Maple’s popularity comes as consumers look to more natural, healthier ingredients, while at the same time reducing their intake of artificial sweeteners and processed sugars, according to those in the industry. Some speculate that millennials, who are especially cognizant of what goes into their body and where it comes from, also are looking to try something new — especially if it’s the same product they fondly remember watching their parents or grandparents consume while they were growing up …
Maple’s surging popularity is largely relegated to a few categories. While sales of all products with maple were down 0.4% in the year ended Sept. 2, 2017, according to Nielsen, sales of beverages with maple rose 25.6%, maple syrup jumped 6.9% and processed meats with maple, 7.3%. Together, sales of the top 10 maple product
Justin Gold — the founder of the fast-growing nut butter brand sporting his name — first started mixing maple into his spread for sandwiches because he enjoyed the taste. Today, his maple almond butter, which has been on the market for a decade, is one of Justin’s most popular items.
“Maple has always been there, it’s just been a sleepy little category,” Gold said.