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The Sweet Versatility of Fruit

November 21, 2022


The natural sweetness of fruit lends itself perfectly to unexpected and unforgettable flavor combinations. 

Fruit can be paired with spicy, smoky or savory ingredients, tempering extreme flavor notes with just the right amount of balance. And this formula can be applied to sauces, dips, marinades, seasoning blends—the list goes on. Techniques like smoking, roasting, caramelizing and pickling also help to bring out complex flavor notes from any type of fruit.
In the snack category, where crave-worthy flavors are paramount, fruit brings the perfect touch of sweetness to traditionally salty items. Crunchy snacks like jalapeño-pineapple chips in the US, black pepper banana crisps in India and plantains filled with pork rinds in Colombia play off consumer demand for sweet-and-savory flavor profiles. Fruit’s health halo can also serve as an advantage to snack brands, with items like a ginger-lime collagen protein bar in the UK finding a home on retail shelves.
Grocery stores around the globe are showcasing unique products that pair meat and poultry with fruit flavors. Examples include Brazilian linguica sausages with fig and pineapple, French guinea fowl stuffed with caramelized pears and blackcurrant and Canadian roasted chili lime chicken wings. Items like tempura-coated salmon in lemon marinade in UAE and soy-marinated shrimp with fermented plum juice in South Korea show how the fruit-and-protein trend is taking off in the seafood category, too.
Foodservice operators are capitalizing on consumer desire for unique flavors, using fruit from all over the world to enhance menu items across categories. One steakhouse in Brazil has brought fruit into unexpected applications, such as panko-breaded shrimp with passionfruit sauce and a burger with blue cheese and balsamic grilled pears. With the plant-forward trend showing no signs of stopping, a restaurant in Spain has created a vegan brunch toast topped with avocado, tomato, mushrooms, strawberries and mango-pineapple chutney. Even a global burger chain has incorporated fruit into savory items, serving up a spicy fried chicken sandwich with apple slices and black pepper mayo.




Natural sugar gives fruit a health halo, and brands will showcase the benefits of fruit with packaging callouts that appeal to health-conscious consumers. Expect to see claims like vitamin and mineral content, immunity-boosting benefits and digestive health highlighted.

With flavors like lemon, lime, berries and apple already mainstream in snacks, brands will add more specificity to their flavor profiles—think yuzu, key lime, kumquat, Ruby Red grapefruit, guava, acerola cherry and more.

Chefs will continue experimenting with fruit on the menu, turning to global fruits that align with consumer desire to explore international cuisines. Expect to see flavors such as dragon fruit, cherimoya, kiwano melon, feijoa (pineapple guava) and sour plum.



Segment snapshot

Chefs and operators are using the sweetness of fruit to balance spicy and savory flavors across the menu. Common applications include fruit-forward sauces and fruit purees that can be used as glazes for proteins.  

Brands are using fruit ingredients to create sweet-and-savory or sweet-and-spicy flavor combinations for inclusions, glazes and marinades—perfect for adding a hint of freshness and balance to the richness of hearty meats.  

CPG snack brands are also finding ways to excite consumers with complex flavor profiles such as habanero lime and jalapeño pineapple. They’re also leaning into local and regional fruit flavors as sources of inspiration. Citrus-forward snacks are found around the world, with tangy flavors that appeal to global snack consumers.



A colorful salad with green mango, pomelo and Thai makrut lime showcases how fresh fruit flavors bring balance to a dish—complementing the other ingredients including poached shrimp, mint and crispy fried shallots. Watch Chef Jaime Mestan create this depth of flavor in our Thai Shrimp and Pomelo Salad with Crispy Fried Shallots video.

Good for Consumers, Good for the Planet

As new applications of fruit become more popular across foodservice, protein processing and the snacking segments, we can see the potential for fruit-forward innovation making a tremendous impact from a sustainability standpoint. That’s why Griffith Foods is proud to partner with International Agriculture Group, an organization focused on reducing food waste by striving to use the entire crop of peeled green bananas to produce NuBana™ Green Banana Powder.

Green bananas are naturally rich in resistant starch, making NuBana™ Green Banana Powder a great source of insoluble dietary fiber. NuBana™ is also rich in magnesium and potassium—nutrients that are highly beneficial to consumers’ health yet typically under-consumed. With its naturally occurring nutritional benefits and International Agriculture Group’s mission to reduce food waste, NuBana™ Green Banana Powder serves as an ideal flour alternative for the health of consumers and the globe alike.



“Before using dried fruit as an ingredient, rehydrate it in a liquid that will add complexity to the finished dish, for twenty or thirty minutes. Think apricots soaked in orange flower water, prunes soaked in Marsala wine or cherries soaked in rum.” 

–Chef Mark Serice, Vice President Global Culinary, Griffith Foods* 


culinary inspiration

Get inspired by these on-trend concepts to create innovative offerings using Griffith Foods products. 

Thai Shrimp and Pomelo Salad with Crispy Fried Shallot

Shredded green mango is tossed with fresh pomelo segments, heirloom cherry tomatoes, chilled poached shrimp and a Thai makrut lime and basil dressing. Finished with fragrant torn mint leaves, shaved green onion, thinly sliced bird’s eye chili and crispy fried shallots.

Featuring: Griffith Foods Makrut Lime and Basil Dressing


Crispy Roti Chips

Roti chips are fried to a perfect crisp, served with a sweet-hot dipping sauce made with guava, hearty plantains and red jalapeño pepper.

Featuring: Griffith Foods Plantain and Guava Salsa  



© 2022 Griffith Foods. All rights reserved.
*Custom Culinary® is part of the Griffith Foods family of companies.

Source: Mintel, 2022 FlavorIQ® Global Trends and Insights Report, January 2022.