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A Global Favorite: Flavor

Universally loved

Vanilla is not only craved by consumers globally as a flavor in its own right – it also harmonizes with almost everything. Enhancing the perception of sweetness and masking the perception of bitterness, vanilla is one of the most important flavor directions in the world today.

An undisputed classic

Vanilla is loved by almost everyone, everywhere. Adopted by different regions and cultures in subtly different ways, it’s a key ingredient in everything from cereal to Michelin-starred cuisine, and its popularity shows no sign of declining.

Bringing understanding to the complexities of consumer preferences

When it comes to taste, people’s preferences are wonderfully diverse, formed by their own experiences, where they live and the communities they live in. From rich and creamy to subtle and aromatic, pinpointing the ideal vanilla flavor begins with knowing who will be doing the tasting.

80 %

of the world’s vanilla is used in the US, Germany and France

43 %

consumer spending will rise by 43% to $12trillion between 2010 and 2020

13

13 urban hot spots where Symrise is carrying out research into the latest sweet trends

Knowing what works

The only way to know what it is that delights consumers is to immerse yourself in their world. This is exactly what our marketing and evaluation teams do, every day.

Beyond taste

While it’s vanilla’s flavor that makes it so popular, we know that consumers are driven by more than just their taste buds. In recent years we’ve seen a huge increase in demand for Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade and organic products, and we’re perfectly positioned to help our customers meet this demand.

Guilt-free indulgence
Today, consumers are more discerning than ever

We all love a little indulgence, but not if we think there is a risk that our moment of pleasure has come at the expense of something else. From Fairtrade to Rainforest Alliance certified products, consumers are increasingly choosing products that they can feel confident didn’t cost the earth, or the people who produced the taste they love.

Some of our large partners, for example, offer organically grown or fairly traded products. Another partner focuses on products certified by the Rainforest Alliance. We offer every customer the vanilla product that best suits their brands and products.

Gabriele Schaper, Key Account Manager

As the only flavor company with its own operations in Madagascar, and thanks to our close working relationship with the farmers who supply our vanilla beans, we can offer our customers natural vanilla flavors that meet these consumer requirements. We’re passionately committed to ensuring our entire supply chain is sustainable by 2017, meaning we can continue to produce flavors that meet the needs of everyone involved in their production; from our farmers to consumers.

Combining insight and inspiration

Finding a way to combine insight with inspiration is essential to meeting the present and future needs of our customers. For us, the complexity of consumer preference is just another source of inspiration.

The new consumer

There’s a growing global demand for adventurous and different food trends. Those driving this change are the Millennials. Born between 1982 and 1988, there are now over 2 billion Millennials globally, with 86% living in emerging markets. As the first truly connected generation, Millennials expect to be able to discover a world of flavor with ease, looking for new food experiences and ways to express their individuality.

 

Reinventing vanilla

In collaboration with some of the most high-profile Millennial food experts and social media influencers we worked to imagine new varieties of vanilla. These new types of vanilla are totally different to the ‘classic’ vanilla consumers know and love. With a focus placed on surprising and intriguing flavor profiles, this is vanilla to excite and surprise, with flavors ranging from rich and savory to raw and earthy.

 

More than just a flavor

For Millennials, enjoying their favorite food is about more than flavor. Multi-sensory experiences that appeal to Millennials’ experimentation are sought out, with color, shape, and texture all the focus of a growing food trend. There is also a strong emphasis on healthy products, with positive nutrition and ingredients to enhance wellbeing becoming a lifestyle that many are willing to pay for.

 

White vanilla
White vanilla

Based around the vanilla flower, white vanilla embodies the freshness of springtime with delicate floral notes and a light grassy profile.

Black vanilla
Black vanilla

“It’s dark, it’s decadent, it’s the total opposite of white vanilla.” We burnt vanilla to create this twist on a classic – enhanced for more developed palates, challenging people’s perceptions of traditional vanilla.

Smoked vanilla
Smoked vanilla

A current universal food trend, the sweetness of vanilla is a great contrast to bitter smoke. Able to add an extra layer of complexity to dishes, this vanilla can be used in both sweet and savory recipes.

Salt vanilla
Salt vanilla

Harnessing vanilla’s (often overlooked) heritage as a spice, we’ve combined it with salt to create a truly unique seasoning to be used in savory applications, enhancing the sweetness of shellfish or boosting the umami in tomatoes.

Pink pepper vanilla
Pink pepper vanilla

An unusual pairing which changes preconceptions as to what vanilla is. A craft vanilla with floral, fruity and even spicy notes.

A global perspective

Chefs United®, the largest network of its kind, bring together chefs from every continent and from the entire culinary network – giving us access to what it is that different consumers want across the world. We asked some the chefs to share their favorite regional vanilla recipes with us.

Russia: Sirniki Cheese Cakes
Chef Евгений Плотников
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Sirniki Cheese Cakes, Russia
Евгений Плотников
A new favorite to try for breakfast or brunch

These Russian Sirniki Cheese Cakes may just be your new favorite breakfast or brunch treat. Made in a very similar way to pancakes, this traditional recipe adds cottage cheese to the pancake batter to bring a new texture and flavor dimension to the dish.

What you use to garnish your Sirniki is entirely up to you. We recommend sour cream, sugar or jam, but just like other pancakes, you can really use whatever you want. So why not try this recipe out and experiment with your favorite toppings?

Instructions
  • Combine the eggs with the sugar, salt, vanilla and cottage cheese. Mix all the ingredients well, then add the flour and mix again. The batter should be similar to a soft dough.
  • In a large frying pan heat two tablespoons of vegetable oil. Take about a tablespoon of the batter and make a round flat shape. Add this to the hot pan.
  • Wait for the pancake to be golden in color and the flip. The pancakes should be golden brown on both sides.
  • Serve warm with the garnish of your choice.
Ingredients
  • 500g cottage cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 120g flour
  • 40g sugar
  • 2g salt
  • 1g bourbon vanilla
  • Sour cream / sugar / jam to garnish the pancakes
Canada: Vanilla Bread Muffin
Chef John Tucci
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Vanilla Bread Muffin, Canada
Chef John Tucci
A delicious muffin with a cheesy heart

These bread muffins make a great mid-morning of afternoon snack.  With a ricotta center that gives them a delicious texture, this recipe should make six good sized muffins. The spices and dried fruits in the mixture also make this recipe a great option for the holiday season.

One of the other benefits of this recipe is that it uses up old bread which you might otherwise throw away. So if you ever have bread that is past its best, keep these muffins in mind. You can also cube your bread and freeze it for use at a later date.

Instructions
  • For the muffins:
    • Combine milk, cream, eggs, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla and pour over the bread cubes.
    • Add fruit, raisins or nuts and mix thoroughly. If the bread is very dry let it soak for an hour or so, constantly mixing the ingredients until the bread cubes feel moist and slightly squishy. If still too dry let sit longer or covered in fridge overnight and add extra cream or milk if all the liquid is absorbed.
  • For the filling:
    • Combine all the ingredients together and set aside.
  • Assembling the muffins:
    • Use either muffin papers or approximately six 5 1⁄2 x 5 1⁄2 squares of parchment molded into a muffin pan. Spray with cooking oil or butter.
    • Take a small handful of the bread mixture and place in bottom of muffin container creating a small depression, add about a tablespoon of ricotta mixture and then add another smaller handful of the bread mixture cupped over the top and press lightly but firmly to keep the shape. Repeat.
    • The shape will be rough and not perfectly smooth which is what is desired: don’t worry if they look delicate, they will bake up well.
    • Bake in a 375F oven for about 10 minutes and reduce to 350F for another 10 to 15 minutes until the muffin is firm when prodded or lightly browned on top.
    • Remove and cool slightly. Brush with heated apricot jam and allow to cool on a rack out of the pans but still in the papers. This makes a firm and fairly solid muffin depending on the type of bread used.
Ingredients
  • For the muffins:
    • 6 cups of day-old, good quality bread cut into small cubes or shredded
    • ¾ cup of milk
    • ½ cup half and half (or any kind of cream)
    • 2 large eggs, beaten (reserve 1 tablespoon for filling)
    • 1/3 cup sugar or to taste
    • Dash of cinnamon
    • Dash of vanilla extract
    • 1 ½ cups of fruit such as apples, shredded
    • ¼ cup of raisins, cranberries or chopped nuts (if using dried fruits, soak in warm water until soft and drain)
  • For the filling:
    • ¼ to ½ cup creamy ricotta (not the hard variety)
    • 1 tablespoon sugar or to taste
    • Reserved 1 tablespoon beaten egg
    • 1 tablespoon half and half (or any kind of cream)
    • Apricot jam for the glaze
USA: Classic Vanilla Cupcakes
Chef Tiffany Kyle
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Classic Vanilla Cupcakes, USA
Tiffany Kyle
Sometimes the old favorites are worth sticking with

Vanilla cupcakes are a staple when it comes to American sweet treats – everybody loves them, and everybody has their own way of making them. This particular recipe should make a dozen cupcakes.

I’ve not included the frosting here, but you can decorate your cupcakes however you choose. The classic way is of course with buttercream icing, which uses butter, sugar, vanilla and cream. If you want something lighter, you can use just icing sugar mixed with water to decorate your cupcakes. Whatever you choose, let your cupcakes cool down fully before icing to ensure the best possible results.

Instructions
  • Pre heat the oven to 350F
  • Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs to the mixture one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in the vanilla.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Add the butter mixture to this, mix, and then stir in the milk.
  • Mix everything together well to form a smooth batter, and then add the batter to the cupcake molds. This recipe will make around 12 cupcakes.
  • Bake in the oven until golden brown.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup softened butter
  • ¾ to 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup cold milk
Close
Sirniki Cheese Cakes, Russia
Евгений Плотников
A new favorite to try for breakfast or brunch

These Russian Sirniki Cheese Cakes may just be your new favorite breakfast or brunch treat. Made in a very similar way to pancakes, this traditional recipe adds cottage cheese to the pancake batter to bring a new texture and flavor dimension to the dish.

What you use to garnish your Sirniki is entirely up to you. We recommend sour cream, sugar or jam, but just like other pancakes, you can really use whatever you want. So why not try this recipe out and experiment with your favorite toppings?

Instructions
  • Combine the eggs with the sugar, salt, vanilla and cottage cheese. Mix all the ingredients well, then add the flour and mix again. The batter should be similar to a soft dough.
  • In a large frying pan heat two tablespoons of vegetable oil. Take about a tablespoon of the batter and make a round flat shape. Add this to the hot pan.
  • Wait for the pancake to be golden in color and the flip. The pancakes should be golden brown on both sides.
  • Serve warm with the garnish of your choice.
Ingredients
  • 500g cottage cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 120g flour
  • 40g sugar
  • 2g salt
  • 1g bourbon vanilla
  • Sour cream / sugar / jam to garnish the pancakes
Close
Vanilla Bread Muffin, Canada
Chef John Tucci
A delicious muffin with a cheesy heart

These bread muffins make a great mid-morning of afternoon snack.  With a ricotta center that gives them a delicious texture, this recipe should make six good sized muffins. The spices and dried fruits in the mixture also make this recipe a great option for the holiday season.

One of the other benefits of this recipe is that it uses up old bread which you might otherwise throw away. So if you ever have bread that is past its best, keep these muffins in mind. You can also cube your bread and freeze it for use at a later date.

Instructions
  • For the muffins:
    • Combine milk, cream, eggs, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla and pour over the bread cubes.
    • Add fruit, raisins or nuts and mix thoroughly. If the bread is very dry let it soak for an hour or so, constantly mixing the ingredients until the bread cubes feel moist and slightly squishy. If still too dry let sit longer or covered in fridge overnight and add extra cream or milk if all the liquid is absorbed.
  • For the filling:
    • Combine all the ingredients together and set aside.
  • Assembling the muffins:
    • Use either muffin papers or approximately six 5 1⁄2 x 5 1⁄2 squares of parchment molded into a muffin pan. Spray with cooking oil or butter.
    • Take a small handful of the bread mixture and place in bottom of muffin container creating a small depression, add about a tablespoon of ricotta mixture and then add another smaller handful of the bread mixture cupped over the top and press lightly but firmly to keep the shape. Repeat.
    • The shape will be rough and not perfectly smooth which is what is desired: don’t worry if they look delicate, they will bake up well.
    • Bake in a 375F oven for about 10 minutes and reduce to 350F for another 10 to 15 minutes until the muffin is firm when prodded or lightly browned on top.
    • Remove and cool slightly. Brush with heated apricot jam and allow to cool on a rack out of the pans but still in the papers. This makes a firm and fairly solid muffin depending on the type of bread used.
Ingredients
  • For the muffins:
    • 6 cups of day-old, good quality bread cut into small cubes or shredded
    • ¾ cup of milk
    • ½ cup half and half (or any kind of cream)
    • 2 large eggs, beaten (reserve 1 tablespoon for filling)
    • 1/3 cup sugar or to taste
    • Dash of cinnamon
    • Dash of vanilla extract
    • 1 ½ cups of fruit such as apples, shredded
    • ¼ cup of raisins, cranberries or chopped nuts (if using dried fruits, soak in warm water until soft and drain)
  • For the filling:
    • ¼ to ½ cup creamy ricotta (not the hard variety)
    • 1 tablespoon sugar or to taste
    • Reserved 1 tablespoon beaten egg
    • 1 tablespoon half and half (or any kind of cream)
    • Apricot jam for the glaze
Close
Classic Vanilla Cupcakes, USA
Tiffany Kyle
Sometimes the old favorites are worth sticking with

Vanilla cupcakes are a staple when it comes to American sweet treats – everybody loves them, and everybody has their own way of making them. This particular recipe should make a dozen cupcakes.

I’ve not included the frosting here, but you can decorate your cupcakes however you choose. The classic way is of course with buttercream icing, which uses butter, sugar, vanilla and cream. If you want something lighter, you can use just icing sugar mixed with water to decorate your cupcakes. Whatever you choose, let your cupcakes cool down fully before icing to ensure the best possible results.

Instructions
  • Pre heat the oven to 350F
  • Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs to the mixture one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in the vanilla.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Add the butter mixture to this, mix, and then stir in the milk.
  • Mix everything together well to form a smooth batter, and then add the batter to the cupcake molds. This recipe will make around 12 cupcakes.
  • Bake in the oven until golden brown.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup softened butter
  • ¾ to 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup cold milk
  •  

Delighting consumers worldwide

The pace of changing consumer preferences has never been quicker. Add to that the variety of tastes between regions, and you can see why it takes a global perspective informed by local knowledge to stay one step ahead.

Access all areas

Taste is an intensely personal thing. The only way to know what it is that makes a people in a particular region or market excited, is to experience it first-hand. That’s where Chefs United® comes in.

140 years and counting…

We’ve been pioneers in the world of vanilla for decades, but our passion for this incredible spice is as strong as ever and we know there is always more work to do, more to learn and something new just around the corner that will delight customers and consumers.

Heinrich Schaper
President Flavors Division

“Every day I’m inspired by my colleagues and our customers,” says Heinrich Schaper, Global President of Flavors Division at Symrise. “Working with them to create amazing solutions, explore new ideas and challenge the status quo is one of the best things about my role. The challenge of optimizing commercial performance and delivering great taste is something our global teams embrace. I find the teamwork here brings out the best in everyone; it refuels the imagination, and means we can go the extra mile to delight consumers and customers.”

Our focus will always be on creating flavor solutions that taste great and perform fantastically.

Heinrich Schaper, Global President of Flavors Division

“We’re also incredibly proud of our holistic business practice. We know that consumers increasingly care about the provenance of their food, and we also know that the work we’re doing in Madagascar is creating shared value for everyone involved. With our simply vanilla® brand we can cover all angles, from premium natural bourbon vanilla to great tasting flavor science that delivers outstanding performance in demanding applications. Our focus will always be on creating flavor solutions that taste great and perform fantastically.”