Kerry’s latest report reveals how taste trends manifest worldwide and come to life through taste and product innovation. Nostalgia, taste exploration and healthy products lead the way in flavor innovation, notes the company.
“The food and beverage landscape is constantly evolving, with consumers demanding flavors that not only deliver great taste but also support their health and sustainability goals,” Leigh-Anne Vaughan, global strategic marketing director for taste at Kerry, tells FoodIngredientsFirst.
The Global Taste Trends report maps out the key taste linked to trends across the US and Canada, Mexico, Latin America, Europe and the Asia Pacific Middle East and Africa highlighting how they vary and travel across these regions.
The following key trends were identified through the research:
For example, taste exploration in Europe has well-traveled consumers seeking wasabi and sriracha, while in the US, they are exploring flavors such as Irish cream and Korean BBQ.
Meanwhile, consumers craving nostalgia in Mexico will reach for Al Pastor and tamarind, while in the Asia Pacific region, flavors such as lychee and green mango provide comfort.
Bespoke taste concepts
The report also showcases several bespoke concepts to inspire innovation for great products, such as plant-based ice cream and tempura nuggets.
Moreover, there has been a significant increase in low and no alcoholic beverages and hard seltzers as consumers seek to enjoy alcoholic drinks but in different ways.
“The rise of intriguing botanical flavors can be seen in low- and no-alcohol beverages and soft drinks. Coffee applications are becoming more and more innovative, with cold brew and alcoholic creations being launched into the market,” notes Vaughan.
Snacks have always been a very creative end-use market, and Kerry sees some exciting flavors emerge here, such as seaweed, harissa and salted egg.
“The snackification trend means that consumers often try intriguing new flavors in small snacks. Many flavors get their first start in sweet or savory snacks and then can spread out rapidly from there. It’s important to keep an eye on trends in sweet and savory snack flavor innovations as consumers might develop early support for new flavors in this category,” she elaborates.
The pandemic effect
Vaughan says that in the past year, trends have shifted and accelerated due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“A taste for nostalgia has emerged, with consumers gravitating toward comforting and familiar food and beverages such as cotton candy and cookie dough. Seasonal tastes also offer comfort, with consumers expecting limited time offers during seasons or holidays,” she details.
However, consumers are also looking for excitement and are drawn toward enticing and visually impactful food and beverages to disrupt the monotony of day-to-day life.
“They are exploring the world through their taste buds to seek adventure, with authentic yet accessible cuisine choices on the rise. Meanwhile, health-conscious consumers are also demanding products with less sugar and with healthy halo ingredients.”
Product developers need to leverage insights and a deep understanding of the market to create new products that are successful at launch, says Vaughan.
Eye on development
The Kerry Taste Trends report is a valuable tool to provide food and beverage manufacturers with an overview of trends and taste across categories to help accelerate new product development times.
“It makes it easier for food and beverage product developers to make faster and better decisions in selecting the right flavors during the brainstorm and development phase,” she adds.
“Through proprietary tools such as Trendspotter, leading market knowledge, and local insights, we can partner with customers to translate Kerry’s taste insights into great products.”
“We are committed to guiding our customers on their journey to develop the next-generation of tastes that will delight, surprise and excite consumers,” Vaughan concludes.
Earlier this week, FoodIngredientsFirst reported a change in attitudes and “emotional discoveries” were restructuring the flavors arena.
By Elizabeth Green
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