Trendspotting: Exploring Ube’s Rising Popularity

In the world of food and drink trends, one vibrant ingredient is capturing the attention of food enthusiasts worldwide: Ube. This stunning purple yam is making waves not only for its color but also for its delightful flavor and versatility in culinary creations.

Ube, pronounced “ooh-bay,” is a yam commonly found in the Philippines and other parts of Southeast Asia. Its flesh is a vibrant purple hue that makes culinary dishes pop. Its subtly sweet flavor is described as a cross between vanilla and sweet potato, with hints of nuttiness.

This unique flavor profile makes Ube a versatile ingredient that can enhance both sweet and savory dishes. From traditional Filipino desserts like Ube Halaya, a sweet, creamy pudding, to modern twists like Ube cheesecake and Ube ice cream, there seems to be no limit to the creativity inspired by this purple gem.

Ube in the Market

Ube is popping up just about everywhere. One of the most common places to find Ube-flavored treats like brownies, cheesecake and ice cream is in bakeries and dessert shops. On Instagram, #ubedesserts hashtag was included in 7,000 posts, according to Innova Market Insights.

Ube has also found its way into cafés and coffee shops with Ube lattes made with Ube syrup or powder offering a pop of color and flavor to morning brews. Monin’s 2024 flavor of the year is Ube and the gourmet syrup company developed an Ube Syrup that “blends the yam’s sweet and earthy taste with additional notes of fig, vanilla and cinnamon for a unique, globally-inspired tapestry of flavors.”

Restaurants are also incorporating Ube into the menu with options like Ube fries, Ube gnocchi or Ube-infused sauces. Chismosa Café and Long Beach, Calif., will host an Ube Fest in May, calling it “Ubechella.” San Francisco also hosts an annual Ube Festival featuring 20 vendors offering ube-infused creations to celebrate the purple yam.

The Power of Ube

Whether sweet or savory, Ube will elevate the taste of your product and deliver on-trend flavor your customers are craving. From in-depth consumer insights to innovative flavor pairings, our sweet and savory experts are here to help your product deliver mouth-watering flavors that make an impact from the first bite to the very last.