Pumpkin spice has long ruled supreme as the go-to flavor for brisk fall days and sweater weather. But according to recent market trends, another fall flavor is surging: maple syrup.
Unlike the often artificially flavored pumpkin spice syrups used in coffee and baked goods, 100 percent maple syrup is a mineral-rich alternative for health-conscious consumers looking for cleaner fall treats. While maple syrup is still a sugar, it offers more nutritional benefits, including zinc, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and riboflavin,than many other sweeteners. There are a range of maple syrup grades, all with different flavor profiles—from delicate and smooth to rich, woody, and roasted. Since this one-ingredient powerhouse has so much to offer, it’s easy to see why many companies are adding more maple-flavored items to their repertoire.
Interested in learning more about this rising star? Read on for more benefits of maple syrup plus tips to enjoy this quintessential fall flavor.
The Growing Maple Syrup Industry
You may be surprised to learn that the biggest heist in Canadian history involves not gold or diamonds or rare art, but maple syrup. That’s right, maple syrup. Between 2011 and 2012, Quebec resident Avik Caron—with the help of several accomplices—stole 9,571 barrels of maple syrup from the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, equaling $18.7 million dollars.
For those familiar with Canada’s incredibly lucrative maple syrup industry (worth $360 million dollars), this operation is far from surprising. In the last half century, maple syrup has become a highly prized commodity. And this trend appears to be on the rise.
According to recent market analysis, the global market for maple syrup is projected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 4.77% between 2017 and 2021. Here are a few of the reasons behind this recent market growth.
- Fall-flavored items are growing in popularity
The market for fall flavored treats, from coffee to alcohol to ice cream, has grown significantly in recent years. As consumers purchase fall-flavored treats in ever-increasing numbers, sales for maple flavored products have increased as well.
- Maple syrup pairs well with most fall flavors
Maple syrup is a classic flavor that pairs well with just about everything. In the mood for tasty treat? Use maple syrup in pecan pie. Craving gingerbread cookies? Spread a thin coat of maple butter on top. Looking for an easy way to spice up sweet potato casserole or pumpkin pie? Add maple-glazed walnuts for extra flavor and crunch. Maple syrup’s versatility and its ability to pair well with a wide range of fall flavors make it an increasingly popular fall treat.
- Maple syrup is more nutritious than many other sweeteners
In a market saturated with artificial sweeteners, consumers are open to clean alternatives. One of the key drivers behind the new and growing market for maple syrup is its associated health benefits.Maple syrup contains several minerals (magnesium, potassium, calcium, copper, zinc, sodium) and vitamins (riboflavin, thiamin, niacin, B6), not to mention a wide assortment of disease-preventing antioxidants. Even when set head-to-head against honey—long considered a healthy alternative to cane sugar—maple syrup has a greater concentration of antioxidants and minerals, with fewer calories per serving.
- Pumpkin spice is declining, as consumers seek other fall flavors
As the market for fall-specific products grows, consumers appear to be waning in their enthusiasm for the pumpkin spice treats that have dominated the market for years. According to the 2017 Flavor Consumer Trend Report by Technomic’s MenuMonitor, a research firm that tracks food trends across both independent and chain restaurants, mentions of pumpkin declined by 20 percent from 2016 to 2017, over this same period. But increased interest in maple syrup isn’t limited to coffee and creamer—consumers and restaurants are looking for new fall flavors, and maple syrup happens to be one of them. According to Datassential, a Chicago-based research firm, pumpkin spice limited-time menu offerings in chain restaurants dropped from 17 in 2016 to 14 in 2017. During the same time period, maple menu offerings rose from four to 14.
In a market saturated with pumpkin spice lattes, cookies, and creamer, is it any wonder that people are open to something different?
How to Incorporate More Maple Products Into Your Day
If all this talk of maple syrup is making your mouth water, we understand. It’s about time we dig into all the delicious ways to enjoy maple syrup.
Enjoy our partners’ maple-flavored menu items:
- Drop by ediBOL in Santa Monica for one of their delicious honey citrus cool BOLs—complete with honey mustard, quinoa, green lentil and bulgur pilaf, market veggies, spiced caramelized pecans, and honey maple citrus dressing.
- Order a maple balsamic roasted whole chicken from SSB Catering in San Francisco where chef and owner Brian Tu offers a wide range of delicious recipes made with fresh ingredients.
- Call up Babycakes Gourmet in Chicago and order two-bite chicken and waffle sandwiches with maple-bacon bourbon jam.
- Plan your next big wedding or gala event around maple mustard glazed salmon from Creative Concepts in New York.
- Make sure your next business brunch includes LaLe’s ricotta stuffed French toast served with orange butter and a heated ramekin of maple syrup.
- Treat yourself with Little Chihuahua’s Mexican French toast (a bacon-wrapped tortilla smothered in maple syrup)
- Get out of the office and visit Snowday’s food truck for a delicious lunch of maple syrup grilled cheese and onion rings.
Stock up on maple-flavored snacks such as:
- Rx maple sea salt bars
- Justin’s pretzels with maple almond butter
- Quaker maple & brown sugar instant oatmeal
Now that you’re armed with a long list of creative ways to revel in fall’s latest trend, let the maple syrup addiction begin. Whether you stick to the classics (like drizzling it on a stack of pancakes) or get creative with a savory maple-flavored entrée, this fall ingredient can be enjoyed with just about any meal.