By Eva Meszaros

We’ve covered this year’s trends in the U.S. market, but going abroad reveals a whole new array of paths specialty food producers are taking.

In fact, at the bi-annual Anuga show, which ended yesterday in Cologne, Germany, global new-product tracker Innova presented its own research findings by continent/international region to show just how much flavor trends vary around the world. Among trending-tastes highlights: cherry and lime are popular in North America, watermelon and grape in the Middle East, and peach and lychee in Africa.

Some rising trends span many borders. Here are a few we found at the Anuga show:

Flavors without Borders: A Tropical Fruit and a Pink Root

mango mayoIn the realm of fruits and vegetables, two pieces of produce are gaining recognition for their versatility. Mango, while a mainstream favorite for many juice and smoothie lines, is showing up in unexpected places, such as Cameroon Mango Vinegar from Belgian company Belberry’s Royal Selections line, and Daumantu Mango Majo, a flavored mayonnaise from Lithuanian condiment producer Daumantai. The Philippines touted mango as one of its top foods and flavors, where the tropical fruit got the spotlight among fresh and dried fruit offerings as well as beverages of all walks.

beet crackerA once underdog vegetable, beetroot shines in a number of products, thanks in part to its rich reddish-pink coloring as well as its subtle sweetness and healthful profile. Greece’s Hellenic Heritage turns the root into a smooth, spreadable pate, while Welsh producer Cradoc’s creates a beetroot and garlic cracker as part of its line of savory crackers and biscuits (which also includes such pairings as spinach and celery seed, pear and Earl Grey, chile with garlic and ginger, and others). And Croatian beverage brand Lovella includes in its line a beetroot-apple juice and, for bolder palates, pure beetroot juice.

 A Gluten-Free World

gluten free noodleThe dietary craze doesn’t stop at the U.S. border. From Europe to Asia, numerous countries are declaring their products’ gluten-free status to appeal to the celiac-afflicted, gluten-intolerant and diet-fad followers alike. Italian company Bialimenta packages certified gluten-free pasta in its Bialimenta line, which includes lasagna, orecchiette, pappardelle and many other cuts; Romania-based Sam Mills boasts a corn-based pasta, named Pasta D’Oro (“pasta of gold”). Dalla Giovanna offers its standard selection of specialty flours in gluten-free versions for pasta, pizza and more senza glutine, while Finland’s Provena has strewn its dietary claim across the packaging of its line of instant and slow-cook oatmeal, oat muesli, rolls and baking mixes. Several Japanese producers are also on board with the trend, adding gluten-free labeling to the packaging of various rice noodle products.

Back to Nature

Seeking the next big ingredients, some suppliers have gone straight to the source, scouting untapped resources in nature.

birch tree juiceTwo Nordic companies have bottled pure birch tree sap, or juice (you could even call it water), which is tapped directly from water-rich birch trees: Finland’s Nordic Koivu serves the clear, smooth drink—with a distinctively woodsy flavor—straight up, while Denmark’s Sealand Birk also offers flavored varieties, including ginger lime and elderflower, as well as a carbonated line.

Bulgaria’s Cima embraces forestry with its own Pine Extract, a syrup that encapsulates the scent of pine trees, with abundant applications, such as subtly flavoring baked goods or beverages.

Saint Aniol harnesses nutrient-rich volcanic water from the Catalonia region of Spain, offering sparkling and still varieties, as well as high-end glass bottles and mainstream-ready plastic.

desert saltLastly, South Africa reveals its vast reserves in the Kalahari Desert with Oryx brand desert salts, an alternative to sea salt that demonstrates sustainability with a speedy crystallization time of 4 weeks, compared with rival sea salt’s many months.