Sector News

Adventure and novelty identified as 2023 flavor trends

May 27, 2023
Food & Drink

Kerry’s 2023 flavor insights report reveals the latest foodservice flavor trends consumers are seeking, including new combinations of traditional tastes, indulgence, and younger consumers seeking unconventional mashups of food and beverages they grew up with in combination with emerging flavors from other regions. Consumers are also wanting to indulge at a cost-effective price point.

“Ensuring flavor appeal positively drives brand relevance and preference,” said Soumya Nair, global consumer research and insights director at Kerry. “In the foodservice space, this means engaging in emerging and trending flavors to feed consumers’ desire for adventure and novelty. Our flavor insights are a derivative of our proprietary taste charts methodology that uncovers 2023’s emerging flavors.”

The flavor insights report is broken into specific research and recommendations of hot beverages, cold beverages, savory flavor, sweet items, and nutritional flavor trends. The reports flavors are grouped into four categories: mainstream, key, up-and-coming, and emerging.

Kerry’s taste trends for 2023 include mix and mingle, off the real, roots and origins, purpose driven taste, maximizing taste, joy in simple things, and hint of health.

In the foodservice space, botanicals, spices, and florals are gaining relevance across food and beverages.

“This means we will see more rose, hibiscus and jasmine alongside cardamom, fennel in sweets and beverages and sage and nutmeg in savory,” Ms. Nair said.

She noted global authentic flavors and ingredients, like Mexican and Asian flavors, also are becoming popular. Churro, dulce de leche, turmeric, Korean BBQ are among the few in the Mexican and Asian flavors increasing in popularity.

Mainstay favorites also are gaining recognition such as citrus and fruits, passion fruit, guava yuzu, and prickly pear.

Spiciness is also a trend Kerry is seeing among consumers.

“Consumers want achievable adventures and playfulness with their food and beverages,” Ms. Nair said. “Adding unexpected flavors to a classic menu item or even adding unconventional garnishes can play into this trend.”

The Latin American and Asian cuisine are spicing things up in the flavor-forward spicy categories like Aleppo pepper and wasabi.

In the mix and mingle taste trend theme new spicy mashups include Nashville hot, kung pao, Adobo, and Szechuan, according to the report.

The mixing and matching flavor combinations may be seen not only in beverage applications but food applications as well.

“Texture is a key element of building surprise and delight in food and drink items, today this comes from flavor combinations and textural spices,” Ms. Nair said.

Consumers flavor trends may come and go, but providing health benefits within the trends is a driver and something consumers are craving.

“Health isn’t always secondary to taste anymore,” Ms. Nair said. “In a relatively post-pandemic world, people are more in tune with their health, looking for drinks with functional ingredients and balanced nutrition. They want flavors that convey a halo of health, from functionally forward ingredients to flavors that subtly imply better health — such as flavors like ginger or drinks with immune health support.”

By Brooke Just


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