata-flavored Hot Chocolate Bomb Gift Box. Simply pour hot water or milk over the bomb for a tasty beverage (11 flavors available). Made in the USA of Belgian chocolate and packed in a sealed bag inside tin to preserve freshness.

Midnite Snax / PPAI 113793, S3 /

Floral Flavors & Botanicals

Plant-based doesn’t only apply to meat alternatives. Interest in floral and botanical flavors is on the rise – think basil, lavender, etc. – especially in candies and drinks.

These kinds of flavors are perfect for infused olive oil or beverages, especially to add depth to alcohol-free cocktails. With Gen Z famously choosing a more “sober-curious” lifestyle, brands targeting younger consumers have a particular opportunity to try gifting new beverage products to create a memorable experience without alcohol. (Bonus: No need to navigate labyrinthine liquor laws from state to state.)

 botanical syrup trio beverage mixers

Get in the mix with this Trio Of Mini Syrups perfect for mixing up cocktails, alcoholic and non-alcoholic alike. The set includes ginger syrup ideal for Moscow mules, whiskey-gingers and more; the floral rose cordial syrup great for mixing with clear liquor or seltzer; and citrus-passionfruit syrup to add tangy sweetness to just about any beverage.

HPG/Batch & Bodega / PPAI 110772, S11 /