Since opening in 1992 in downtown Louisville, Flavorman has formulated more than 40,000 beverage recipes, including helping develop top brands like Crispin Cider, Jones Soda, Chiquita and Joia All Natural Sodas.
Founded by David Dafoe, the company is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and has expanded to include Moonshine University, which helps educate entrepreneurs looking to open their own distilleries — or just folks (like me, who took a class last year) interested in the spirits industry.
Flavorman recently came out with its predictions on the top flavors of 2017, and the age-old spice turmeric leads the list, which also includes coconut, hot and spicy notes, and herbal accent flavors. Turmeric, part of the ginger family, is known for its health benefits as well as its warm, sharp taste. It’s loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties and is often found in cleansing smoothies and teas.
Dafoe tells Insider he’s not surprised by the top flavors, as they’re becoming more complex to meet consumers’ demands. In the past, he says, top flavors were simple — like orange or strawberry — but now, they tend to blend flavors and also incorporate those spices and herbs that are loaded with vitamins and minerals.
Think pomegranate/strawberry/basil or raspberry/lime/ginger.
“Consumers demand choice, complexity and function,” says Dafoe. “It is not just flavor anymore, but also added health benefits are required using extracts, herbs, juices, vitamins, minerals and essences.”
Dafoe is looking forward to celebrating his business’ 25th anniversary in 2017 as well as looking to the future of the beverage industry. In fact, at least 15 students of his Moonshine University will open distilleries this year, a testament to his company’s merits.
“I am grateful to be part of the beverage industry, so I am looking forward to a great — and fun — year professionally,” he says. “On a personal note, I bought a house on the Ohio River and am looking forward to enjoying the view and hopefully some awesome boating adventures.”
We caught up with Dafoe the first week of the new year to ask him some very important questions …
What’s the most surprising thing on your Bucket List?
I was a hospital volunteer when I was 14, until I went to college, in a SICU at a large hospital in Cincinnati. I want to volunteer again at a local hospital, because I still miss that experience.
What poster was on your wall in junior high?
My first concert was Aerosmith, and I had a poster from that concert on my wall.
If you were mayor, to whom would you give the key to the city?
I would give it to my friend and colleague Joe Heron at Copper & Kings (Distillery) for transforming the way he has woven his company into the fabric of our city through hosting and creating dozens of super cool events.
What are your preferred pizza toppings?
Easy. Onions, green peppers and mushrooms … so long as all the meats are included.
If you could be any age for a week, what would it be?
I would be 50 again — so far, the best year of my life.
What famous person do people say you resemble the most?
I have been told dozens of times I look like Billy Joel.
Who would you most like to be stuck with in an elevator?
At the risk of sounding corny, I want to be stuck with my Nan, who gave me the tools to be the person I am today … really.