Tailor Your Expectations in Toronto

Feb 28, 2020Beverages, Categories, Savory, Snacks, Sweet Goods & Dairy

What is Tailored Expectations?


From necklaces customized with your name on it to ordering your perfect cup of joe in the marketplace (no matter how ridiculous) – consumers are witnessing a shift away from one-size-fits-all toward more personalized experiences and interactions.

Tailored Coffee Cup

Consumers are finding it easier than ever before to find products and services that meet their unique needs and preferences. Niche is the new scale in this world, and over time consumers’ demand for personalization will migrate to new categories, geographic markets, and even global brands.

I am drawn to products that have anticipated what’s uniquely right for me.”

– Consumer

Consumers are delighted by – and will come to expect – personalized products that connect to their sense of identity, health and wellness, and personal expression. Brands must work hard to meet these expectations in an effort to drive loyalty and foster lasting relationships in a world where brand-switching has become easier than ever.

Why Tailored Expectations in Toronto?

Recently named the most diverse city in the world, Toronto has long been recognized for its culture and edifying experiences. With more than 230 different nationalities within Ontario’s capital city, it is a place where all cultures converge and there’s a large emphasis on acceptance and inclusion. Our team packed up and went to visit our neighbors to the north; to explore Toronto to find all walks of life and products tailored to your every need – even ones you would never anticipate.

Our opening night in Toronto we sat on the sidewalk at a street cafe and witnessed the diversity of the city buzz past us person-by-person. This city was a perfect match to experience the Tailored Expectations trend. We were mad scientist who created our own tea drinks, we explored the authentic cuisines of many countries in Kensington market, and we found a gelato shop where it was your choice to experience anything from peanut butter to everything bagel. What a fantastic adventure!”

– Carrie Born, Group Leader of Givaudan’s Culinary Team




This was one of my favorite stops all day; it epitomizes the Tailored Expectations trend. Walking through the door, we realized we were about to experience so much more than just ordering tea. At Labothery you choose your tea variety, flavored sweeteners, milk, and toppings to make delicious custom concoctions you’ve never before encountered. It really was more like a science experiment than anything else!

Our concoctions:

  1. Rose Lychee Slushee with Yogurt Flavored Bobas
  2. Kiwi Kumquat Oolong Tea with Aloe Vera Bobas
  3. The surprising favorite: Honeydew Black Sesame Milk Green Tea with Lychee Pearls.

Kensington Market

Our next stop was the outdoor Kensington Market. It was like stepping into another world: there are over 100 stalls of various authentic cuisines offering unique fair to curious customers. We love the way cultures collide, and tastes expand with each stop. 

I loved the extremely diverse culture in Toronto.  Kensington Market was a delightful find -an eclectic blend of cultures – Jamaican, Mexican, Korean, Japanese…. It was so fun to peruse restaurants and markets offering authentic and legit cuisine!”

– Kim Juelg, Sr. Flavorist II

Stackt Market

Shipping containers make up this ever-changing and curated market; renovated to provide new ways to shop, connect, and discover.

Stopping in a storefront, we watch individuals customize their own sneakers with an endless array of paints, fabrics, and more.

Exploring the market we stumbled across something I can never pass up… donuts. Once I was able to check out the display case, I noticed a unique variety of flavors uncommon at typical donut shops. Flavors like basil, shrubs, and rum delightfully spruced up their offerings.

Death by Venice

This boutique gelato shop explores bold and unique flavors in the gelato world. They produce more than 50 flavors that change seasonally. We were able to try fantastic flavors like pistachio baklava, everything bagel, strawberry juniper basil, and passion fruit lemongrass. The passion fruit lemongrass was really fresh and provided an authentic passion fruit flavor with the lemongrass adding a really nice bright contrast. Kaya, the owner, has an incredible culinary background and you discover that in the execution of these gelatos!

The Pretty Ugly Bar

After eating all day and then checking out a Harry Potter-themed bar we were ready to sit down and unwind with some cocktails. Touted as a Wu-Tang bar, we did not know what to expect; we discovered a dim-lit, high-end cocktail bar.

Unfortunately being pregnant at the time, I worried I would have no options to drink besides glorified juice or water, but in Toronto, I was surprisingly mistaken. They had an entire section of the menu called Placebo, “non-alcoholic delights.” I was excited to see Seedlip mixed beautifully to deliver complex and bold notes as well as the inclusion of tapache in a different cocktail called the Cuke Skywalker.

Trend Takeaways

Along with trekking in diverse Toronto comes unique combinations of flavors, cultures, and experiences unlike any other. Consumers demand unique products tailored to their individual needs and Toronto delivers. Understanding and meeting each consumer where they are (in terms of place and time, life stage, nutritional needs, etc.) will become more and more important for food and beverage companies.

Standout Flavor Trend Connections: What flavors did we see while trekking that identified with this trend?

  • Lavender Earl Grey
  • Wood-Fired
  • Lychee

Thanks for following our treks and keep your eye out to see Amy Lovelace’s trip to Washington D.C. to explore the Risk-Aware trend!



1 Comment

  1. Natalie Taake

    I am still thinking about those wood-fired bagels and the Khao Soi at Pai (the amazing Thai restaurant). Toronto is an amazing food city!


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